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Texas Researchers are Working on Saltwater Algae for Biofuel Production

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Texas researchers are working to transform algae fuel into a commercially competitive process. Both Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin are deeply involved in algae research, and private corporations in Texas also are exploring its potential. Texas A&M is producing oil-rich algae at a test facility just west of Pecos.

At the test facility near Pecos, researchers are growing algae in raceway ponds. Bob Avant, bio-energy program director for Texas AgriLife Research said researchers are working with saltwater algae that have a higher oil content than that found in freshwater varieties. And there are other advantages. If the saltwater algae find their way into a freshwater lake or stream, they’re unlikely to survive and create problems for native species.

Periodically, a portion of the algae in a raceway is removed to be processed. Deprived of nutrients, the algae is basically stressed out restless leg syndrome, which causes it to produce more oil. The cell walls of the algae are broken down to extract the oil.

Researchers in Pecos are using centrifuges for that presently, but Avant said that new techniques need to be developed to make that process more economical.

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One Response to “Texas Researchers are Working on Saltwater Algae for Biofuel Production”

  1. James Says:

    production of fuel from algae…That's a great idea. World is now in a great need of some alternative fuel resources and it can be a milestone if the works. credit cards

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