Algae Biofuel Technologies

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act set a national goal of producing 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels per year by 2022. The 2008 National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap identifies algal-biofuels as a viable option to achieve this goal.

Algae are fast growing photosynthetic organisms, can be grown in low quality water, and can be an excellent source for biofuels. However, harvesting algae remains one of the most energy intensive and expensive steps in the process.

SSI, in association with cutting edge developments at UGA’s Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program, are developing new, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions that not only support the energy industry, but also improve energy sustainability.

Environmental Technologies

The poultry industry, a major part of Georgia Agriculture, generates poultry litter and poultry processing residues as byproducts. Currently, poultry litter is typically land-applied or composted, a process that can have undesirable side-effects such as bad odor, phosphorus runoff, and nitrogen runoff. There is also a risk of pathogen transfer to surface waters when a large rain event follows land application.

These problems are exacerbated in areas where poultry production is very concentrated and the availability of land becomes limiting. Composting can stabilize the poultry litter, but high-temperature aerobic processes result in a significant portion of the nitrogen being lost through ammonia volatilization.

The SSI team is developing solutions for managing poultry litter that generate a stable, nutrient rich, soil amendment while generating biomethane as a co-product. We are also developing technologies that rapidly treat poultry processing wastewater by reducing chemical oxygen demand (COD).