Systems and Methods for Delivery of Gases to Algal Cultures

Enhanced photosynthesis and algal production
An algae growing tank and medium connected with tubes
Opportunity

Available for Licensing
TRL: 4

IP Status

US Patent

Inventors

Guy Robert Babbitt

Michael Ryan Buehner

David Jacob Rausen

Rich Schoonover

Christopher Wayne Turner

Kristina Weyer-Geigel

Bryan Dennis Willson

Peter Michael Young

Reference No: 09-081
Licensing Manager

Jessy McGowan

Jessy.McGowan@colostate.edu
970-491-7100

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a process and method for delivering gas to algal cultures, for the purpose of creating biofuels. The aim of this invention is to increase the photosynthesis rate of the algae and thus be able to produce biofuel at a higher rate. This invention allows the gas to be delivered to the algae in a more efficient and effective manner, thus enhancing photosynthesis.

Background

Energy demands continue to rise, and the cost and difficulty of extracting fossil fuels and an increased policy push have created a need for alternative energy sources. Biofuels have been studied for decades, but a lack of efficiency and economic factors have hampered them, as well as a lack of feasible starting material. An efficient, non-food-based biofuel is critical to develop a sustainable and renewable energy source, and algal cultures have been studied to fit this need.

Overview

This technology details a photobioreacter that features an enhanced delivery system and method for a more effective way to deliver gas into algal culture tanks. This method uses a tube with drilled holes in the bottom of the tank to deliver the gas, which includes a mixing device and control system. This technology also has a method to capture exhaust gases, that then can be recycled in to the system, which may perform carbon capture, further reduction operational costs and lead to enhanced, sustainable biofuel production.

Benefits
  • Increased rate of photosynthesis in algal cultures
  • More controlled algal culture growth than current methods
  • Increased mixing of algal culture
  • Enhanced efficiency and sustainability of biofuel production
  • Potential carbon capture to recycle carbon dioxide from the process
Applications
  • Biofuel production
  • Efficient algal culture