go to http://www.aocs.org! Visit us at algaelabsystems.comComplete Algae Monitoring System Visit  cricatalyst.com!Looking for Algae Industry Research?

Research

Capturing Carbon in Calgary

May 11, 2014
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Strous

A team of University of Calgary researchers has been awarded funding for their project, Cost Effective Biotechnology for Carbon Capture and Re-Use. Front row, from left: Nader Mahinpey, Marc Strous, Joenel Alcantara, Hector de la Hoz Siegler, and Peter Dunfield. Back row, from left: Peter Zao (undergraduate student), Karen Canon-Rubio (MSc student), Christopher Chow (undergraduate student), Christine Sharp (postdoctoral fellow), Miao Zhou (MSc student), Suraj Anthwal (Mitacs Globalink). Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Ateam of six University of Calgary researchers has been awarded funding for their project, Cost Effective Biotechnology for Carbon Capture and Re-Use, based on the concept of using algal biotechnology to capture and reuse carbon from gasses emitted from burning fossil fuels.

“We aim to capture carbon from stack gases, which are generated when you burn fossil fuels for energy at power plants or operations in the oilsands. They generate gas with a lot of carbon dioxide, and we capture that biologically with algae,” says principal investigator Marc Strous, professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary. “The aim of our project is to create a new process for this that is cost-effective compared to current technology. That’s the current bottleneck: it’s possible, but expensive.“

The team will use three innovative strategies to reduce the cost of the process. “First, we will work at very high levels of pH and alkalinity, which helps the CO2 to dissolve more easily. We also will add carbonates as a pH buffer, which theoretically improves the whole uptake of the CO2,” says Strous. “Secondly, we will grow the algae on a plastic surface as a bio film, so we get very nimble bioreactors that can be constructed inexpensively, and the concentration is also much easier.” The algae biofilm is then scraped off the plastic surface, requiring little power generation.

The third strategy involves using communities of microbes instead of single strains. Single strains lack the resilience of algal communities to withstand harsh Canadian climates. “The climate for algal biotechnology in Alberta is great because we have sunshine, but the challenge is that the temperature is never high consistently, so you need a biology that can cope with big temperature swings, day to night, winter to summer,” says Strous.

“We selected this project for funding because it embodies the Energy Innovations themes of discovering new sources and planning for the future,” said Chris Clarkson, strategic research theme leader of Energy Innovations for Today and Tomorrow. “It also highlights the role of biology and medical science in the energy industry, areas that will grow in importance as the industry diversifies. The University of Calgary believes this interdisciplinary approach can lead to significant advancements in energy research.”

The researchers see this project fitting into the goals of the provincial and federal governments to diversify Alberta’s economy beyond fossil fuels, and prepare workers for this new economy. “It’s about capacity building, not only in terms of infrastructure, but also building up University of Calgary students for success. We want a diverse base of bright, innovative and curious students that want to take this project to the next step and tackle these world problems,” says Joenel Alcantara, researcher and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2014 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted 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.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Portuguese cement facility, Secil, and microalgae biotechnology company, A4F, also based in Portugal, have formed AlgaFarm, a joint venture to develop the use of cement f...
Arizona is taking advantage of its open land and ample sunshine to assume a leadership position in the algae biofuel field. The state is home to two national algae testbe...
With their new CO₂ processing-platform called AstaCos, AlgaeBiotech can produce waxy particles of only 50-100 µm in size with a loading of 25% astaxanthin oleoresin. The ...
Renewable fuels company Muradel has launched Australia’s first integrated demonstration plant to sustainably convert algae into green crude, as a first step towards a com...
In October 2014 an unusual AlgaePARC research paper entitled Design and construction of the microalgal pilot facility AlgaePARC was published in the Journal of Algal Rese...
Western Morning News reports that Westcountry scientists in the U.K. are using algae to develop an innovative new method of cleaning up contaminated mine water while harv...
Phys.org reports that, in collaboration with the Berlin, Germany LED manufacturer FutureLED, scientists at the Technische Universität München have developed a unique comb...
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae because of their color, have endured for more than 2.5 billion years, providing ample time to adapt to changes in the Earth'...
Tess Riley writes in TheGuardian.com about how spirulina may be able to combat malnutrition in developing countries. Spirulina is one of the oldest life forms on Earth, c...
Kevin Quon writes in Seeking Alpha about the financial plights and pivots of Solazyme, the algae industry’s most high profile recent IPO. In a year that started with a sh...
West Chester, Pennsylvania-based International Sustainability Group, Inc., an innovative green technology and sustainable manufacturing company, has entered the algae mar...
Fort Myers, FL-based Algenol, and India's Reliance Industries Ltd., have deployed India’s first Algenol algae production platform. The demonstration module is located nea...