Final Technical Report, DE-SC0000581 Page: 2 of 7
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The Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management (CEHMM) was awarded
$1,849,716.00 on June 2, 2009, award number DE-SC0000581. This grant was used for
alternative energy research and education.
The primary focus of this grant was the protection of the environment through the development
of a renewable feedstock, algae, as a source for biofuel. Algae are a consumer of carbon dioxide
rather than a contributor of this gas. Algae ameliorate carbon dioxide levels attributable to the
burning of fossil fuels like coal and at the same time can be used as a source of fuel.
CEHMM began research on the use of algae as a source for biofuel in 2006. Initial studies
entailed the analysis of a variety of species cultured in aquaria. Subsequently, those species most
robust and with a relatively high lipid content were grown outdoors in small open tanks to assess
their viability outside the laboratory. Based on these outdoor tests two 1/8-acre open raceway
ponds were constructed beginning in late 2007 and became fully operational in the spring of
2008. A marine alga monoculture was successfully grown year around, and data were collected
daily by pond from the time of inoculation. This database is a treasure trove of information
regarding chemical, biological and physical parameters which reflect the success of these
outdoor cultures. CEHMM has successfully developed and implemented one of a kind crop
protection techniques, at commercial scale, to address predation and infestation as well as a
nutrient feeding regime, all of which now constitute trade secrets. CEHMM experimented with a
variety of harvesting techniques, the results of which have been documented. Finally, a pilot
plant extraction facility was built at the CEHMM algae pond facility. CEHMM can grow and
harvest algae, concentrate this alga to a level compatible with the extraction equipment and
operate the extraction plant to generate algae oil from the lipids found in the CEHMM algae
culture. There are now three -acre open raceway ponds and the two original 1/8-acre pond in
which the CEHMM marine alga is grown. CEHMM has demonstrated the ability to grow and
harvest year-around with consistent biomass production rates exceeding two tons per month per
An economic model has been developed in consultation and collaboration with New Mexico
State University and Sandia National Laboratories. This model suggests that a commercial
facility based on the CEHMM paradigm is very economically feasible.
Algal oil derived at the CEHMM algal facility can be converted into biodiesel. The rural setting
of the CEHMM facility means biodiesel produced in quantity could potentially compete with
petroleum diesel in the agricultural market. In addition to fuel, the residual biomass created by
the extraction process holds promise in the areas of food supplements for livestock, nutraceutical
applications and a protein source.
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Lynn, Douglas C. Final Technical Report, DE-SC0000581, report, December 28, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc845000/m1/2/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.