Michigan State researchers to explore use of power plant emissions for algae-based technologies

September 26, 2017 |

In Michigan, Michigan State University scientists will explore new algae-based technologies to capture power plant emissions and sustainably turn them into valuable products.

The research project, funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, unites faculty from the MSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and the MSU Chemistry Department with industry experts in a three-year cross-disciplinary effort.

A single 100-megawatt coal-fired power plant releases between 3,000 and 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each day. Matching this would require thousands of acres of land to culture algae – something far from feasible for most power plant facilities.

Condensing this process into something viable both from an economic and energy standpoint poses as a challenge for Liao’s team. The scientists will apply a process called “biomass cascade conversion,” which fully optimizes the components of algae for the production of high-value chemicals and biofuels.

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Category: Research

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