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
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...
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...
Valensa International and Contract Biotics have announced that Contract Biotics has started construction of an additional six acres of algae production units at the compa...
“Proterro has reached its Q1 sugar-production pilot milestones,” CEO Kef Kasdin reported at the recent Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference, in Washington, D.C. “In fo...
Yereth Rosen reports in the Anchorage Daily News that scientists at North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute have found extremely high levels o...
Algenist®, Solazyme’s anti-aging skincare brand featuring microalgae, has announced its launch in Nordstrom locations throughout the United States. The launch into Nordst...
Algal oil represents one of the significant segments within the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ingredients market. Specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is ...
Although the use of whole microalgae in animal diets has long been studied, the 
de-fatted biomass of microalgal species, derived from biofuel production research, has on...
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...
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...
Algae manufacturer Cyanotech Corporation has announced implementing three major initiatives to improve Astaxanthin production at their Kailua Kona, Hawaii-based cultivati...
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...
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...
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...
Bookending the upcoming Algae Biomass Summit, Sept. 29-Oct.2 in San Diego, will be industry tours to give attendees a first-hand look at the latest progress in technical ...