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 $250,000 prize to 2 scientists who pioneered advances in skin disorders
4. University of North Texas Health Science Center Advances Forensic Research by Investing in Semiconductor DNA Sequencing Technology
5. Computing advances vital to sustainability efforts; new report recommends problem-focused, iterative approach to research
6. Major advances in understanding the regulation and organization of the human genome
7. Geologist calls for advances in restoration sedimentology
8. Study advances use of stem cells in personalized medicine
9. Discovery of 100 million-year-old regions of DNA shows short cut to crop science advances
10. IOF Asia-Pacific Meeting presents new research and advances in osteoporosis management
11. Discovery of first motor with revolution motion in a virus-killing bacteria advances nanotechnology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
MSU advances algae's viability as a biofuel
(Date:2/2/2017)... TOKYO , Feb. 1, 2017  Central ... innovative and meaningful advances worldwide, The Japan Prize ... Japan Prize, who have pushed the envelope in ... Information and Communication. Three scientists are being recognized ... outstanding achievements that not only contribute to the ...
(Date:1/30/2017)... Jan. 30, 2017   Invitae Corporation (NYSE: ... genetic information companies, today announced that it will report ... provide 2017 guidance on Monday, February 13, 2017, and ... day at 4:45 p.m. Eastern / 1:45 p.m. Pacific. ... will briefly review financial results, guidance, and recent developments ...
(Date:1/25/2017)... , Jan. 25, 2017 The Elements ... Management (IAM) lifecycle is comprised of a comprehensive ... the purpose of maintaining digital identities and providing ... and applications. There are significant number of programs ... time to time by optimizing processes and changing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... -- This Report analyzes the worldwide markets for Bioinformatics in US$ by ... comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada , ... Asia-Pacific , Latin America , and Rest ... ... estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 through 2022. ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... ... Accredited venture-backed teleradiology and telemedicine company announces at HIMSS 2017 Annual Conference ... planned to be offered via a global cloud-based sharing and collaboration platform ...
(Date:2/20/2017)...  At the 2017 Health Information Management Systems ... , IBM (NYSE: IBM ) today introduced ... President and CEO Ginni Rometty will ... 8:30-10 am ET, broadcast live on www.ibm.com ... examine the advent of the Cognitive Era and ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... The BMT Tandem Meetings of ... International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) will take place Feb. 22-26, 2017 ... combined scientific sessions offer investigators, clinicians, laboratory technicians, clinical research professionals, nurses, pharmacists, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: