Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Research / Discovery

A fern and a fertilizer

August 25, 2014

Researchers at the Energy Institute at Colorado State University are researching azolla, a small, aquatic fern that makes its own nitrogen.

People have been growing algae-seaweed for a long time, but when scientists and engineers get involved, they ultimately want to optimize growth and build systems that offer higher yields. What Jason Prapas, a research scientist at CSU's Energy Institute, intends to do with The Azolla Project is create a low-cost growth environment that regulates temperature and relative humidity and produce an environment where Azolla can grow at the highest yield possible. 

With growing concerns about dwindling resources, growing populations, and increased needs for protein sources, Azolla is a really elegant solution to a lot of these problems because it offers two solutions:

  1. Azolla acts as a feed for cattle and poultry.
  2. It’s also a fertilizer.