MSU researchers discover chemical trigger that doubles the yield of algal lipids for biodiesel from farmed algae

Oct 05, 2010

Algal biofuel production could double in yield and in far less time, thanks to a chemical trigger discovered at Montana State University.

The chemical trigger is a well-timed dose of bicarbonate, a low-cost, easy-to-use chemical, similar to common stomach antacids. These results were presented on the first day of the Algal Biomass Summit in Phoenix, Ariz.

When given to during a specific point in its growth cycle, the bicarbonate doubles the rate of production of triacylglycerol, the key precursor to biodiesel. Some cultures have shown nearly three times faster rates of triacylglycerol accumulation, which would result in significant cost savings for biofuel manufacturers. This effect has been shown in both diatoms and in green alga.

The bicarbonate also shortens the time it takes to reach high yields and can be used to further enhance the efficiency of almost any algal production facility. The use of the addition could be beneficial to any industry where improved triacylglycerol yields are critical, such as biodiesel production and the neutraceutical industry.

The technology is available for licensing to interested companies and entrepreneurs.

Explore further: Largest genetic survey to date shows major success of giant panda breeding programs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Algae-Based Biofuel From Fish

Sep 01, 2009

Right now, when biofuel is produced using algae, cultures are grown and then processed into fuel. But the process is expensive and difficult. Now a company in Texas, LiveFuels, Inc., hopes that it will be ...

Industrial production of biodiesel feasible within 15 years

Aug 13, 2010

Within 10 to 15 years, it will be technically possible to produce sustainable and economically viable biodiesel from micro-algae on a large scale. Technological innovations during this period should extend the scale of production ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0