go to http://www.aocs.org! Visit us at algaelabsystems.comComplete 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
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) released the following statement calling on the EPA to include Carbon Capture and Utilization strategies in rules proposed June 2, 20...
Four years after the first optimistic calculations, the experimental cultivation of algae at Wageningen University in the Netherlands appears to be meeting expectations. ...
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...
A University of New South Wales (UNSW)-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird qua...
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 ...
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...
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...
A recent discovery in the multicellular green alga, Volvox carteri,has revealed the origin of male and female sexes, showing how they evolved from a more primitive mating...
In an effort to propel the algae industry forward, the Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3) offers a series of hands-on specialized workshops suited for partic...
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...
Matthew Carr was recently named executive director of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the leading trade association for the algae industry. His presence will soon b...
Channelnewsasia.com reports on three young Spaniards who harvest seaweed, a culinary delicacy, as a way for them to stay out of Spain’s troubled financial waters. 35-year...
Analia Murias 
reports for fis.com that Chilean exports of products made from macroalgae generated a total of $195 million US in the first seven months of 2014, according...
James “Jamie” Levine took over the reigns at Sapphire Energy in July of this year as former President and CEO Cynthia “CJ” Warner stepped down, retaining her role as chai...
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...
Hortidaily.com reports that in Nevele, Belgium, Tomalgae is growing algae in a former tomato greenhouse. Their company was formed when tomato cultivation entrepreneurs Pi...
Iran-based Qeshm Microalgae Biorefinery Co. (QMAB) has launched a biofuel being marketed as BAYA®, produced from a species of Nannochloropsis (strain 6016) isolated from ...