[USA] “Multifunctional light-diffusing fibers for simultaneous light management and fluid transport in microalgae bioreactors” is a funded project could significantly contribute to our ability to expand a promising future source of protein and oil, and reduce the energy use associated with its production.
Principle investigator, Mathias Kolle, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, aims to create a new class of multifunctional micro- and nanostructural optical fibers that can more efficiently and effectively transport light and carbon dioxide throughout industrial microalgae cultures.
Microalgae are effective generators of protein-rich biomass that could, if produced on an industrial scale, supplement human nutrition, provide animal feedstock, and serve as biofuel. However, current production methods aren’t economically viable for this scale. Kolle’s microfibers could transform large-scale industrial microalgae production, making microalgae-produced protein and fuel an economically viable, sustainable, and energy efficient option in the future.
PI: Mathias Kolle, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering
Photo: This diagram captures the role of microalgae biomass cultivation at the nexus of food, water, and energy. 2017 J-WAFS Seed Grant recipient Mathias Kolle aims to create a new class of optical fibers that could transform large-scale industrial microalgae production, making microalgae-produced protein and fuel an economically viable, sustainable, and energy efficient option in the future.
Image courtesy of Mathias Kolle.
View original article at: Improving methods for culturing microalgae for food and fuel