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Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT) at EKU Boosts Biofuel Production

October 5th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Fuel-Research

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Armed with a recently announced $3.6 million federal contract with the Defense Logistics Agency, the Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT) at EKU is ramping up its efforts to boost biofuels production in central Kentucky. 

Sixth District Congressman Ben Chandler, who was instrumental in securing the contract, was on the Richmond campus on Monday, Sept. 28, joining University officials and state leaders in providing an update on the initiative, which has already garnered considerable international attention for EKU. 

Working with corporate partner General Atomics, Clark County and Winchester governments, Green Earth BioFuel in Estill County and Lextran, CRAFT will use algae techniques to process cellulosic materials that are readily available in the Commonwealth, offering a framework for sustainable fuel production and a boost for Kentucky agriculture.

“This is going to help our farmers, and it is going to produce jobs in this region,” Chandler said. “We can do it in such a way that we can employ people in good-paying jobs that can’t be exported.

“I’m tremendously proud to be associated with this fine university and these fine people. This university is well on its way to great things.”

The Defense Logistics Agency contract calls for specific areas of research that will ultimately lead to a demonstration pilot plant in Clark County to produce the biofuels. The EKU concept is unique in that the research will target locally grown biomass products to derive simple sugars that will be fed to algae to produce an oil that can be refined into fuels and other co-products such as plastics and pharmaceuticals.

Source: EKupdate

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