Archive for July, 2012

This is what an algae farm looks like

An outside look at Touchstone Research Lab’s new algae farm. In the foreground, partly hidden by the fence (looking mostly white due to the liners), are two of the algae-growing raceways. Similar raceways are in the greenhouses. Details here, here, and here.

‘Biofuels … will increasingly play a larger role in our economy’

We appreciated the interest shown by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and his office at Wednesday’s “algae farm” open house near Wooster. As part of the program, Ann Longsworth Orr, northwest Ohio regional representative for Sen. Brown, read a letter of support from him. Here are two excerpts: “By reusing carbon dioxide to produce algae for use as a biofuel, this partnership between the Department of Energy, Ohio State University/OARDC in Wooster, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Cedar Lane Farms, OpenAlgae, and the state of Ohio is another example of the sort of innovative, cutting-edge efforts we must undertake to address our nation’s pressing energy challenges. Funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, this project is the lates...    Read More »

Now THAT’S green energy

Paddlewheels churn, water circulates (in foot-deep, oval “raceways”), and sunshine fuels countless millions of tiny photosynthesizing organisms (all of the uniquely suited species Nannochloropsis salina) in a greenhouse at Touchstone Research Laboratory’s experimental algae farm at Cedar Lane Farms near Wooster in northeast Ohio. The facility hosted an open house this past Wednesday. Algae produced here will be turned into biofuel. OARDC is a partner on the project. More here and here.

Anaerobic digestion: Check out this first-ever training course

In September, the research arm of our college, OARDC, will hold a first-of-its-kind training course on anaerobic digestion, which is a waste-management process that livestock farms and wastewater plants are increasingly using to produce biogas, a type of renewable fuel. Here’s the brochure (pdf).

To ‘not only survive but thrive’

Ohio State President Gordon Gee released comments today on the drought.

Things you can do to help manage the drought

OSU Extension is providing farmers, gardeners, and other Ohioans with science-based details on managing the drought.



Asphalt jungle: Come see it this Thursday

Take a free tour of CFAES scientist Joe Kovach’s (pictured) “parking lot farm” this Thursday: “People say parking lots are barren. But you can get more production off of a back parking lot than you ever thought you could do.”

Try these plants for a drought-proof garden

There’s nothing sustainable, of course, about drought-killed plants. Here’s a fact sheet from OSU Extension, the outreach arm of our college, on how to improve drought resistance in your home landscape, including 124 recommended trees, shrubs, and perennials. Much of Ohio is experiencing moderate or severe drought conditions.

Phrase of the day

“Super-sized mechanical gut.” By the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Michelle Jarboe McFee in her story about quasar energy group’s new ice cream-eating, electricity-producing anaerobic digester.

Guess what they’re using to make electricity in Cleveland

A new electricity- and biogas-producing anaerobic digester has come online. It’s in an abandoned GM plant in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood; will take in, among other things, leftover Pierre’s (based in Cleveland) ice cream; and is the result of a new partnership between Forest City Enterprises and quasar energy group, the latter of which runs a similar digester in our BioHio Research Park in Wooster.