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Biofuel production in microalgae on the Swedish West Coast

Project financed by Carl Tryggers Foundation

The success of microalgae as a biodiesel feedstock is highly dependent on the ability to produce large amounts of biomass with a high content of neutral lipids. Despite the fact that suitable strains and cultivation conditions have been optimized in the laboratory conditions and that high production levels could be achieved, the production is very expensive because of the large amount of fossil energy needed for system maintenance. The use of microalgae in outdoor cultivation in a profitable system of biofuel production requires identifying strains that can maintain an efficient and robust photosynthesis while managing large fluctuations in light intensity and temperature. In this ongoing project we want to identify algal strains suitable for outdoor cultivation in the Swedish climate (West Coast) with large fluctuations in light and temperature all year round. Our focus will be on the benthic diatom Skeletonema marinoi (S. marinoi), which displays a wide genetic and physiological variability in the West Coast region. We will select strains from existing local collections and comparing their growth, photosynthetic activity and lipid in bioreactors programmed with dynamic environmental conditions typical of the four seasons on the West Coast. Based on our results, we will offer a unique rotational model for algal strains based on four growing seasons on the West Coast, compared with what today is done in traditional agriculture.

Collaborators
A. Godhe (Department of Marine Sciences/GU), M.X. Andersson (Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences/GU), B. Schoefs (University of Le Mans, France).
 

 

Page Manager: Sven Toresson|Last update: 5/10/2017
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