CHME 690. Graduate Seminar

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Date(s) - Fri 10/13/17
1:30 pm - 2:20 pm

Jett Hall 259


The PACE Algal Biofuels program; Producing Algae for Coproducts and Energy

Dr. Richard Sayre, New Mexico Consortium, Los Almos, NM 875544


The PACE (Producing Algae for Coproducts and Energy) Consortium has assembled a world-class consortium of engineers, scientists and economists drawn from algal biofuels community. Our objectives are to; 1) reduce the cost of fuel produced from algae to < $5.00 gallon gasoline equivalent (gge), and 2) enhance the sustainability of algal biofuel production systems to qualify algal biofuels as advanced biofuel feed stocks. We propose to achieve these objectives using the following strategies:

  • Increase areal algal biomass productivity three fold over NAABB baseline levels to reduce the costs of fuels from $8 to < $6 gallon gasoline equivalent (gge).
  • Further reduce the cost of producing fuels 30-50% by producing easily recovered, high-value, and high market demand co-products compatible with continuous flow, two-stage hydrothermal biocrude production systems.
  • Integrate advanced algal harvesting and cultivation systems to reduce harvesting energy costs to < 10% of the energy content of the algal biomass.
  • Enhance overall sustainability by maximizing CO2, nutrient and water recycling, and co-generate power to operate biocrude production facilities. 
  • Carry out life cycle and techno-economic performance assessments throughout the improvement and integration process to identify and down-select the best technologies that reduce fuel costs and enhance environmental sustainability.

I will report on progress achieved in the past year by the PACE Consortium including:

  • Development of a robust genetic engineering strategy for recalcitrant algae,
  • FACS of algae with enhanced phenotypes,
  • Outdoor cultivation strategies for Chlorella,
  • Use of two-stage HTL fuel conversion coupled with co-product recovery,
  • Life cycle and techno-economic analyses of fully integrated operations at Reliance Industries Ltd. in India.


Dr. Richard Sayre is Senior Research Scientist at the New Mexico Consortium working in conjunction with Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Sayre is a former member of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC) where he served as the Director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC) Institute for Renewable Fuels (2008-2011). From 2005-2010, he was Director of the BioCassava Plus Program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and from 2009-2011, was the Director of the Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center. He is currently the Director of the PACE (Producing Algae for Coproducts and Energy) algal biofuels consortium funded by DOE-EERE-BETO. Sayre was formerly Chair of the Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology at the Ohio State University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil during the spring of 2007 and was elected a Fellow of AAAS in 2011. Sayre received his B.A. from Humboldt State University, Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and did post-doctoral work at Harvard University