Photosynthetic efficiency in production of microalgae

28 sept 2010
12:00 - 12:30

Photosynthetic efficiency in production of microalgae

Since recently, microalgae are cultivated in various types of technical systems. 

The question today is how to design systems that introduce best both CO2 and sunlight – two main sources of microalgal biomass to grow. The sources of CO2 are various, but mostly it means industrial “waste products” like stack gases from cement plants or other industrial productions.

The existing closed photobioreactors of the plate and tubular type configuration , which are producing cell densities up to  10 E9 ml-1 and high biomass concentrations are used for the biotechnological production of high value products like colouring agents, PUFA and algal polysaccharides of pharmalogical potential and cosmetic ingredients.

New configurations shall make other products economical like bioplastics , biofuel, animal, plant growth enhancers which do not require the high standards of quality which have to be met for human consumption products. New potential fields for more economical configuration are in the bioenergy sector, whether as biodiesel or bio-ethanol or other bioenergy products, but also for traditional products like animal feed.

Among more than 40,000 species of microalgae, lies the huge potential for the future products. Still the relevant strains especially for the bioenergetical use have to be identified and field tested.

The IGV GmbH sold worldwide over 150 photobioreactors.

Two commercially operating microalgae productions were established in Germany (700 m3 , 85 m3 closed photobioreactors)

Now IGV is on the way to develop a next generation style of high productive PBR adapted  to the demands of CO2 – fixiation and biofuel production.