April Tulane News: Algae, Polymers, Water, Burkenroad Mutual Fund, and Rising Sea Levels

The latest news from Tulane University covers a broad spectrum of scientific and business topics. Excerpts from the New Wave below cover everything from algae and polymer manufacturing to rising sea levels and the successful Burkenroad mutual fund.

Plan to turn algae into oil wins prize

A Tulane University-based venture with a plan to turn algae into crude oil was one of the big winners at the Tulane Business Plan Competition on Friday (April 13).

ReactWell, developer of a patent-pending technology to convert biomass into synthetic crude oil using underground geothermal reactors, earned the top prize at the Domain Cos. New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge. [Read More]

Physicist has key to greener polymer manufacturing

Tulane University physicist Wayne Reed says he wants to revolutionize the polymer manufacturing sector, an important component of the global economy. Through his patented technology, Reed and colleagues see a $100 billion opportunity in the $1.2 trillion polymer industry, and the key to helping this industry become greener and more efficient. [Read More]

Sun’s rays fuel bright idea for cleaner drinking water

Jerrycans — 20-liter plastic containers ubiquitous in third-world countries — are a favorite for relief organizations because they’re so versatile for storing water or fuel and easily transportable. What if they could be adapted to work double-duty as a cheap disinfection device in areas with scant access to clean water? A medical student and a graduate student at Tulane University have a novel idea. [Read More]

Burkenroad mutual fund celebrates 10 years

A mutual fund based in part on the Burkenroad Reports investment research program by students at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University has celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a pair of prestigious honors.

Morningstar awarded the Hancock Horizon Burkenroad Small Cap Fund a coveted five-star overall rating, and Lipper ranked the fund as the second-best performer out of 303 funds in the small-cap core category over the last 10 years. [Read More]

Gulf Coast sea level rise in overdrive, study says

The rate of sea level rise along the U.S. Gulf Coast has increased dramatically this past century compared to that of the preindustrial millennium (600-1600 A.D.). This sobering news for residents from the Florida panhandle to east Texas is just one part of the findings by Tulane University researchers in a study published March 30 in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. [Read More]

[Featured photo: Wayne Reed of the Tulane Center for Polymer Reaction Monitoring and Characterization; Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano]