www.peopleofthechange.com
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Research

A new process for milking algae mechanically

July 20, 2020
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Micrograph of algae

Micrograph of algae.
Credit: Masaki Ihara Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Cluster for Cutting Edge Research Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shinshu University

Algae have struggled for years to be competitive with petroleum-derived chemical production. Algae are more favorable to petroleum from an environmental standpoint but the production cost of culturing, collecting, extracting and refining adds up to make the process too expensive for practical use. There is a need to improve production efficiency to reduce the cost of algae-derived products in order for them to be a viable alternative to petroleum-derived products.

Recently a research team led by Alice Uchida and Masaki Ihara, of Shinshu University, succeeded in developing a method of cultivating microalgae by solving issues related to cultivation; collection/recovery of compounds and extraction/purification of products.

At the beginning of the study the researchers struggled to find a type of algae that could withstand mechanical shearing; they were not sure such an algae existed. However, after an extensive search, they were able to find Tolypothrix filamentous cyanobacteria and were able to cultivate them continuously for two years with little cell damage despite mechanical shearing of the compounds bound to the cell surface.

Collected algal bodies.
Credit: Masaki Ihara Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Cluster for Cutting Edge Research Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shinshu University

They grew the algae in non-sterile agricultural water and performed 87-day milking cycles which yielded 90 to 140 mg/L of extracellular carbohydrates every three weeks. There was no need for a solvent for extraction or purification, dramatically simplifying and decreasing the cost of processing.

It is necessary to keep the algal cells alive during extraction. By preserving the algae, there is no need to cultivate and multiply the algae. Secondly, the algae they chose naturally gather together for ease of collection. Thirdly, the compounds desired for harvest (polysaccharides [carbohydrates] and phycobiliproteins) are released outside of the algae and bound to the cell surface. Phycobiliproteins are currently in demand for food additives and cosmetic applications.

This non-destructive continuous milking system is a practical and effective method of algae-derived chemical production. The Ihara lab hopes to enable petroleum-based products to be replaced by algae-derived products that inflict less strain on the environment. In order to do so, algae production needs to happen on a much, much larger scale.

The search continues for tough algae that can survive in a variety of environments, and the study researchers hope to be able to collaborate with researchers from a variety of fields, including fermentation engineering, chemical engineering, polymer chemistry – specifically algal biomass conversion technology – and environmental and forest conservation studies, in order to study the effects of large-scale algae culture on the environment.

—Courtesy Shinshu University

Read more: Alice Uchida et al, Production of extracellular polysaccharides and phycobiliproteins from Tolypothrix sp. PCC7601 using mechanical milking systems, Algal Research (2020).  DOI: 10.1016/j.algal.2020.101929

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2020 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.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Jessica D'Lima writes in AdvancedScienceNews.com that medicine is moving towards minimally invasive procedures, which have important patient-oriented benefits such as sho...
Maiki Sherman, traveling with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, reports for 1News Now that new innovation partnerships have been signed between New Zealand and J...
Due to the overall low thermodynamic efficiency (1 – 4%) of photosynthesis and its impact on crop productivity, substantial efforts are being made to engineer photosynthe...
Global EcoPower (GEP), of Aix-en-Provence, France, has signed a 5-year partnership contract with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). This ...
San Diego, CA and Kailua-Kona, HI-based Cellana, Inc. has signed an Asset Purchase Agreement with Cyanotech Corporation for the sale of Cellana’s six-acre production and ...
Alice Klein reports that a skin patch made of living blue-green algae speeds up wound healing in mice and may help to treat chronic wounds in people with diabetes, accord...
Kim Kaplan reports for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that a microscopic algae could provide a complete an...
AlgaEnergy, a Spanish biotechnology company specializing in the production and commercial applications of microalgae, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a leading provide...
Mazda is currently involved in joint research projects and studies as part of an ongoing industry-academia-government collaboration to promote the wide-spread adoption of...
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and partner institutions have provided the first published report of algae using raw plants as a carbon energy source. The r...
The Swiss Algae Consortium Association (SWALG) was founded in May 2018 as a non-profit organization that serves as a platform for algae-related activities in Switzerland ...
Globally, an increase in water pollution is pushing scientists and environmental care specialists to seek best ways of preserving and maintaining sources of safe drinking...