Scientific Consulting


Program Assistance to Experimental Design

Rapid research progress and learning from past work is essential for accelerating progress in this new era of the algae biotechnology. Although algae will "grow on their own" to high concentrations in water bodies, this is slow growth. For commercial production, it is crucial to achieve high areal productivity (tons per hectare per year). Raceways are the most practical way to accomplish this for most algae applications. When developing a commercial cultivation operation variables such as the following must be considered and optimized, often in site-specific and industry-specific R&D efforts.

Biochemical composition and its control through strain type, strain improvement, and culturing conditions:

  1. Linear phase productivity (as opposed to maximum specific growth rate)
  2. Monocultures vs. polycultures
  3. Resistance to pests (e.g., rotifiers) and algal diseases (e.g., viruses, predatory algae strains) and contamination by volunteer algal strains
  4. Cell morphology affects on harvesting
  5. Cell wall strength affect on access to cell contents
  6. Temperature, pH, and insolation robustness
  7. Bioprospecting methods

Cultivation techniques to maximize productivity of target compounds:


  1. Planning for daily and seasonal cycles of temperature and insolation
  2. Inoculation systems and methods
  3. Flow mode considerations
  4. CO2 or organic carbon delivery and dosing
  5. Nutrient and trace metal formulations
  6. Pest and pathogen identification and control