[ad name=”PhycoBiosciences AIM Interview”]

Research

Space Florida researching algae cultivation prospects on Mars

February 7, 2014
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Deborah Wells, vice president of process development for Neuprene, explores algae as a substitute for petroleum in the near future.

Deborah Wells, vice president of process development for Neuprene, explores algae as a substitute for petroleum in the near future.

Matthew Richardson of the Orlando Business Journal writes that deep within the Space Life Science Lab near Florida’s Kennedy Space Center is a Mars simulation chamber, high-tech plant incubators and liters upon liters of green and blue algae. This comprises one of many cutting-edge research projects housed in a 109,000-square-foot lab complex that’s all about space, incorporating 145 offices and cubicles, 29 science labs and eight hardware labs; five conference rooms and seven environmental growth chambers.

Space Florida was created as a special district that uniquely serves as the single point of contact for all space-related functions of the State of Florida, and serves the civil, military and commercial sectors as well.

In Deborah Wells’ lab, the vice president of process development for Indialantic-based Neuprene is exploring algae’s potential. Around the lab are several large flasks and 20-liter carboys each holding a bubbling green liquid being researched as a petroleum substitute used to create everyday items. “We found a biological technology that will produce the same chemical so you can make tires, gloves and water bottles,” she says. “The chemical comes from a biological organism instead of making it from petroleum.”

Andrew Schuerger, a University of Florida aerobiology and Mars astrobiology professor, has created a mini Mars simulation chamber – the only one in Florida. “It’s a very capable instrument,” Schuerger said of the chamber he spent 10 years building. “It can recreate five conditions on the surface of Mars. It’s a pressure chamber so it can pump down to the low atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars.”

The $2.5 million grant-funded chamber also can imitate the ultra-harsh ultraviolet radiation of Mars, which is 1,000 times more aggressive than Earth’s due to the lack of an ozone layer. The purpose of this device is to test the survival of microorganisms on Mars’ surface and, according to his research, a few can stand the intense pressure, but none so far can withstand the ultraviolet rays.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2014 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required 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
CBS Miami reports that protesters are demanding answers and action over the toxic mess in Florida — a poisonous algae bloom plaguing four counties now under a state of em...
The U.S. Department of Energy’s just released 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy summarizes the most recent estimates of pote...
Kuo Chia-erh reports for Taipei Times that Taiwan Cement Corp, the nation’s leading cement supplier, has announced plans to expand its microalgae farm, which produces ast...
Benedict O’Donnell writes in the EU Research and Innovation magazine, Horizon, about research being developed on seaweed as a biological, environmentally friendly, sustai...
In Australia, the New South Wales Deep Green Biotech Hub (DGBH) has been launched as an enabling incubator environment to foster the development of algae as a cost effect...
Jason Smith reports for undercurrentnews that Kentucky-based Alltech is willing to invest in overseas algae production plants closer to its feed customers if demand for i...
Discovering which algae species is best suited to make biofuel is no small task. Researchers have tried to evaluate algae in test tubes, but often find lab results don’t ...
Aquaculture is the fastest-growing segment in the feed industry. According to the 2017 Alltech Global Feed Survey, the aquaculture industry experienced a 12 percent incre...
Dan Wood, at the University of Connecticut, writes that assistant extension educator of marine aquaculture at UConn’s Avery Point Campus, Anoushka Concepcion, spoke about...
Almost two years ago, on June 28, 2015, the rocket carrying experiments from Chatfield High School to the International Space Station disintegrated 139 seconds into its f...
Monica Jain of Fish 2.0 writes in National Geographic about how the algae brand is about to undergo an image makeover, and may soon seem flat-out glamorous — once again. ...
Algatech has announced the opening of Algatech Inc., a New York City-based subsidiary created to serve the North American market. The company has appointed Ken Seguine to...