Growth of Algae 1A Big Island company aims to harvest oil from algae on a commercial scale as an alternative to drilling for petroleum.
To grow algae, researchers put a small amount of algae in sea water and expose it to the sun, some nutrients and carbon dioxide. The dense algal growth is moved to a larger growing container and then open ponds. The oil-heavy algae sinks to the bottom of the ponds, and researchers remove water and extract oil from the algae.
Cellana researchers are trying smarter designs to reduce the expense. They are also attempting to increase their yields, or the amount of algae they are able to get per square meter per day, to cut costs.
The project is attracting significant financial support. The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded Cellana $9 million to continue its research.
The company also might be able to get revenue from a byproduct of the process, as the protein and carbohydrates left after oil is extracted could be turned into fish meal or other animal feed Login to Post a Comment