Advances in research and engineering are bringing the next generation of algae-derived products closer to commercialisation, yet whilst many researchers have focused upon the selection and blo-engineering of algal strains, to enhance the productivity and so reduce production costs, an engineered approach to develop an efficient, low cost reactor systems has, to-date not been the focus of technology developers.
Given the thousands of different algal strains, multitude of cultivation and harvest methods, wide range of algae products, and host of technologies used to convert these products into a multitude of different products, the opportunity that is the algae industry promises to be huge.
Now a major research focus: Light and Temperature Key The prospect of using bioreactors seemed like a breakthrough in the production of Algae. However, after exhaustively testing an array of bioreactor technologies, most (if not all) were found to yield low suspension volumes, and exhibit poor light exposure and temperature regulation.
Whilst the use of tube technology addresses some of the issues associated with open ponds, the capital cost of building such a reactor is very high. The power required to pump the algae suspension around the tube is also a significant energy demand, which restricts the use of such reactors to high value products only.
The current methods employed for the growth of Algae commonly use open race-way ponds, which, although widespread, are very inefficient. Not only do they require large land areas, which make them an undesirable renewable solution, but they are also limited to climate conditions, subject to pollution, and can be disrupted by adverse weather.
Following extensive reviews of the market and established reactor technologies, and their limitations, we have developed an advanced algae reactor.