To begin this event, there will be an introduction about the U of I Illinois-Sweden Program for Educational and Research Exchange (INSPIRE) which is fostering research and faculty/student collaborations with KTH and other Swedish universities. Following will be two research presentations on current projects on biotreatment of saline waters at KTH (abstract below) and ISTC. Others on the U of I campus working with algae, nutrients, and algal biofuels will also be invited to give brief updates on their work. Open discussion will follow. Refreshments will be served.
This event is free and open to U of I faculty, staff, and students as well as the general public. Any U of IL researchers or students wishing to give a brief update about their related research, please contact Nancy Holm at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will be held at the Stephen J. Warner Conference Room at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One. E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign. There is free parking in the circle drive in front of the building or metered parking in the lot ($1 per hour). Cars with U of IL parking tags from any lot may park in the parking lot. Bus service is available on the Yellow No. 1 shuttle from campus. This event is co-sponsored by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (a division of the Prairie Research Institute) and the Center for a Sustainable Environment at the U of I.
Seaweeds for a biobased society – farming, biorefining and energy production (SEAFARM)
Presented by Fredrik Gröndahl - Associate Professor of Industrial Ecology, KTH Stockholm Sweden
The overarching goal of this project is to develop a sustainable system for the use of seaweeds as a renewable resource in a future, biobased Swedish society. The transdisciplinary research approach includes techniques for cultivating seaweeds to be used as raw material in a biorefinery for the production of food, feed, biobased materials and bioenergy. Seaweed farming circumvents several disadvantages related to land-based biomass production, e.g. the need for fertilizers and irrigation, and does not compete for valuable arable land. In addition, seaweeds grow fast and their farming counteracts coastal eutrophication. A holistic approach will be used where utilization of the resource is maximized in each step of the cycle. Seaweeds will be cultivated at the Swedish west coast and methods suitable for preservation and storage will be evaluated. The obtained biomass will subsequently be fractionated in an integrated biorefinery. The different fractions are thoroughly characterized and recovered for production of biochemicals, polymers, and food/feed additives. The residues from the biorefinery are utilized for production of biogas and biofertilizers. In parallel, a general multi-process sustainable assessment method will be developed to analyze the overall sustainability of the system. The multi-disciplinary research team will collaborate closely with a set of state agencies, commercial enterprises and other stakeholders in the different tasks of the project.
Economics of Saline Water Management in Inland Mariculture
Presented by Srirupa Ganguly - Process Development Engineer, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
The United States is the third largest consumer of seafood in the world, and imports 86 percent of its demand. This currently results in a trade deficit of approximately $10.4 billion. Primary barriers restricting the expansion of marine aquaculture (mariculture) include limited availability and high cost of coastal land and water resources; environmental impact concerns; and high production costs. A number of these concerns can be overcome if saline aquaculture can be practiced inland in recirculating aquaculture systems with recycling of saline wastewater, nutrients and solids. It is in this context that the seminar will investigate the economic feasibility of inland mariculture in the state of Illinois.