Recent News

Using Algae to Capture Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Isolating a native algal strain to mitigate carbon dioxide in power plant flue gas emissions

Dr. Chen holding a bottle. 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Industrial Partnership (MIPS) have been working together for over 7 years to implement the State’s Innovative Technology Fund. While the main focus of the fund is to reduce non-point source nutrients and sediment, one particular project also resulted in the ability to mitigate carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide. With an initial $100,000 grant, HY-TEK Bio worked with Dr. Chen from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to isolate a native single strain of algae, now called HY-TEK Bio Strain #1. This strain can grow rapidly in high concentrations of carbon dioxide and under wide ranges of pH, as well as withstand wide temperature variations, allowing the algae to consume the carbon dioxide in flue gas. The department provided additional grants to help HY-TEK Bio start its demonstration-scale project at Baltimore’s Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant to mitigate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from a 3MW methane-fired power plant attached to the wastewater treatment plant.

Contact Information

Chesapeake & Coastal Service
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Tawes State Office Building, E2
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Phone 410-260-8732
Fax 410-260-8739


Innovative Technology Fund

Restoring the Chesapeake Bay through Innovation

Photo by Felipe Correa, AviHome, LLC - AviHome flooring

The Innovative Technology Fund, a partnership between Maryland DNR, the University of Maryland and the Environmental Protection Agency, is continuing to accelerate Bay restoration through the development of new technologies. At the 2007 Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council (EC) meeting, the State of Maryland and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to promote investments in technologies that could accelerate Bay restoration efforts.

The Innovative Technology Fund is made possible through funding from Maryland’s Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the University of Maryland’s Industrial Partnership (MIPS) and the Mtech Ventures Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Program (Mtech). Additional technical assistance is provided by Maryland DNR and the Chesapeake & Coastal Program.

“The Innovative Technology Fund was an excellent resource enabling us to advance our R&D timeline and enter the pre-commercialization phase with our product. Funds like this are an excellent driver for economic and environmental health initiatives.”

- Felipe Correa, AviHome, LLC

Innovation in Action

Photo by Chirp Shannahan, Maryland Environmental Plastics, LLC

A number of projects have been supported under the Innovative Technology Fund:

  • Blackrock Algae, LLC is researching biofouling screens suspended in the water column to grow microbes that absorb nutrients through biological uptake and physical filtration.
  • Hy-Tek Bio, LLC is working to sequester carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides using enhanced microalgal growth that can also be used in biofuels, pharmaceuticals, cosemetics and other marketable byproducts.
  • AH Pharma, LLC refining a radiant floor heat technology in chicken houses that decreases ammonia emissions by reducing litter moisture.
  • Beacon Research, Incorporated providing detailed and comprehensive performance information for the use of a geosynthetic insert to filter stormwater runoff.
  • Zymetis, Inc., a biotechnology company that has developed breakthrough and enabling enzyme technology for the blossoming biofuels industry.
  • Traffax, Inc., a software company that can reduce vehicle emissions through better traffic data that allows for route diversion during congestion, as well as improved signal operation in urban networks.
  • Smart Slope, LLC produces and sells concrete retaining wall modules designed to be planted creating fully vegetated walls helping to diminish heat island effects, as well as reduce stormwater, sediment and nutrient runoff.
  • AviHome, LLC has developed a new plenum flooring system for poultry houses that substantially reduces the environmental impact of poultry production while also improving bird health and performance.
  • Proparts, LLC proposed wind turbine technology that produces zero emissions will reduce greenhouse gases by decreasing household electrical demand on coal fired power plants.
  • Stancills, Inc. is developing a light weight low carbon footprint green roof planting media with improved physical properties that will increase the success and implementation of green roofs.
  • Maryland Environmental Plastics, LLC is inventing biodegradable plastic seed pots uniquely designed to allow for proper root growth for greater plant establishment and restoration in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Blue Wing Environmental Solutions and Technologies, LLC is evaluating floating treatment wetlands for the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus in poultry waste lagoons.

Innovative Technology
Fund Fact Sheet

“Ammonia in the Chesapeake Bay from Poultry Houses Could
Soon be Gone”

Effectiveness of artificial floating wetlands to be measured

Illustration for Ammonia in the Chesapeake Bay article 

Illustration for Ammonia in the Chesapeake Bay article 

Illustration for Ammonia in the Chesapeake Bay article 


Research and Development

  • Who is eligible: Students, faculty and staff from the University of Maryland System
  • Award details: $30,000-$50,000
  • For More Information:
    Ronnie Gist,

Seed Capital Fund

If you are a business or researcher interested in applying for assistance, want to learn more about the Innovative Technology Fund, or if you have questions about previously funded projects, please contact Sarah Lane with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8788. ​​​