• What are the Solutions?

    LightWorks solutions bring together expertise and resources from the university and external partners to develop key solutions to energy issues. In addition to the below examples, LightWorks is focused on providing operational energy solutions that are directed toward enhancing energy security to encourage efficiency and conservation.

Sustainable Algal Biofuels Consortium
Biochemical Conversion of Algal Biomass and Fuel Testing


The primary objective is to evaluate biochemical (enzymatic) conversion as a potentially viable strategy for converting algal biomass into lipid-based and carbohydrate-based biofuels. Secondary objective is to test the acceptability of algal biofuels as replacements for petroleum-based fuels.

“Developing the next generation of biofuels is key to our effort to end our dependence on foreign oil and address the climate crisis – while creating millions of new jobs that can’t be outsourced.”

— Dr. Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy

 SABC Team and Organization

  • The project led by Dr. Gary Dirks and administered by ASU
  • The R&D will be carried out primarily by ASU, NREL and SNL
  • Additional contributions from Georgia Institute of Technology, Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, Colorado School of Mines, SRS Energy, Lyondell Chemical Company, and Novozymes
  • 24 month scope of work primarily focused on biochemical conversion of algal residuals and whole algal cells

Staff and Partners


  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • Arizona State University
  • NREL
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Georgia Tech
  • School of Mines Colorado
  • SRS Energy
  • Novozymes


Principal Investigator
Gary Dirks

Project Manager
John McGowen