Navigation Links
MSU advances algae's viability as a biofuel
Date:2/26/2014

EAST LANSING, Mich. Lab success doesn't always translate to real-world success. A team of Michigan State University scientists, however, has invented a new technology that increases the odds of helping algae-based biofuels cross that gap and come closer to reality.

The current issue of Algal Research showcases the team's invention the environmental photobioreactor. The ePBR system is the world's first standard algae growing platform, one that simulates dynamic natural environments.

Simply put, ePBR is a pond in a jar that helps identify, cultivate and test algal strains that have the potential to make the leap from lab to pond, proliferate in real-world, real-pond settings and produce the most oil.

Many scientists around the globe are looking for strains of algae that could become a sustainable source of alternative energy. A vexing problem they face, however, is that algal strains that perform well in labs often get stomped when it's time to scale-up the experiment, said Ben Lucker, MSU research associate.

"It's like training elementary kids to be really good pingpong players," he said. "But then they take the kids and throw them into a football game against professional players; in those settings, they simply can't compete at all."

The ePBRs, which subsequently help make algae biofuel research more desirable to investors, were the brainchild of David Kramer, Hannah Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MSU.

Kramer's lab is like no other. Even though it's housed among other plant biologists, it could be mistaken for an electronics factory. The benches are covered with wires, soldering irons and printed circuit boards. There are even few early prototypes that provide a history of ePBR's progress.

The latest models glow green and whir quietly as they test various strains. By allowing scientists to duplicate natural settings in a lab, ePBRs eliminate many variables before scaling up. The bioreactors are about the size of coffee makers and can induce changes in light, temperature, carbon dioxide, oxygen, evaporation, nutrient availability and more.

The ePBR system also can duplicate and confirm results from experiments conducted anywhere in the world. It replaces home-built growing platforms made from flasks, tubing, aluminum foil and grow lights and gives researchers a tool that can consistently replicate conditions and reproduce results, Lucker said.

The potential of ePBRs has already inspired the launch of a company, Phenometrics, an MSU spinoff headquartered in Lansing. The company is merely two years old, but steady orders for the bioreactors have the company already running in the black.


'/>"/>
Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Advances in personalized medicine for lung cancer
2. 5th Annual Advances in Biomolecular Engineering Symposium
3. March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to 2 scientists who pioneered advances in skin disorders
4. University of North Texas Health Science Center Advances Forensic Research by Investing in Semiconductor DNA Sequencing Technology
5. Computing advances vital to sustainability efforts; new report recommends problem-focused, iterative approach to research
6. Major advances in understanding the regulation and organization of the human genome
7. Geologist calls for advances in restoration sedimentology
8. Study advances use of stem cells in personalized medicine
9. Discovery of 100 million-year-old regions of DNA shows short cut to crop science advances
10. IOF Asia-Pacific Meeting presents new research and advances in osteoporosis management
11. Discovery of first motor with revolution motion in a virus-killing bacteria advances nanotechnology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
MSU advances algae's viability as a biofuel
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ... the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief ... to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... KBioBox is pleased to announce ... extended GUIDE-Seq ananlysis. KBioBox has adapted their core technology and direct alignment algorithms ... easy to understand reports, extended indel analysis, and translocation analysis. , “The extended ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... Baltimore biotech ... security firm, to bring its proprietary CANARY pathogen detection technology and high throughput ... Chinese firm has purchased an undisclosed number of PathSensors’ Zephyr pathogen detection instruments ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Producers of the award winning American ... an upcoming episode, scheduled to broadcast fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays ... independent, family-owned seed company. Educating audiences about its broad portfolio of products to ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting announced today that four of the ... Meeting and Expo , to be held October 29 through November 1 in San ... to advance patient therapies.” , The ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo will feature several ...
Breaking Biology Technology: