Algae alternative fuel research just received a financial boost to the tune of $15 million thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE awarded the grant funds to the Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3), a research center led by staff at the Arizona State University (ASU) Polytechnic campus in Mesa. The five-acre site is the largest university-based algae research testbed in the world.


ASU Polytechnic’s Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) is heading up the partnership with a variety of private institutions, national laboratories and colleges including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin.


“The productivity data generated by the ATP3 testbeds will flow into techno-economic and lifecycle assessment models and provide a basis for tracking progress toward goals in production economics and sustainability,” said Philip Pienkos, a principal manager at the NREL. “By making high quality testbed capabilities available to researchers and technology developers, they will allow rapid testing of novel concepts at scale and greatly accelerate commercialization.”  Source: ASU


The algae biofuel research field in Arizona is in a prime growth position due to the recent passage of two pieces of legislation, HB2225 and HB2226, that classify algae as agriculture. This classification, known as algaculture, opens up state trust land for the growth and harvesting of algae. In addition to positioning Arizona as a leader in algae alternative fuel research, the two bills will help bring new jobs to the state.


Photo: ASU


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