Michigan State University and PHYCO2 partner on algae capture

Sep 20 2015


Michigan State University and PHYCO2 have partnered to develop algae technologies that capture carbon dioxide from power plant emissions.

The collaboration is a direct response to the White House and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s call documented in the Clean Power Plan.

Under the collaborative research agreement, MSU and PHYCO2 – an algae growth and carbon dioxide sequestration company based in Santa Maria, California – will investigate the performance of PHYCO2’s algae growth and carbon dioxide absorption technology, as well as algae-processing technologies.

PHYCO2 will be testing its algae photo bioreactor, technology that continuously captures significant amounts of CO2 and grows algae with LED light, at MSU’s T.B. Simon Power Plant. MSU and PHYCO2 expect to be able to absorb up to 80 percent of captured CO2 emissions for the production of algae. MSU will be testing the growth of several algae strains and post processing of the algae that is grown.

The project’s goals are to cost-effectively grow algae while significantly absorbing CO2 for sequestration from the gas emissions at the power plant. The algae can then be sold into current markets for biofuels, bioplastics and other applications.

“MSU has always been on the forefront of cutting-edge research and development,” said Robert Ellerhorst, director of utilities at the MSU power plant. “Our collaborative work with developers fits MSU’s research agenda to solve the world’s problems – in this case, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Through the sequestration of the greenhouse gas emissions, this technology has the potential to produce organically pure and biologically consistent algae. The PHYCO2 algae photobioreactor may also be able to treat wastewater from urban sources and produce cleaner water as a by-product.

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan calls for nationwide standards in carbon emissions from power plants in order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are confident that this partnership between MSU and PHYCO2 will meet and exceed the challenge issued by the White House,” said PHYCO2 CEO Bill Clary. “The PHYCO2 photobioreactor represents the future of cleaner emissions and the first CO2 capture technology that truly is market sustainable.”

Michigan State University
PHYCO2


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