DOE Invests in University of Kentucky’s Algae-based Carbon Utilization
This week ABO members at the University of Kentucky were among the winners of the Department of Energy’s $5.9 million investment in projects around the country that will explore how to capture, and make us of, CO2 from coal-fired power plants.
The announcement from the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy points out that the research will support a relatively new research portfolio within the office that will develop novel approaches for carbon utilization. These new approaches differ from using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery in that they will explore how the gas can be transformed into valuable products, and potentially offset the costs associated with carbon capture technologies.
According to the announcement:
The University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY) will develop a process to convert CO2 from coal-fired flue gas using microalgae-based CO2 capture, with subsequent conversion of the resulting algal biomass to bioplastics, chemicals, and fuels. The team will investigate a combined photobioreactor/pond cultivation process to decrease the cost of algae cultivation while developing a strategy to maximize value from the algal biomass.