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Carbon Migitation

Coal is an abundant fuel source, but it contains more carbon per unit energy that any other fuel we use. Therefore, any significant effect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will require control of carbon dioxide released from the use of coal. At present, most research efforts are focused on sequestering (or storing) the carbon in deep geological formations. Ohio University is working on alternatives to recycle the carbon as an alternative to treating carbon dioxide as a waste. Among these efforts include recycling carbon dioxide through gasification and conversion of carbon dioxide to biomass using photosynthetic microalgae.

To enhance the rate at which algae can convert CO2to more algae, Ohio University has designed novel photobioreactors that control the environment in which the algae grow – especially controlling the flux of light they receive to optimize their photosynthetic efficiency. The algae, once harvested, can then be used as a fuel or a feedstock for making chemicals, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, or animal feed.