delware environmental institute

WDDE: A researcher's effort to make low-cost algae-based biofuels

While the recent Paris summit helped move global leaders onto the same page on climate change, the next step is figuring out exactly how to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. The federal government has spent millions of dollars to fund research and technology to create algae-based biofuel and scientists are starting to make headway toward making it competitive when it comes to cost.

Delaware Public Media’s Eli Chen recently spoke to a UD researcher whose work shows a lot of promise in paving the way to low-cost algal biofuels.

In a laboratory, a dark green liquid bubbled up in a bioreactor, illuminated by bright fluorescent bulbs. Jennifer Stewart, a researcher at University of Delaware, picked up a flask full of the green liquid, which contains algae. She remarked that the species that they’re using in this particular experiment, called scenedesmus, isn’t very mobile, “so the bubbling keeps it mixed, so they can all get light evenly and it helps them grow.”