GOEP R&D Seed Grant: Controlled Production of Microalgae in a Demonstration-Scale Photobioreactor

  • Crocker, Mark (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


From the foregoing it is apparent the cultivation of algae offers considerable potential for the production of renewable biofuel and for C02 mitigation. At the same time, there are also significant technical challenges to be overcome. The goal of this project is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of producing oil from algae in a Kentucky context, i.e., taking account of the climatic conditions in Kentucky. A second objective is to assess the potential for using flue-gas from coal-fired boilers as a source of C02, thereby helping to mitigate C02 emissions. It is envisioned that work will be performed at the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and at a location in Western Kentucky or East-Central Kentucky (using a fluegas slipstream). To this end, we propose to acquire and operate a commercial photobioreactor for algae cultivation. Studies will be conducted to determine achievable algae and oil production rates, as well as algae tolerance to typical flue-gas compositions. The resulting data will be incorporated in a model to permit simulation of the process across a range of scales, thereby allowing an assessment of the prospects for commercialization. The proposed research is closely aligned with a total of six of the recommendations in Kentucky's Comprehensive Energy Strategy [7]. Three of these recommendations (48, 50, and 54) directly relate to the research and development of new renewable fuel technologies. In addition, future demand for biodiesel is expected to increase based on additional recommendations in the Energy Strategy (10, 11, and 12).
Effective start/end date4/15/086/30/09


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