CSU Funded to Make Algae a Better Crop

Seagriculture EU 2024
CSU Powerhouse

Algae growing in ponds at the CSU Powerhouse.

by Emily Wilmsen

A Colorado State University (CSU) team of engineers and biologists has been selected by the Department of Energy for a $3.2 million grant to engineer algal strains and improve cultivation operations. The goal of the project is to increase the rates of biomass production by 20 percent, boosting algae’s potential as a source of biofuels and other products.

The project will be led by Professor Ken Reardon, the Jud and Pat Harper Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering.

Prof Reardon has spent 20 years analyzing and engineering bacteria and algae for biofuels and other chemicals. “Solutions toward the interconnected challenges of food, energy, and water production are increasingly becoming critical for our planet in the face of climate change,” he said. “Algae could be one of the solutions to those challenges, but we still have a lot to learn about how to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of making fuels and chemicals from algae. We’re confident this project will help the field take a big step forward.”

Joining Dr. Reardon on the DOE project are:

  • David Dandy, Professor and Department Head of Chemical and Biological Engineering, who will use computational tools to simulate pond dynamics treating the cells as chemical reactors that convert inorganic carbon (from CO₂) to biomass;
  • Graham Peers, Associate Professor of Biology, who will use genetic tools to create a new algae strain with higher growth rates; and
  • Jason Quinn, Rockwell-Anderson Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who will analyze the project’s economic and environmental sustainability.

CSU’s partners for this effort include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Arizona State University, Qualitas Health, Quantitative BioSciences Inc., and CSU startup OptiEnz Sensors LLC.

All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint articles in their entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact david@algaeplanet.com. Algae Planet accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Seagriculture USA 2024
AlgaeMetrics
Contact Phil Ganz

Subscribe

Breaking-News

  • June 19, 2024: Scottish Sea Farms has joined a seaweed growing venture in a project that combines salmon and kelp farming on Loch Spelve in the Sound of Mull. The intention of the year-long pilot is to enrich and replenish the marine environment while minimizing any impact from farming activities. READ MORE...
  • June 17, 2024: The ALEHOOP project, funded by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking, has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of sustainable plant-based protein extraction. The project has developed pilot-scale biorefineries that recover low-cost dietary proteins from algae and plant-based biomass. READ MORE...
  • June 14, 2024: Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed microscopic robots, known as microrobots, capable of swimming through the lungs to deliver cancer-fighting medication directly to metastatic tumors. This approach has shown promise in mice, where it inhibited the growth and spread of tumors that had metastasized to the lungs, thereby boosting survival rates compared to control treatments. READ MORE...
  • June 12, 2024: The PROTEUS consortium of 11 international partners, funded by the Circular Bio-Based Europe Joint Undertaking, intends to establish the first industrial-scale biorefinery for brown seaweeds. This facility will enhance sustainable production of bio-based ingredients from Laminaria hyperborea, an untapped European renewable resource, meeting global demand in food, feed, personal care, and industrial sectors. READ MORE...

Algae Europe 2024

A Beginner’s Guide