Making Algae Biofuels a Reality

photoOne of the major issues facing the algal biofuels industry is development of a low energy, scalable means of harvesting microalgae cells from ponds or bioreactors, in which microalgae is cultivated under very dilute conditions.

At CSU, Prof. Anthony Marchese and his students in the Advanced Biofuels Combustion and Characterization Laboratory are developing a new, energy efficient microalgae harvesting technology in collaboration with Solix BioSystems and Los Alamos National Laboratory.   This technology uses high frequency, ultrasonic standing waves and fluid mechanical forces to direct the microalgae cells into a concentrated stream to enable the design a scalable, continuous flow harvesting system.

CSU Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student Esteban Hincapie was recently awarded the Young Algae Researcher Award by the Algae Biomass Organization for his work on this device.