Controlling contamination in open algae ponds for biofuels

July 9, 2014
Credit: 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Biofuels derived from the oils produced by algae may offer a low-cost sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. To achieve this goal, optimization of cost effective strategies for large-scale algae cultivation, such as in open pond systems, is needed. Sapphire Energy has developed an innovative solution to the challenge of contamination of open pond algae cultivation systems, described in Industrial Biotechnology.

In the article "Contamination Management in Low Cost Open Algae Ponds for Biofuels Production," Robert McBride, PhD and colleagues from Sapphire Energy (San Diego, CA) and University of California, San Diego, present an integrated approach that incorporates pest identification, tracking, and management and illustrate its use in open pond cultivation with a strain of algae suitable for producing biofuel.

The article is part of the IB IN DEPTH special section "Advances in Algal Bioproducts and Biofuels," led by Guest Editor Val H. Smith, PhD, University of Kansas, Lawrence. "The breadth and diversity of the ten invited contributions in this special -themed issue confirm how important it is to allow a wide range of approaches and applications to develop and to flourish within the algal bioproducts field," writes Dr. Smith in the Overview: "Progress in Algae as a Feedstock for Bioproducts." He adds, "Innovative new interdisciplinary research as well as active collaborations between engineers, chemists, and biologists will be essential for the development of a versatile and efficient production system."

"This issue of IB provides a comprehensive look at the opportunities and challenges to deploying algal systems for Industrial Biotechnology development," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Larry Walker, PhD, Professor, Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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More information: The article is available on the Industrial Biotechnology website.

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