Microbes as Renewable Energy Systems
A new facet of renewable energy research at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) began in 2014 by focusing on the interface between microbiology and chemical engineering to harness naturally evolved microbial processes to convert sunlight into useful products.
BBE Assistant Professor Rob Gardner is spearheading this research area.
Gardner and his team of researchers are investigating the growth characteristics of algae in hopes that we can learn unique metabolic functions that can be exploited for commercial biofuel and specialty bioproducts production. This unique research focus is done in partnership with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, WCROC, and the USDA-ARS Soils Lab facility in Morris, MN.
For more information on the use of microbes as renewable energy, visit Dr. Gardner's site on the WCROC.