December 20, 2011

U Georgia, U Puerto Rico, to launch algal fuels R&D center

In Georgia, the University of Georgia has teamed with the University of Puerto Rico to develop a new R&D center that will focus on algae-based biofuels thanks to a $4 million grant from the Dept. of Defense.

In Athens, where UGA operates a state-of-the-art algae research facility, researchers will focus their efforts on production of different strains of microalgae grown in wastewater. In Rio Piedras, the researchers will identify local strains of marine macro-algae-kelp-like seaweeds-that can produce maximum yields of biogas.

Researchers at the Rio Piedras facility also will culture algae and develop pilot-scale facilities that produce biogas and liquid transportation fuels-biodiesel , bioethanol and biocrude-from algae. The project will use facilities of industrial partner Biolípidos de Puerto Rico for biodiesel production.

With a goal of establishing a biofuels industry in Puerto Rico, UPR and UGA researchers will study the economic viability of an algae-based biofuels industry, assist UPR in identifying local industrial partners and develop a future workforce.

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