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Arizona State University officials said today researchers have received a $3 million for a new algae spinoff company that’s developed a kerosene-based aviation fuel derived from algae.
The scientists leading the effort are professors Qiang Hu and Milton Sommerfeld of ASU’s Laboratory for Algae Research & Biotechnology. The team said the new approach has cost reduction benefits much greater than traditional methods of producing kerosene from petroleum.
The new biofuel initiative is a collaborative project between Heliae Development, LLC and Science Foundation Arizona. This project will focus on the commercial production of kerosene from algae using technology patented by the two scientists.
Professors Hu and Sommerfeld have identified and characterized algal strains capable of converting portions of their cellular mass into oil that contains high concentration of medium chain fatty acids. When the oil is deoxygenated, the resulting hydrocarbon chains are similar to those found in kerosene. When mixed with small amounts of fuel additives, called JP8 or Jet A, the fuel is suitable for jet planes.
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