Algae could replace diesel. Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology are developing biodiesel from microalgae. The project is doubly “green” because algae consume nitrates and phosphates and reduce bacteria and toxins in the water.

Algae have a lot of advantages. They are cheaper and faster to grow bu the cold weather is an issue for biodiesel fuels. The one big drawback is that biodiesel does freeze at a higher temperature. It’s possible to blend various types of biodiesel — algae derived with soybeans or some other type — to generate a biodiesel with a more favorable pour point that flows easily.

Northern Biodiesel, located in Wayne Country, will purify the lipids from the algae and convert them into biodiesel for the RIT researches. The main productors biodiesel have intensified production of wastewater from 30 to 100 gallons. In the spring, the researchers will build a mobile greenhouse wastewater tratment plant and scale up production to as 1000 gallons of wastewater.