“All the oil we are pumping out of the ground, what was it? Most people think dinosaurs. No. It was all marine micro algae...”
Hattiesburg, MS (PRWEB) January 09, 2013
Researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Science are participating in an international study aimed at turning marine micro-algae into fuel. The research project is being conducted in response to a global push aimed at finding reliable alternative fuel sources.
Under the direction of Dr. Donald Redalje, the University’s Marine Science lab at Stennis Space Center is studying algae grown from Mississippi coastal waters. While biofuel blends have already found their way to naval war ships and test flights on commercial airliners, Redalje and his team are looking for ways to streamline the process so that it can be packaged and sold.
“All the oil we are pumping out of the ground, what was it? Most people think dinosaurs. No. It was all marine micro algae,” said Redalje, who is trying to recreate an ancient process that until now took millions of years complete. “We know this works, the trick is how do we produce enough of it, cheaply enough to be a marketable product?”
Southern Miss doctoral student Tommy Pittman has plans to start a biofuel company and believes Redalje has developed a strain of algae that will do just that.
“Technology is developing as we speak,” said Pittman. “Here Dr. Redalje has the greatest strain in the world. I’ve been doing a lot of analysis on it. We know that this stain can go to the next level.”
The Department of Marine Science has been working in conjunction with Duke University, the University of Hawaii, and others research teams at universities across the world. While Redalje says the technology is not quite there yet, the project is getting closer, every day.
To learn more about the Department of Marine Science at Southern Miss call 228.688.3177 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/marine.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. As one of only 34 institutions in the nation accredited in art, dance, music and theatre, we are a haven for creativity and artistic expression. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to six teaching and research sites in Mississippi. We are among U.S. News & World Report’s most popular universities and recognized by The Princeton Review for our commitment to sustainability. Our Center for Undergraduate Research affords our students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, we conduct transformative research that translates into real-world solutions. In the classroom or lab, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, we strive to have a positive impact not only on our students, but also the world around us.