Visit  cricatalyst.com!Nexus — Leaders in Greenhouse Systems Integration Check out more of The Buzz

SFCC receives $50K grant for algae PBR monitoring

May 14, 2014
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

At SFCC’s Center of Excellence in Biofuels, students learn how to cultivate algal biomass, and operate and maintain large PBRs.

At SFCC’s Center of Excellence in Biofuels, students learn how to cultivate algal biomass, and operate and maintain large PBRs.

Santa Fe Community College has been awarded a $50,000, SEED Infrastructure Grant from the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), for commercial algae photo-bioreactor monitoring. It will fund the purchase of state-of-the-art sensors to monitor algae growth in photobioreactors (PBRs) that are up to 10,000 liters in volume. A portion of the grant will be used to pay stipends to four students as they learn to cultivate algae at a commercial scale and analyze collected data.

Speaking of the funding to purchase the special sensors to monitor algae growth in photobioreactors, Luke Spangenburg, SFCC’s Director of the Center of Excellent in Biofuels said, “This technology will improve the curriculum as well as enhance the student experience. One of our goals is to transform the narrowly-defined AAS degree in Sustainable Technology into a broader Associate of Science degree that will transfer to the University of New Mexico or New Mexico State University which offer complementary programs.”

“The Biofuels program has been referred to as ‘stealth-STEM,’ ” continued Spangenburg. “We let highly motivated students start the program, and then discover that math and science are integral to their success. Biofuels students change from ‘I hate science’ to ‘Should I take chemistry or biology first?’ in a short time.”

Dr. Stephen M. Gomez, a biology instructor at SFCC, said the new funding for stipends demonstrates to students that working in STEM fields can provide a paycheck and help with financial difficulties in school. “Sometimes a few hundred dollars is the difference between a good student completing their program or leaving school,” he said. “SFCC is waiving all indirect costs and faculty salary permitted in the grant in order to maximize the amount of money available for student stipends.”

SFCC operates the largest enclosed photobioreactors in New Mexico as part of its Center of Excellence in Biofuels. At the center, students learn how to cultivate algal biomass, and operate and maintain large PBRs. Since its founding in 2010, 95 students have enrolled in the program, 9 have continued on to STEM fields at a four-year university, 5 have been employed in the biofuel/algae industry and 7 have created businesses employing 22 people in the Santa Fe region.

NM EPSCoR is funded by the National Science Foundation to build the state’s capacity to conduct scientific research. For more information on the college’s project, contact Stephen M. Gómez, Ph.D., at 505-428-1917 or stephen.gomez@sfcc.edu or Luke Spangenburg at 505-428-1807 or luke.spangenburg@sfcc.edu. More details on the college’s Biofuels Program are at www.sfcc.edu.

More Buzz…

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
In Phys.Org, Yu Yonehara notes the breakthrough research from the Tokyo Institute of Technology on the connection between early marine algae and the development of terres...
A new, outdoor system at the University of Dayton Research Institute has been producing a high volume of algae since its installation in the summer of 2013, even through ...
Biofuels derived from the oils produced by algae may offer a low-cost sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. To achieve this goal, optimization of cost effective strate...
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...
Phys.Org reports that scientists Jolanda Verspagen and Jef Huisman of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands have concluded that rising CO2 concentrations in the at...
Expanding from its initial work in algal biofuels, General Atomic’s (GA’s) Advanced Biological Processes team has focused on the rising need for food globally, specifical...
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 ...
Solazyme, Inc. and Versalis, the chemical subsidiary of Eni S.p.A., one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, today announced a partnership to expand the commerci...
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 ...
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...