Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) provides funding of AVF proposal
Improving Energy Cost and Scalability of Algal Biofuels
While liquid transportation fuel—particularly for aviation—is a critical part of the world’s energy requirements, most forms of alternative energy cannot meet this need. Biofuels can. Biodiesel derived from microalgae is an important alternative to plant-based biofuels, offering 300 times more oil per acre of land. Yet algal biofuel technology has a major limitation: current methods for removing water from the algae at harvest expend more energy than is harvested. A multidisciplinary team of Cornell investigators aims to solve the “dewatering” problem for an efficient and scalable algal energy harvest. Moving from modeling to experiments with living algae systems, this research promises a major advance in the search for sustainable transportation fuels.
Faculty working on the project include Susan Daniel (CBE), Roseanna Zia (CBE), Itai Cohen (Physics), and Beth Ahner (BEE).