SBIR Phase I: Advanced Techniques for Microalgae Production, Harvest, and Conversion to Biodiesel

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0711001
Agency Tracking Number: 0711001
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
11125 FLINTKOTE AVE STE J, Suite 202, SAN DIEGO, CA, 92121
DUNS: 021597265
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Massingill
 (858) 452-5765
Business Contact
 Michael Massingill
Title: BS
Phone: (858) 452-5765
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Project develops new technologies to culture microalgae as a source of biomass for use in the production of biodiesel fuel. There is a critical worldwide need for new, renewable sources of energy to reduce our dependence on the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. Biodiesel produced from plant biomass offers very high potential. Microalgae are the most efficient plants that can produce oil for biodiesel, with potential annual yields of 5,000-10,000 gallons of oil per acre, 100 times higher than soybean or rapeseed oil crops. However, large-scale and cost-effective methods to culture and harvest microalgae (and extract the oils they contain) are lacking. This project involves research using the Controlled Eutrophication Process (CEP), an innovative, multi-stage microalgae cultivation system that produces dense populations of single-celled algae in high-rate algal ponds circulated by large, efficient paddlewheels. The CEP concept will be adapted to develop cost-effective microalgae-biodiesel production processes that can utilize both agricultural wastewater and underutilized saline water as supply water for high-rate algal production ponds. Additional benefits derived from the CEP biodiesel production process include wastewater treatment with freshwater recovery, nutrient recycling, greenhouse gas abatement and co-production of biofertilizers, feed supplements, and electricity. Sales of these valuable byproducts will help to offset the biodiesel cost and improve the competitiveness of this environmentally-friendly bioenergy resource. The overall impact of the development of efficient techniques for using microalgae to produce biofuels will be of immense value in assisting the U.S. economy in a successful transition to renewable energy and have an immense positive environmental impact on the world as a whole.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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