Bioremediation of Industrial Emissions Coupled to Biofuel Production

In collaboration with Jennifer Stewart (PI), we will optimize the growth of Heterosigma akashiwo for bioremediation of dairy waste and industrial emissions (flue gas) for production of biodeisel fuel. 

Industrial flue gas emissions contain high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the toxic gas, nitric oxide (NO).  The high concentration of NO in flue gas inhibits the growth of most microalgae and previous attempts to utilize biodiesel-producing strains of microalgae for bioremediation of industrial emissions containing NO have been largely unsuccessful. Microalgae can also be used for bioremediation of dairy waste, which contains high amounts of phosphates and other nutrients required for algal growth. Dairy waste, however, does not contain a high enough proportion of nitrogen to achieve maximum growth rates by most algal species, and must be supplemented with additional nitrogen.  Research by Stewart and Coyne at UD shows that the unicellular alga, Heterosigma akashiwo, is capable of growth on gases containing high concentrations NO, and can use NO as a nitrogen source. This project will investigate the capacity of H. akashiwo for bioremediation of dairy waste and industrial flue gas containing CO2 and NO, while optimizing growth for biofuel production.

For more information, please visit Jennifer Stewart's home page.

Collaborator: Jennifer Stewart (PI),  University of Delaware, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. Funded by DE Sea Grant, this project addresses Sea Grant's priority areas “Healthy Coastal Ecosystems” and “Sustainable Coastal Development” by contributing to the development of sustainable technology and renewable energy resources.  

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Featured Faculty

Kathryn Coyne

Kathryn Coyne picture

Director, Delaware Sea Grant & Associate Professor Marine Biosciences


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Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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