The quest for sustainable production of biomass and renewable fuels that have low carbon footprints has become a global priority. Creating and adopting new biomass and fuel production platforms that are ecologically and economically sustainable will be essential, but pose a formidable challenge. Duckweed is a family of aquatic plants that holds great potential as a feedstock for fuel and feed production. The chief characteristics that make duckweed ideal for waste-to-biomass conversion are their rapid growth rate and their growth characteristics that enable simple harvest strategies. Duckweed thus provides a promising platform for creating sustainable solutions to biomass production that can be coupled to reclamation of wastewater from different sources. The formation of a well-coordinated, interdisciplinary community of researchers and commercial developers will be a key step toward building successful teams for duckweed research, as well as product development to benefit society-at-large. In this project, the investigators will organize an international conference that focuses1 on integrating researchers and commercial stakeholders that are establishing the essential resources to advance the duckweed platform. From diverse areas of molecular biology, ecology, wastewater remediation, to feed and fuel production using duckweed, this conference will provide an intimate forum for data sharing as well as the cross-fertilization of ideas and technical resources. An important objective will be the creation of an International Steering Committee for this field in order to promote education, research and training of duckweed researchers, students and entrepreneurs. The broader impact of this project is expected to galvanize the duckweed community in both the academic and commercial sectors for realizing the tremendous potential of this novel micro-crop to create a new industry that will also be ecologically sound.
|Effective start/end date||5/15/13 → 4/30/14|
- National Science Foundation (NSF)