[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
The GNT Group, a market leader in using algae as natural ingredients for color, has begun construction of an additional spirulina plant at its headquarters in Mierlo, the...
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) fortified eggs are developing quite a demand among middle and upper-class consumers in China. With clinical trials demonstrating that EPA can ...
Karen Phillips writes for deeperblue.com that algae are the alveoli in the ocean lungs of our planet, vitally important to the health of the seas as home, food source, sa...
Dr. Tom Dempster works as a research professor – focusing on strain selection and development, biomass production, algal biofuels and high-value products, and air and was...
Haley Gray reports for 5280.com that Upslope Brewing Company, in Boulder, Colorado, is one step closer to its goal of becoming a zero-waste brewery. The craft beer maker ...
Global Algae Innovations, with headquarters in San Diego, California, and cultivation/production facilities in Lihue, Hawaii, have introduced a new algae harvesting syste...
Essen, Germany-based Evonik, and Royal DSM, headquartered in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, have announced their intention to establish a joint venture for omega-3 fatty acid ...
Sarah Karacs reports for @CNNTech that Japanese firm Euglena has been cultivating a type of algae for use in food and cosmetics. But it sees a range of other potential us...
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...
David Erickson writes in the (Montana) Missoulian that Clearas Water Recovery, a Missoula tech company formed eight years ago, has developed a patented process to use alg...
Will Yeates reports in DailyPlanet.com that an urban “algae farm” producing low-carbon protein and bio-fuel is one of the highlights on show this week at the future energ...
Memory Maninga reports for Zambia Daily Mail that in Mansa, the capital of the Luapula Province of Zambia, spirulina is being grown in ponds in the communities because of...