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Innovative biofuel research shortlisted in GE ecomagination Challenge

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Posted March 14, 2013

Overcoming the major obstacle to producing cost-effective biofuel is the aim of innovative University of Technology Sydney (UTS) research that has been shortlisted for the GE ecomagination Challenge.

Patented technology developed by the UTS Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster (C3) has the potential to quadruple yields in biofuel production, which would significantly reduce the cost per litre of the renewable energy source.

The C3 Algal Biofuels Research team is one of thirty five finalists shortlisted from 191 entries in the GE Challenge, an open call to action for businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students in Australia and New Zealand with breakthrough ideas for reducing our carbon footprint.

The Evengold™ photobioreactor is designed to allow commercial-scale biofuel production from microalgae by producing optimal conditions for algal growth and production of oils that can then be converted to transport fuels.

“Despite global efforts to harness the renewable energy potential of microalgae, low-cost, high-yield and high-efficiency commercial algal biofuel production remains elusive,” C3 Executive Director Professor Peter Ralph said.

“The Evengold™ technology improves the distribution of light for microalgae growth and will, we believe, accelerate the delivery of sustainable, low carbon transport fuels from the bench to the transport industry.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to be a part of the GE ecomagination Challenge and talk about our research to a broader community interested in sustainability and reducing the region’s carbon footprint.”

GE Challenge winners will be announced on 19 March. The five category winners will each receive $100,000 and potential investment opportunities of up to $10 million from GE and its venture capital partners.

For more information on the competition, visit the GE ecomagination Challenge website.

Source: UTS

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