“Rapid advancements in biofuels science have reduced the cost per gallon from $400,000 to $6. Soon that number will be even lower, making it competitive with today’s fossil fuels. That’s a key step toward replacing gasoline, diesel and jet fuel in our cars, trucks and planes.” (Department of Energy, 2016).
Research at the UA for Biofuels is focused on the development of technically viable sustainable and cost effective algal feedstock production. The UA Regional Algal Feedstock Testbed (RAFT) research project is a $8 million DOE-funded project to create a long-term cultivation data necessary to understand and promote biomass production. By using outdoor testbeds, long-term algal cultivation data is gathered to develop best management practices, improve cultivation models and optimize biomass productivity using impaired waters. The project has yielded the development of real-time sensors and control strategies for efficient cultivation and culture diagnostics using molecular markers. Working with industrial, government and academic partners has advanced the algal and bio-products industry for commercialization.
The majority of the research will be done using UA's Algal Raceway Integrated Design, or ARID, system, which was designed and patented by Ogden's research partners Randy Ryan, of the Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station, part of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Pete Waller and Murat Kacira, of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; and Perry Li, of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The research team also includes Judy Brown, a professor in the UA School of Plant Sciences. RAFT research project partners include: New Mexico State University, Texas A&M, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
For more information please contact:
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering