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Hatcher Group Progress with Algal Biofuels Noted in Biodiesel Digest

An article headlined "Old Dominion Pioneering New Paths to Algal Fuel" appears in the online Biodiesel Digest (biodieseldigest.com), putting the spotlight on recent work of the Patrick Hatcher research group at ODU.

Hatcher, who holds the Batten Endowed Chair in Physical Sciences at ODU, also is executive director of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium (VCERC).

"In Virginia, researchers at Old Dominion University confirmed that they are now able to produce algal-based fuel from fatty lipids in the algal cell, but also from biopolymers in the algal cell wall," the article states.

"The researchers are extracting oils, then using a proprietary chemical treatment to strip the proteins from algal cells. Finally, the remaining biomass is subjected to pyrolysis, which they say produces a liquid fuel "better than the light sweet crude you get from Saudia Arabia…."

VCERC is charged with exploring alternative energy solutions, and has focused its work on algae-to-biofuel conversion processes and wind power from offshore turbines. VCERC also includes researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute, James Madison University, Norfolk State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia, Hampton University and George Mason University.

This article was posted on: September 15, 2010

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