Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) has recently opened its Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT) facility at the university campus. The new facility boasts two large sized labs exclusively set for algae research and biomass analysis and a relatively small laboratory with facilities for microbiology research and algae incubation. The CRAFT center also includes an office facility for researchers and an administrative office for the center.
The CRAFT center is focused on the research of cellulosic-derived biofuel to change biomass products such as switchgrass into fuel which can be used for running vehicles. The sugar product derived from the biomass can be mixed with a specific alga to create large volumes of oil for transition into jet fuel and biodiesel. The new facility currently provides research facility for 10 research faculties and three research assistants who work full-time. The center teaches students agriculture, chemistry, biology and economics subjects and currently four graduate assistants and 12 undergraduate students are studying at the center.
Chandler, a key note speaker, during the opening ceremony praised the leading efforts of EKU and CRAFT in biofuel technology and added that the initiative will bring a number of jobs to Kentucky. Harry Moberly, executive vice president for administration in EKU called CRAFT a sign of EKU’s efforts in finding alternative energy. He further said that the successful efforts from the institution will save the country from energy imports and will make it self-reliant.