Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Research

Advancing biofilm cultivation for algae

July 27, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Sandra Rincon graduate student algae research growing samples using new cultivation technique. Photo: Washington State University

Washington State University researchers have developed a biofilm reactor to grow algae more efficiently, and make the algae more viable for several industries, including biofuels. Their work was reported in the journal Algal Research.

Led by graduate student Sandra Rincon and her advisor, Haluk Beyenal, professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, the researchers developed a unique biofilm reactor that recycles gasses and uses less water and lower light than typical reactors.

The algae they produced was full of the fats that make it suitable for biodiesel production and “fatter” than other biofilm reactors have produced. Because of a removable membrane, it was also easier to harvest than typical systems.

The system is unique because it allows the algae to simultaneously do photosynthesis like a plant while also “eating” carbon and respiring like an animal, said Dr. Beyenal.

The researchers fed the algae glycerol, a cheap waste product of biodiesel production, and urea, another inexpensive chemical that serves as a nitrogen source for the algae. The system’s design means that carbon dioxide and oxygen are recycled in the system.

“The cell, in fact, becomes a very efficient factory in which the nutrients are supplied by the medium, but the cell metabolism meets its carbon dioxide requirements internally,” said Ms. Rincon.

Like many new research efforts, the project was challenging, said Dr. Beyenal. He credits Ms. Rincon with her sustained efforts in spite of several setbacks that might have led others to quit and give up on the work. “The idea is new,” he said. “Sandra demonstrated that it worked at the lab scale.”

The researchers have filed a patent application on the technology and are working to optimize the process. Funded through a Fulbright fellowship, the research is in keeping with WSU’s Grand Challenges, a suite of research initiatives aimed at large societal issues. It is particularly relevant to the challenge of meeting energy needs while protecting the environment. 

—by Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2019 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Trade Arabia reports that the Oman Centre for Marine Biotechnology (OCMB) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Swedish Algae Factory to support the domestic...
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) reports the introduction of the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018 (H.R. 5373), a bill that would give algae cultivators and harvesters ma...
JapanNews.com reports that Euglena Co., a Tokyo-based maker of nutritional supplements, is spending ¥5.8 billion ($5.3 million USD) on building a test refinery that conve...
Israeli-based Algatechnologies, Ltd. (Algatech), is teaming up with the Italian R&D company, Sphera Encapsulation S.r.l (Sphera), to develop innovative functional ingredi...
Global EcoPower (GEP), of Aix-en-Provence, France, has signed a 5-year partnership contract with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). This ...
Foodbev.com reports that French marine ingredients company Algaia will install a new specialty seaweed extract unit at its facility in Brittany, France, after securing €4...
Hayley Dunning writes from the Imperial College of London that a new discovery has changed our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite t...
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and partner institutions have provided the first published report of algae using raw plants as a carbon energy source. The r...
Dartmouth scientists have created a more sustainable feed for aquaculture by using a marine microalga co-product as a feed ingredient. The study is the first of its kind ...
Alexander Richter writes in thinkgeoenergy.com that Israel-based Algaennovation last week signed a 15-year contract with Icelandic energy utility and operator ON Power fo...
Milenio.com reports that BiomiTech, a Mexican company, won a prestigious innovation award for its air purification system at the Contamination Expo Series 2018 held in Bi...
Julianna Photopoulos writes in Horizon EU Research and Innovation magazine that UK start-up Skipping Rocks Lab aims to use natural materials extracted from plants and sea...