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From wastewater to fuel: Ariz. students unite for algae research

Student technicians work together at AzCATI on the ASU Polytechnic Campus
November 01, 2013

Students and researchers from the three major public universities across Arizona have joined forces to maximize the use of one of Arizona’s natural resources: algae.

The collaboration is an Arizona Board of Regents funded project to use wastewater to grow algae to create food, feed and fuel products.

“The three Arizona universities bring exceptional talent to the field of algae,” said Milton Sommerfeld, co-director of the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) at Arizona State University, the leading institution of the collaboration. “Our goal is to help place Arizona at the forefront of this developing technology and provide the education and training necessary to support this effort.” 

The three partner universities – Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona – will gather from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Nov. 2, in room 101 of the Engineering Building 69 on NAU's campus in Flagstaff, to show the public the fruits of their labor.

Sudents from each of the universities will present their work, which ranges from using algae to feed fish to studying the DNA of algae. During this event, participants are invited not only to learn about the students' work, but to join a seminar about maximizing Arizona’s resources.

This is the first of a series of quarterly meetings during which students from each of the universities will present their projects at each of the partner university campuses. Throughout this ABOR-funded project, faculty, research scientists and students at the graduate and undergraduate level will work together to achieve three goals:

1. Advance algal applications in Arizona as a viable integrated algacultural industry capable of producing valuable products and wastewater remediation.

2. Educate and develop a workforce to support a growing algaculture industry.

3. Strengthen the collaborative focus on high-tech algaculture between teams from ASU, UA and NAU.

Interested participants who cannot attend are welcome to tune into the event online, at