CSU researchers explore creating biofuels through bacteria photosynthesis

By: InnovatioNews Thursday July 18, 2013 Tags: biofuels, Christie Peebles, CSU, David Dandy, Fort Collins, Graham Peers, Ken Reardon, photosynthesis, Thomas Bradley

Colorado State University Fort Collins Colorado logoFORT COLLINS - An interdisciplinary team of Colorado State University researchers has received a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to investigate new routes to the sustainable production of biofuels with photosynthetic bacteria.

"The purpose of this basic research is to help solve important practical problems," said Kenneth Reardon, professor of chemical and biological engineering and the grant's principal investigator.

"Current biofuel production processes, based on algae, have been too expensive to scale up to commercial size. The team will be researching ways to increase the productivity and sustainability of the cultivation of photosynthetic microbes for greater yields of targeted molecules."

In addition to Reardon, the CSU team includes Thomas Bradley of mechanical engineering, David Dandy and Christie Peebles of chemical and biological engineering, and Graham Peers, biology.

The team's four-year research project will include examination of how exposure to light in a variety of settings affects the growth rate and yield of bacteria and development of new life-cycle analysis approaches that will allow modeling of the productivity of large-scale reactors.

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