A review of recent advancements of microalgae technology and production for commercial applications using the bench‐top PBR

[USA] There are tens of thousands of known species of microalgae, some of which have been shown to be excellent sources of biofuels, foods, feedstock, nutraceuticals, health foods, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other major commercial products. These often
benefit from their ability to grow across a wide-range of environmental conditions with smaller acreage requirement and much shorter harvesting times when compared to equivalent yields of traditional crops such as corn, sugar cane, and others. Some strains of microalgae are better than others for different commercial applications.

In order to even further optimize microalgae production, strains are often genetically engineered. These modified strains typically require unique culture conditions and containment; therefore, each potential production strain must be optimized for both coproduct
yield and culture growth prior to production scale implementation. Thus, if optimization at bench scale can accurately predict production yield, then time, resources and CAPEX can be significantly reduced and ROI maximized.

This article examines the use of the Phenometrics PBR101 photobioreactor to optimize cultivation conditions at bench scale that are predictive of large-scale yield in raceways or enclosed photobioreactors for several commercially relevant applications of microalgae.

Photo credit: Maryam Asgharpour

For example, high-lipid production is desirable for biofuel development, while biomass coproducts (mostly protein and carbohydrate) may be processed into many other products such as: foods, chemicals, medicines, vaccines, minerals, animal feed, fertilizers, pigments, salad dressings, ice cream, puddings, laxatives and skin creams.

The papers cited herein represent many different commercial applications for which the PBR101 can be an enabling tool for enhancing algae and co-product production.

Bench-Scale Prediction of Production Yields

The Phenometrics PBR101 is a bench-top photobioreactor (approximately 600-650 ml working volume) that has been demonstrated to accurately predict the required growing conditions of algae in much larger systems, such as raceways and industrial-scale bioreactors, often tens of thousands of liters or larger.

Many experiments have been performed by commercial companies to directly compare the productivity of a real-world large scale bioreactor (a raceway pond) to that predicted from preliminary bench-scale yields using the Phenometrics PBR101 photobioreactor. In this example 1, an experiment was performed to establish the correlation between biomass productivity in PBR101 systems and AA outdoor 1-acre growth raceway ponds.

Environmental data, including temperature and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), recorded at a raceway pilot production facility, was programmed into an array of PBR101s and used to compare yields in the two systems. The average daily aerial productivity was calculated.

Conditions that were duplicated in the PBR101 included Temperature, PAR, pH, and Carbon delivery. Conditions that were not duplicated in the PBR101 included humidity, evaporation rate, wind, solar irradiance (spectrum/light quality), interaction with foreign microorganisms such as grazers, algae, etc., and rainfall.

The PBR101 was proven to accurately predict raceway production to within 10%. Similar accuracy in up-scale yield predictions have been demonstrated by other PBR101 users. To read the full article, please follow the link (downloadable) here:


For more information about the user reviews, please visit: https://www.phenometricsinc.com/resources/publications/

Contact Phenometrics Inc.:

Mimi C. Hall
Director of Sales and Marketing
email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 (858)774-5427

Exclusively reported by Algae World News





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