UA algae research fuels oil possibility
Victoria Pelham Cronkite News Service | Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 12:00 am
Each morning at the UA’s Agriculture Experiment Station, pumps push water into shallow basins where the sun can better warm algae growing in it. Each night, the water returns to a canal where the limited surface area helps retain heat.
The production system is intended to maintain the right temperatures for cultivating algae containing oil used to produce biofuels.
This is an example of universities helping make algae a commercially viable crop for Arizona, said Randy Ryan, a University of Arizona researcher who developed the process with a partner.
“We’re kind of at this crux of technology,” said Ryan, assistant director of the Agriculture Experiment Station. “There’s a lot of invention, innovation, ingenuity that’s going into how to produce more algae that contains enough oil to make it economically viable, and we’re right in the middle of it.”