Kicking the Habit – Engineering an Alternative to Fossil Fuels Using Algae

  • The world energy landscape is changing as a result of unprecedented concerns about the environmental, economic, and security implications of our current systems. These concerns are likely to result in a fundamental restructuring of the way we produce and consume power though this transition will almost certainly occur gradually. Ultimately, we will move toward an energy infrastructure that is solar-based rather than fossil-based. Such a future will include a suite of technologies that are powered by the sun, either directly (such as photovoltaics) or indirectly (such as algae). This module allows students to think critically about how this transition is likely to play out. In particular they will consider how algae might play a part in the move toward sustainable energy systems. Using basic principles of material and energy balances, the students will calculate the energy and resource burdens of corn and algae-based biofuels and predict their viability in light of future technical and economic constraints.
  • Andres Clarens
Learning Resource Type:
  • Reference – Data Set
  • Engineering – Ceramic
  • College Freshman – College Sophomore
Media Type:
  • Document
  • Algae
  • Biofuels
Related ABET Criteria:
Publication Date:
  • July 2011