Linking Wastewater Purification and Biofuel Production

EPA Grant Number: SU834715
Title: Linking Wastewater Purification and Biofuel Production
Investigators: Venable, Mark E.
Current Investigators: Venable, Mark E. , Horse, Kyle American , Gorowski, Chase , Herrin, Jacob , Houser, James , Wolf, Lauren , Podbielski, Melanie , Hambourger, Michael , Cutshall, Michael , Tuberty, Shea , Boozell, Thalia , Sakamachi, Yosuke
Institution: Appalachian State University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality , P3 Challenge Area - Safe and Sustainable Water Resources , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


To develop and optimize a system that uses algae to purify waste water and generate oil for biofuel at the same time.


The basic approach is to use organisms that produce fuel as the biofilter. We will be using oilagenous microalgae that are the fastest growing organisms and the best biofuel feedstock. The primary difficulty is that these organisms generally grow in suspension. They can be grown on surfaces, however, as we and others have shown. This way when the clean water is released into the stream the algae are not, thereby protecting the ecosystem.

Expected Results:

To have a design and operation schedule for construction of a system that meets the grant’s objective.

Supplemental Keywords:

eutrification, fish kill, groundwater, algae, biodiesel, alternative energy, livestock, animal waste, waste to value, innovative technologies, waste reduction, renewable fuels, environmental engineering, sustainable infrastructure design,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report