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DOE’s National Laboratories Receives R&D 100 Awards

The Department of Energy(DOE)  comprises of many national laboratories and technology centers and many such national labs are working on algae projects. Three national labs of the DOE have now been awarded the R&D 100 awards, for their innovative technologies. A brief description of their technology and the advantages of each of those techniques have been highlighted.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) was recognized for its Supercritical/Solid Catalyst (SSC), which converts   wastes into bio fuels. The SSC combines fat or oil feedstock with supercritical fluid solvents and alcohols to dissolve the materials during a single phase in a particular temperature and pressure.

This process thus eliminates the multiple steps needed in traditional biodiesel production. The SSC provides many benefits: it emits 86% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum and could replace 20% of petroleum diesel in the United States. Plus, it eliminates the use of toxic material and clean-water consumption during biodiesel production.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been awarded for their  ultrasonic biofuel harvester. Algae harvesting ,as you might be aware is facing several challenges out of which lack of energy efficiency in the present harvesters is one. The LANL have taken that into consideration to develop this  energy-efficient harvester which can give rise to algae -fuel and some   The proteins produced are also safe to feed cattle, poultry, and fish.

The ultrasonic biofuel harvester is currently the only technology available that uses one method to secure and separate the three beneficial components of algae: oil, protein, and water.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) was recognized for developing a process that makes propylene glycol from renewable sources. This process led to PNNL researchers’ creation of a chemical catalyst that converts a plant-based compound into the additive. This catalytic process was licensed in 2006 by Archer Daniels Midland Company—creator of the first full-scale plant that will make propylene glycol from renewable sources—and is capable of annually producing one-fourth of the propylene glycol needed in the United States.

More from here – http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/news_detail.html?news_id=16256

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