Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is being conducted to develop low-cost technology for coupling the exhaust from fossil fuel-fired power plants to the growth of microalgae for the dual purpose of recycling carbon dioxide emissions and producing a renewable fuel source. Microalgae are unicellular photosynthesizers with tremendous potential for rapid division (growth) and high lipid production. The carbon assimilated into lipids provides a renewable source for biodiesel fuel. Experiments are being conducted to explore the growth rates of microalgae exposed to simulated flue gas. Interest is focused on the effectiveness of pH control for regulating gas dosage to optimize cell growth. Preliminary results using the species, Monoraphidium minutum, indicate no advantage to this method
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