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Algae & Energy in the Northeast Conference

Algae & Energy in the Northeast Conference

Contact: Netaka White, (802) 828-0040; netaka@vsjf.org
Keynote Address by the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s principal researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO.
Burlington – A conference on Algae & Energy in the Northeast will be held on March 17 & 18, 2010 at the University of Vermont, Davis Center, and co-hosted by the University of Vermont, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and Vermont EPSCoR. The goal of the event is to help advance knowledge, research, and innovation in the field of algae-to-energy conversion.

Algae biofuel researchers maintain that microalgae contains an abundance of naturally occurring oil that can be extracted and used as a biofuel feedstock. Algae utilize sunlight, nutrients and CO2 to reproduce rapidly, even in northern climates. In addition, commercial-scale production systems can be established on land that isn’t suitable for food production, so algae is seen as a promising source of abundant, renewable and sustainable biofuel.

This two-day conference will bring together some of the foremost algae researchers and entrepreneurs in the country to present the current state and projected future of algae as a biofuel feedstock, with an emphasis on its applications in northern climates. Guest speakers will highlight means of overcoming challenges to algae feedstock production, as well as uses and markets for algal oil and by-products, algal harvesting, oil extraction and biofuel conversion.

“Students from colleges and universities, and representatives from businesses and research facilities across the Northeast and the country are converging at UVM for two days to learn from leading authorities on algae biofuels”, says Dr. Anju Dahiya,  a University of
Vermont researcher, President of General Systems Research LLC. and one of the conference organizers. “They are coming to network and share with each-other. We are very excited to be co-host to this event”, says Dr. Dahiya.

Dr. Al Darzins, the principal researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Golden Colorado, will give the keynote address.  Dr. Darzins will provide an overview of the potential and the challenges of microalgal biofuels production. He will also examine the accomplishments and lessons learned from two decades of U.S. DOE algal research and discuss some specific algae research initiatives currently underway at NREL.

“Commercialization of these technologies is not very far off, and already there are Vermont businesses conducting research and developing algal biofuel prototypes”, says Netaka White, Biofuels Director at Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, one of the conference co-hosts. “This is a huge opportunity to advance the way we think about meeting our fuel and energy needs, and accelerate algae research and innovation in the region.”

Registration for the Algae & Energy in the Northeast conference is $110, except Free for undergraduate and graduate students with a current student ID. Register at the event, 4th floor of the Dudley Davis Center on the University of Vermont campus on March 17 by 12 noon, or March 18 by 8:00 AM. For complete agenda, speaker abstracts and conference information visit www.uvm.edu/epscor/events/algae or email: vtbiofuels@vsjf.org

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