WASHINGTON, September 27, 2017 - University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) will proceed with a project to reduce costs of clean biofuel made from sugar kelp, thanks to a $500,000 competitive grant from DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) program. The grant will fund research focused on the “development of scalable coastal and offshore macroalgal farming. “Alaska is a leader in energy innovation, and I’m proud that we continue to be recognized for our efforts to develop the next generation of cost-effective technologies,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “Exploring the possibilities surrounding the economic benefits of kelp production, from food to energy, is exciting for our state.” The project will “develop replicable scale model farms capable of the cost-effective production of sugar kelp, a type of seaweed” with a “particular emphasis on the development of cost-effective harvesting methods based on technologies applied in the commercial fishing industry.” Murkowski has introduced broad, bipartisan legislation (Senate bill 1460) that would reauthorize ARPA-E through 2022.
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