Algae Based Glycerin Fuel Project

The thrust of this project is demonstrating the feasibility of a marine based bioreactor capable of producing, extracting and purifying glycerol from the microalgae species, Dunaliella tertiolecta. Dunaliella tertiolecta, a saltwater microalgae species, has been shown to dedicate the majority of its fixed carbon dioxide (CO₂) to extracellular glycerol production. The leakage of glycerol across the cell membrane into the growth medium raise the possibility of extracting glycerol while maintaining a healthy algae culture - a major necessity for economical biofuel production from microalgae. Microalgae represent a potentially huge opportunity in offshore renewable energy generation and storage. Microalgae produce energy rich biofuels year round in marginal environments at rates in excess of 10 times that of plants. If microalgae could be cultured and maintained remotely a huge quantity of biofuels could be produced economically without displacing conventional agricultural products. The project studies the production of glycerin from algae with the intention of scaling up this system to farm scale production process which can produce commercial quantities of biofuel in a sustainable and efficient manner. Protocols for growth and production condition, including inexpensive growth media, CO₂ fixation issues, glycerin monitoring systems and glycerin separation methods are issues being studied in this project.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $200000.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kimball, Richard

  • Performing Organizations:

    Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory

    Maine Maritime Academy
    Castine, ME  United States  04420
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kimball, Richard

  • Start Date: 20140702
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20190331
  • Source Data: RiP Project 36792

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01530215
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC43, METEL-2014P784
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 11 2014 1:01AM