Program Faculty | School of Trades, Advanced Technologies and Sustainability

Register for the Apogee Spirulina workshop here.

biofuels center of excellence

SFCC wins Multiple Awards in the 2017 International Algae Industry Readers Poll!

  • 2nd for Educational Institution
  • 3rd for Algae Microfarm design: Nicholas Petrovic, an SFCC Graduate and founder of Apogee Spirulina
  • 3rd for Cultivation Equipment: New Solutions Energy (SFCC Algae Base Station)
  • Luke Spangenburg, SFCC director of the Biofuels Center of Excellence was named an Algae Ambassador! View full results here.

Biofuels – The Energy of the Future!

In the Biofuels Program, you’ll learn to create ethanol and biodiesel and cultivate algae, a renewable resource that grows well in the Southwest. Biofuels are a sustainable energy source made from organic materials or recycled oils converted into liquid fuels. The most common types of biofuels are ethanol; an alcohol made from plant biomass, and biodiesel; a combination of alcohol and oil or fat.

You’ll study advanced vehicle technologies and sustainable technologies along with biology, chemistry and electrical and mechanical fundamentals. Upon completion, you’ll be ready to work as a sustainability coordinator, plant or lab technician, project engineer/developer, or launch your own business.

Biofuels courses include:

  • Automotive Program
  • Biofuels I, Biofuels II and Labs
  • Biology, Chemistry and Labs
  • Introduction to Sustainable Technologies
  • Electrical and Mechanical Fundamentals
  • Planning the Entrepreneurial Venture


Algae offer a realistic potential to provide the world with a sustainable source of energy. Algal biomass can be transformed into a diverse array of fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen, jet fuel and biodiesel. In this introductory course we will provide students with an overview of algal biology and train them in key method for algal biomass production. This course is designed for individuals with little or no technical training. However we will cover topics that will stimulate critical thinking skills and provide hands on skills required to begin working in the algal biofuels industry.

How do we produce Algal Biofuels in our labs? Check out this Image Gallery to see.

This course was developed to provide hands-on training in the field of algae production for the workforce in the State of New Mexico.
View the Algae program.


The Biodiesel and Alternative Fuels Programs provide classroom and hands-on laboratory training to workers and entrepreneurs entering the Biofuels industry. Training is presented in one of five Biofuels modules: Algae; Biodiesel; Biomass Energy; Anaerobic Digestion and Pyrolysis; and Ethanol. The state of the art equipment collected in the biofuels lab at Santa Fe community College represents the current edge of these emerging fields and demonstrates how the different systems can be used to support each other in a bio-energy loop.

Learn more about the programs and features of the Trades and Advanced Technology Center.

Our Partners

The Biofuels Center of Excellence goals are to develop a curriculum for green workforce training, and to create partnerships with New Mexico community colleges and New Mexico green businesses. In the area of algae production and research, SFCC has formed partnerships and working relationships with New Mexico’s:

  • National labs:
  • Los Alamos National Lab
  • Sandia National Lab
  • National Renewal Energy Laboratory
  • Educational Research Institutions
  • Eastern New Mexico University
  • The New Mexico Consortium
  • University of New Mexico
  • New Mexico State University
  • Northern New Mexico College
  • SIPI
  • Western New Mexico University
  • Industry
  • New Solutions Energy
  • Eldorado Biofuels
  • Santa Fe Brewery
  • BioProcess Diagnostics
  • Apogee Spirulina
  • NTxBio

Career Opportunities

The SFCC Biofuels Lab houses certificate programs, internships and workshops in areas including:

  • Algae production
  • Biofuels production
  • Biodiesel
  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Gasification/ Pyrolysis
  • Ethanol- Distillation
  • Bioenergy systems integration
  • Water Treatment Operators
  • Waste water remediation