A team of innovators at the Ocotillo campus determined that the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the fabrication facility ("the fab") were well-suited to grow algae, which can be used to create clean-burning biofuel.
Working with Arizona State University (ASU), the team erected a small proof-of-concept model on the roof of the Ocotillo fab, which demonstrates the capture of boiler emissions, the use of the emissions to grow algae, and the conversion of those algae into biofuel. This sort of carbon recycling could reduce the overall carbon emissions of the fab and, by creating a sustainable alternative fuel, displace the carbon emissions of burning fossil fuels from the Intel boilers.
The next phase of the project will focus on measuring the amounts of carbon captured, identifying options for implementing the concept on a larger scale, and assessing how algae-based carbon recycling should be recognized under various regulatory regimes. The Intel and ASU participants plan to continue to make their research results publicly available under the open, collaborative research model the team has established.
This project is part of Intel's Sustainability in Action program, through which employees can secure funding to share Intel's expertise in environmental sustainability with communities around the world. This program is a key element in Intel's efforts to engage all employees and drive corporate responsibility and sustainability deeper into the corporate culture.