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|Two strains of algae are being grown in the laboratory for testing the nanofarming technology.|
Researchers at DOE's Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University have developed groundbreaking "nanofarming" technology that safely harvests oil from the algae so the pond-based "crop" can keep on producing. The so-called "nanofarming" technology uses sponge-like nanoparticles to extract oil from the algae. The process doesn't harm the algae like other methods being developed, which helps reduce both production costs and the production cycle. Once the algal oil is extracted, a separate solid catalyst from Catilin, a nano-technology-based company that specializes in biofuel production, will be used to produce certified biodiesel. The three-year project is being funded with $885,000 from DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Industrial Technology Program as part of the 2008 Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency program, $216,000 from Catilin and $16,000 from Iowa State University in matching funds.
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