Algae reactor steals center stage in international air show
The search for a cheaper fuel has left most of the automobile industry in a tizzy; well it’s not just the automobiles that are looking for the holy grail of alternate fuel. Airline fares may be low but unless they find an alternative jet fuel it will be hard not to raise the airfares if they want to stay in the aviation game. The Farnborough International Air Show exhibit was part of a collaboration and ongoing relationship between the researchers and aviation giant Boeing. The show featured the latest in turbine technology for Jet fighters and commercial aircrafts.
The advantages of using Algal oil are
• Algal oil is very similar to other vegetable oils, but its yield is projected at 100 times that of soybean per acre of land on an annual basis.
• Unlike other plants, algae reproduce quickly without roots and stems, and they never go dormant.
• Algae can remove carbon dioxide from power plant emissions and recover nutrients from waste water.
According to Hu, the technology to help algae reproduce effectively is still five years away.
Boeing also confirmed a $225,000 grant to support ongoing algae research at ASU, and to provide three scholarships for graduate students. Hu and Sommerfeld who have 40-plus years of research experience in algae and are co-directors of the Laboratory for Algae Research & Biotechnology (LARB) at the Polytechnic. They apply their knowledge to use in air and water remediation, alternative fuels and animal feed and are hopeful that algae will lose its ugly image for good and be a sound substitute for crude oil.