NSF Research Grant Given to CSU Biofuel Research Team.
Cyanobacteria Research at Colorado State University

Graham Peers (seated, left), Christie Peebles, David Dandy, Thomas Bradley and Ken Reardon (standing, right) are researching sustainable biofuel production.

The National Science Foundation awarded a two-million dollar research grant to the team; which includes CMB faculty Ken Reardon (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Graham Peers (Biology), Christie Peebles (Chemical and Biological Engineering), as well as, David Dandy (Chemical and Biological Engineering),and Thomas Bradley (Mechanical Engineering). The collaborative focus is searching for new routes to the sustainable production of biofuels using photosynthetic bacteria. The current method to produce biofuel using algae is too expensive for commerical use, so the team is looking for ways to increase productivity, sustainability, and yield, in order to make the process more economical. They will engineer cyanobacteria, blue-green bacteria modifed to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons, that can grows faster and thrive in a varitey of conditions. After exploring a variety of conditions, in particular light exposure, the team will create computer models and predict the ideal conditions for cyanobacteria cultivation and differnet approaches to accurately model large-scale reactors.