Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialisation releases final report

[USA] The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialisation (CAB-Comm), led by the University of California, San Diego, has just released its final report, detailing the many accomplishments and impactful contributions achieved in its six years of operation.

CAB-Comm was established in 2010 through a competitive award from the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to conduct research to enable commercial viability of algae-based biofuels. CAB-Comm focused on three key aspects of algal biofuels production: development of genetic tools, crop protection, and nutrient utilisation and recycling.

One of the most significant of CAB-Comm’s achievements was developing a full suite of genetic tools for cyanobacteria, green algae, and diatoms. CAB-Comm has since made these tools publicly available through the Life Technologies catalogue, where more than 150 algae products are now listed and available for worldwide distribution.

Another significant accomplishment was the world’s first outdoor field tests of a genetically modified algae strain, Scenedesmus dimorphous, run in collaboration with Sapphire Energy under approval of the US EPA Toxic Substances Control Act Environmental Release Application. Results concluded that these algae did not displace native species in test cultures of local waters and that the genetically modified traits expressed were stable throughout the three months of cultivation.

CAB-Comm thoroughly investigated many crop protection strategies, identifying the most common algal pathogenic microorganisms and predators, and examining how multiple algae strains in community can result in greater productivity and resilience than monocultures. The group also developed a nutrient, water, and carbon mass balance model to assess best practices and technologies for nutrient recycling.



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