Thursday, April 2, 2009

Biodiesel from Wastewater - Unv of Michigan Project

Mar. 24, 2009

Team Algal Scientific wins Clean Energy Prize

Click for video ANN ARBOR, Mich.— A plan to use algae to simultaneously treat wastewater and produce the raw materials for biofuels has won the inaugural Clean Energy Prize.

The competition was sponsored by DTE Energy, the University of Michigan, the Masco Corporation Foundation and the Kresge Foundation to encourage entrepreneurship in Michigan and the development of clean energy technology.

Team Algal Scientific Corp., comprised of business, engineering and ecology students from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, earned the top prize of $65,000 at the competition Friday (March 20). Their business plan rose to the top in a field of 23 teams.

“We put a lot of effort in, and we had tough competition,” said team member Bobby Levine, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Chemical Engineering. “I think we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited to plan the next phase.”

Gerard Anderson, DTE Energy president and chief operating officer, presented the awards and told team members and other attendees that the development of new energy technologies holds promise for a cleaner environment and a more robust economy.

“With this in mind, we developed the Clean Energy Prize to serve as a catalyst for students and faculty to bring clean energy technologies from university labs to the market,” he said. “We also see this prize as one of many steps toward recapturing Michigan’s past spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

In Algal Scientific Corp.’s wastewater treatment system, algae would take up nutrients at wastewater treatment plants in a more economical and environmentally friendly way than the current state of the art. This method uses no chemicals. Then, the nutrient-packed algae would be harvested and sent to a plant to be converted directly to biofuels. Team members say they’re addressing two major global concerns: clean water and clean energy.

Why use Green Algae?
Diatom Algae can do a better job and it need not be harvested, it can be allowed to be consumed by Zooplankton and Fish.
Green Algae has to be harvested and this would be quite expensive.

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