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High-Efficiency Microalgae Biofuel Harvest and Extraction Using Ionic Liquids

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Streamline Automation, LLC
AL Huntsville, AL 35805-6720
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: High-Efficiency Microalgae Biofuel Harvest and Extraction Using Ionic Liquids
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-09ER85607
Award Amount: $99,923.00


Biofuel production via microalgal systems has several competitive advantages over other feedstocks: (1) it does not involve the use of food crops, (2) it can be carried out on non-productive land, (3) it does not consume sources of potable water, and (4) it can be part of a strategy to sequester carbon dioxide produced by power and industrial plants. However, the process is very complex and the energy input required for algae harvesting and lipid extraction is very large. This project will develop a greatly simplified harvest and extraction process based on ionic liquids, a new class of materials with exquisite tunability for dissolution and separation. The process will be much less expensive to operate, will deliver higher yields, and will increase the competitiveness of algae-based biofuels in the market. Phase I will demonstrate the efficient lysis of microalgae cells and the subsequent separation of their high-energy lipids using ionic liquids. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee:The technology should benefit consumers of liquid fuels by contributing to increasedproduction of biofuels at lower pump costs, without the use of food stocks and related cost increases. Because the use of algae directly contributes to carbon sequestration, the technology should help reduce the buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide

Principal Investigator:

Rodrigo Teixeira

Business Contact:

Alton Reich
Small Business Information at Submission:

Streamline Automation, Llc
3100 Fresh Way SW Huntsville, AL 35805

EIN/Tax ID: 223885097
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No