go to http://www.aocs.org! Algaetech International — The Future is NowComplete Algae Monitoring System Visit  cricatalyst.com!Nexus — Leaders in Greenhouse Systems Integration

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
Heliae, SCHOTT North America and Arizona State University (ASU) have announced a partnership to bring Heliae’s algae production technology to ASU’s algae testbed facility...
Natural carotenoid specialists Piveg Inc., with production facilities based in Celaya, Central Mexico, has announced immediate availability of natural astaxanthin materia...
University of Adelaide researchers are using nanotechnology and the fossils of diatoms to develop a novel chemical-free and resistance-free way of protecting stored grain...
Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated that just two of six iron-sulfur-containing ferredoxins in a represent...
Biomass abounds on Earth, as forests, fields, sewage and seaweed. But only a small fraction, mostly human or agricultural waste, can be harvested without posing environme...
Algae.Tec Ltd has received its first purchase order from Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), in connection with the arrangements announced on Ja...
Solazyme, Inc. has announced results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013. “2013 was a year of great progress for Solazyme as we readied our first...
Technical standards define critical terms and metrics to add wisdom for the algae industry. Agreement among science and business leaders represents possibly the most diff...
As the number of photobioreactors in an algae growing operation increases, there is a need for both autonomous control and monitoring of individual PBRs, as well as centr...
Students from three Arizona universities will demonstrate their algae research projects at an Innovation Showcase May 1, in Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Fitness C...
Kazuaki Nagata reports from Japan that while the Fukushima nuclear disaster has prompted vigorous discussion about alternative energy in Japan, there is a lack of a paral...
The Guardian reports that Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Canada-based Solarvest has created an inventive system utilizing a specific algal strain to grow and produce EPA ...
Jamie Radford writes in the Illawarra Mercury that Pia Winberg, from the University of Wollongong, believes that the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) is in...
Algae Industry Magazine is pleased to announce a new Algae 101 series by our popular blogger, Mark Edwards, Professor, Arizona State University. The Algae Solutions to Na...
Kyae Mone Win reports in the Myanmar Times that spirulina has been harvested from Twin Daung lake in Sagaing’s Bu Ta Lin township for over a decade, but climate change an...
Starting in the early 70s, agencies in the former USSR invested more than 20,000 person-years of research and development to produce Bio-Algae Concentrates (BAC) that hel...
Perth, Western Australia-based Algae.Tec Limited has announced that the Reliance Group has converted the first tranche of options following the positive progress achieved...
Following a request from the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was recently asked t...