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Maura Bennett Algae to Biofuel at CSU
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: April 18, 2018

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A Colorado State University project to grow and harvest ocean macroalgae for biofuel production got a big boost from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

CSU Energy Institute Researcher Jason Quinn’s project was one of 18 chosen for funding. Quinn- an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering - says the long term goal is to set adrift a set of 3-mile long carbon fiber cables in the ocean off the coast of Washington state.

“And then they’re drifting south to off the coast of Southern California which is where they’ll be harvested. And then those cables get shipped back up to Washington and get reseeded and set afloat.

Most biomass production occurs on land so Quinn says this method has advantages.

Quinn will analyze the economic feasibility of the project and complete a life-cycle assessment to determine the carbon savings and environmental impact of the algae farming method. The team aims to float their macroalgae-harvesting cable off the coast of Washington within three years.

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