‘Biofuels … will increasingly play a larger role in our economy’

We appreciated the interest shown by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and his office at Wednesday’s “algae farm” open house near Wooster. As part of the program, Ann Longsworth Orr, northwest Ohio regional representative for Sen. Brown, read a letter of support from him. Here are two excerpts:

“By reusing carbon dioxide to produce algae for use as a biofuel, this partnership between the Department of Energy, Ohio State University/OARDC in Wooster, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Cedar Lane Farms, OpenAlgae, and the state of Ohio is another example of the sort of innovative, cutting-edge efforts we must undertake to address our nation’s pressing energy challenges. Funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, this project is the latest example of people working together to tackle the pressing problems facing our nation. […]

“Our nation has a long history of supporting and helping emerging industries as they work to make today’s dreams tomorrow’s reality. Biofuels—and biobased products and processes—will increasingly play a larger role in our economy.”

Now THAT’S green energy

Paddlewheels churn, water circulates (in foot-deep, oval “raceways”), and sunshine fuels countless millions of tiny photosynthesizing organisms (all of the uniquely suited species Nannochloropsis salina) in a greenhouse at Touchstone Research Laboratory’s experimental algae farm at Cedar Lane Farms near Wooster in northeast Ohio. The facility hosted an open house this past Wednesday. Algae produced here will be turned into biofuel. OARDC is a partner on the project. More here and here.

Anaerobic digestion: Check out this first-ever training course

In September, the research arm of our college, OARDC, will hold a first-of-its-kind training course on anaerobic digestion, which is a waste-management process that livestock farms and wastewater plants are increasingly using to produce biogas, a type of renewable fuel. Here’s the brochure (pdf).

Guess what they’re using to make electricity in Cleveland

A new electricity- and biogas-producing anaerobic digester has come online. It’s in an abandoned GM plant in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood; will take in, among other things, leftover Pierre’s (based in Cleveland) ice cream; and is the result of a new partnership between Forest City Enterprises and quasar energy group, the latter of which runs a similar digester in our BioHio Research Park in Wooster.