Keith Hautala

CAER Scientists, Duke Energy Demonstrate Algae-Based Carbon-Capture System

Published: Nov 11, 2013

<--break->

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2013) — Researchers from the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) last week demonstrated a system that uses algae to absorb carbon dioxide emissions at Duke Energy's East Bend power station in Northern Kentucky.

 

Duke invited the scientists to present their work to a small group of special guests, including representatives from the Cincinnati Enquirer and radio station WUKY. The pilot-scale system, built with $1.8 million in funding from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and UK with in-kind contributions from Duke Energy, is the only one of its kind currently operating in a "real-world" setting at a coal-fired power plant.  

 

“UK has been a great partner to work with on this project,” said Duke Energy’s Emerging Technology Senior Project Manager Doug Durst. “This pilot-scale system provides Duke Energy with actual results from the algae cultivation, using flue gas from our coal-fired unit as the carbon dioxide source, while UK works on lowering the costs for a possible future larger-scale demonstration.”

 

Representing UK at the event were project coinvestigator Mark Crocker, CAER associate director in biofuels and environmental catalysis, CAER Research Program Manager Jack Groppo, research engineer Mike Wilson and researcher Stephanie Graham.

 

The system works by pumping carbon-dioxide-rich flue gas into a tank full of liquid medium containing tiny, single-celled, plantlike organisms called microalgae. While taking up the carbon dioxide, the algae circulates through a "photobioreactor" — a long course of clear plastic tubes — to absorb sunlight, after which it is returned to the tank and the entire process repeats.

The algae uses carbon dioxide and sunlight for photosynthesis to create the energy it needs to grow, which — in the enriched environment of the photobioreactor — it does very rapidly. Algae biomass is harvested from the system at regular intervals, after which it is dried and formed into sheets. Algae grown in this manner could potentially be used to make a variety of products, such as renewable diesel fuel.

 

"We talk about carbon dioxide as 'pollution,' but it's also plant food," Groppo said. "Algae not only does a great job of capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide, but it also gives us a useful raw material."

 

That's key, researchers say, because the value created by converting flue gas to biomass can help to offset the costs of the carbon capture technology. At a certain scale, it could even prove profitable. The pilot-scale photobioreactor occupies less than 1,000 square feet and contains 23,000 liters (roughly 6,000 gallons) of medium in an array of 8-foot-tall tubes. A full-scale system might occupy as much as 100 acres.

 

The Cincinnati Enquirer article may be viewed online at http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20131109/NEWS0103/311090039/Duke-UK-use-algae-eat-CO2-make-new-stuff.

 

A video explaining the process, produced by UK Research Media, can be viewed http://reveal.uky.edu/algae_part1_howitworks.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; keith.hautala@uky.edu

algae_group_2.jpg
August
 
 
 
 
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Wrapped Art
Sun
4
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
5
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
6
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
7
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
8
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
9
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
10
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
11
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
12
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
UK Working Moms Connection
Tue
13
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Wed
14
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
15
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
16
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
17
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
18
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
19
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Tue
20
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Wed
21
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Thu
22
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Midnight Dodgeball Tournament
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
Parent and Families Reception
Residence Hall Floor Meeting
Off-campus Freshmen Check-in
K Team Meeting: K Week Kick-off
Death By Chocolate
Fri
23
Employee Educational Assistance Award
A Parent's Guide to Life after August 23
Campus Safety Information Session
Donut Avoid The Study
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 1
See Blue...See Community
Succeeding in A Large Lecture Classroom
Horses, Bluegrass, Basketball, and More: Welcome to Kentucky
Success at Any Age: College Tips for Adult Learners
Write Right: Tips for Writing Well in College
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 2
How to Graduate in Four Years
Parental Involvement in Fraternity and Sorority Life
Parents Watch for Warning Signs: Suicide Prevention for College Students
Preparing to be a Pre-Professional
Presentation U!: Where YOU are the Ultimate Presentation
Religious Life at UK
Successful Off-Campus Living
The Transfer Student Cruise: Navigating your way through UK
UK Parking & Transportation 101
You Heard It Here First: Tips From A Faculty Member
New Student Induction Ceremony
Minority Student Welcome
Transfer Student Cookout
K Team Meeting: K Week Overview
Men's Soccer vs. Georgia State
Big Blue U
Campus Ruckus
Campus Ruckus
Sat
24
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Jackass 3
LNFS Presents: Godzilla
Pedalpalooza
K Team Meeting: Lunch and Campus Tour
Center for Community Outreach: Do Good, Start Here.
UK Lex-Mart
Alternative Service Breaks: See the World, Change the World
From the Real World to the Amazing Race, Don't Wipeout: Your Advisor, Advising, and You
Blackboard Basics
Student Government Association Information Session
EMPOWER: Women’s Leadership Retreat Interest Session
Student Center Spectacular
Student Center Spectacular
Sun
25
Employee Educational Assistance Award
UK FUSION
UK Parking & Transportation 101
University of Kentucky Association for Transfer Students Interest Session
Candy, Condoms, Coffee
Cleaner, Healthier, Cheaper, Faster: Why Bicycling is the Best Way to Get Around Campus (and how to do it safely)
Working on Campus
K Team Meeting: Dinner with your K Team
Meijer Mania
Mon
26
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Last Day to Drop a Course with 100% Refund
Chem at UK Cafe-N-OJ with the Student American Chemical Society
Coffee (or Coke), Cookies, & Communication!: Come see blue. at Presentation U!
Don't Blow Yourself Up: Surviving Chemistry
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
OMG! Did I Just E-Mail That to My Professor???
Surviving Your First Year and Beyond: Strategies To Do Well in Your Classes
Sustainable UK: Exploring Environmental Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFE)
A User Guide for Your Mathematics Class
Discover the UK Art Museum
K Team Meeting: Common Reading Experience Discussion
Common Reading Introduction for International Students
Transfer Student Meet and Greet
We Are UK
Rec 'N Roll 2014
Big Blue Bingo Night
Mic Check
Tue
27
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
LNFS Presents: Jurassic Park
First Day of Classes
Open House - Special Collections Research Center
King Cookout
Campus Outreach
Opening Act: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Wed
28
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Her
LNFS Presents: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Student Involvement Fair
OrgSync Info session
LGBTQ* Welcome Back
Dive Into Diversity!
CATalyst's Dive Into Diversity Session
Residence Hall Floor Meetings
Thu
29
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Sea of Blue
One Last Beach Bash: RSA Block Party
LNFS Presents: Team America: World Police
Pills and Pizza
K Week Event: Pills and Pizza
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Wichita State
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Francis Marion
Fri
30
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Neighbors
The Tailgate "Kick-Off"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Butler
Kentucky Football vs. UT-Martin
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Virginia Tech
Sat
31
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ohio
Men's Soccer vs. Belmont
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aug 28
Internship Info Session 08/28/2014

Thu, 08/28/2014

Reset Page