Algal Biofuels and Biotechnology Institute (ABBI)

An integrated approach: The proposed Algal Biofuels and Biotechnology Institute (ABBI) would integrate a broad spectrum of disciplines toward developing a comprehensive strategy for utilizing algae as a new source for food, energy and other valuable chemical entities. This would effectively develop algae as a new agricultural specialty crop which would not compete with existing human food crops for arable land or as alternative usage of valuable and limited human foodstuffs. Algae are capable of being grown in a wide variety of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and can be engineered and optimized to provide a wide variety of biofuels, food, and chemical feedstocks in an environmentally responsible and sustainable framework. There are many potential advantages of selecting algae as a photosynthetic biosynthetic platform for direct conversion of solar energy into useful products, including their rapid growth rates, the efficiency of single-celled organisms, the adaptability to modern genomic manipulation, the simple nutritional and energetic inputs required and the environmental and climatic adaptability of the organisms.

Algae Initiative Workshops

April 2009

The first Algae Initiative Workshop was held in April 2009 at OSU. Presentations included:

"Building Better Algae" by Dr. Craig Marcus, Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, OSU

"Enclosed Algal Photobioreactors for Sustainable Energy Applications" by Dr. Greg Rorrer, Department of Chemical, Biological and Ecological Engineering, OSU

"Biomass from Cyanobacteria: Opportunities for the Proposed Algae Biofuels and Biotechnology Institute at OSU" by Dr. Wayne Carmichael, Department of Biological Sciences, Wright University

July 2009

The second Algae Initiative Workshop was held July 30, 2009 at OSU. Dr. Lou Ogaard gave his presentation:

"Algae Biodiesel: A Path to Commercialization," Dr. Lou Ogaard, Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management (CEHMM)

Dr. Byung Lee, Director of the Bio-Energy Institute of Yeungnam University in Korea gave some perspective on international collaboration.

Participants then broke up into two separate breakout sessions:

Breakout Session #1, led by Dr. Ganti Murthy of Oregon State University: "Algae Biofuels and Bioproducts: Economics, feedstock logistics and processing technologies." Discussion covered points such as:

  • Identification of Pacific Northwest/Oregon resource bases
  • Production systems
  • Nutrition of large scale production
  • Harvesting and processing technologies

Breakout Session #2, led by Dr. Craig Marcus of Oregon State University: "Species Development for Bioproducts." Discussion included such topics as:

  • Identification of the OSU resource base
  • High throughput screening and sequencing
  • Eukaryotic vs. prokaryotic organisms
  • Marine vs. freshwater organisms; open pond vs. closed systems

Following breakout session discussions, participants regrouped for a final discussion.