A Purdue University researcher will lead a portion of a federally funded effort primarily based at Iowa State University aimed toward growing genetically engineered algae for environmentally pleasant biodiesel manufacturing
Currently, hydrocarbon fuels comparable to diesel and gas require complicated chemical processing to be manufactured and are made essentially from non-renewable fossil fuels, that are being depleted, while the single-cell algae use photosynthesis and are renewable assets, stated John Morgan, an affiliate professor of chemical engineering at Purdue.
The Purdue portion of the paintings specializes in growing algae that produce extra lipids, the precursor of biofuels. The algae harness solar power to make lipids from carbon dioxide within the setting.
“Algae now store some of their carbon as lipids, but not enough to be useful in producing biodiesel,” Morgan stated. “We need to genetically engineer them to increase the amount of lipids they accumulate.”
The three-year undertaking is funded with a grant of greater than $four million from U.S. Department of Energy and is led by way of Martin Spalding, a professor within the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology at Iowa State. About $1 million of the grant, which is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is investment Purdue’s portion of the analysis, which started previous this 12 months.