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More Stories about OMEGA
NASA bags algae, wastewater in bid for aviation fuel (www.nytimes.com) →
NASA Grows Algae for Biofuel, Treats Waste (www.discovery.com) →
NASA Wants to Bag Biofuel From Sewage (www.greeneconomypost.com) →
Blooming Biofuel: How Algae Could Provide the Solution (www.renewableenergyworld.com) →
Potential of Algae - Interview with Dr. Jonathan Trent (www.greenenergytv.com) →
NASA Astrobiologist Jonathan Trent will go anywhere to find critters that could resemble extraterrestrials. (www.discovery.com) →
NASA Uses Algae to Turn Sewage Into Fuel (www.space.com) →
NASA’s got a new way to get biofuel from algae (www.cleantech.com) →
OMEGA Project 2009-2012
Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA) is an innovative method to grow algae, clean wastewater, capture carbon dioxide and to ultimately produce biofuel without competing with agriculture for water, fertilizer or land.
NASA’s OMEGA system consists of large flexible plastic tubes, called photobioreactors. Floating in seawater, the photobioreactors contain freshwater algae growing in wastewater. These algae are among the fastest growing plants on Earth.
The algae use energy from the sun, carbon dioxide and nutrients from the wastewater to produce biomass that can be converted into biofuels as well as other useful products such as fertilizer and animal food. The algae clean the wastewater by removing nutrients that otherwise would contribute to marine deadzone formation.
NASA’s project goals are to investigate the technical feasibility of a unique floating algae cultivation system and prepare the way for commercial applications. Research by scientists and engineers has demonstrated that OMEGA is an effective way to grow microalgae and treat wastewater on a small scale.
The OMEGA system is being investigated by NASA as an alternative way to produce aviation fuels. Potential implications of replacing fossil fuels include reducing the release of green house gases, decreasing ocean acidification, and enhancing national security.
News and Features
NASA showcased the latest research on a method to grow algae, clean wastewater, capture carbon dioxide and ultimately produce feedstock for refining biofuels.
Reporters are invited to attend a one-hour guided tour of NASA’s Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae (OMEGA) system on April 17, 2012.
As a clean energy alternative, NASA invented an algae photo-bioreactor that grows algae in municipal wastewater to produce biofuel and a variety of other products.
When astronauts go into space, their living quarters on a spaceship require careful planning and management of limited resources, which is what inspired the project called "Sustainable Energy for Spaceship Earth.".
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