Innovative Biotechnology Platform
The technical process to convert sunlight into algae and then into fuels has been tested by industry and approved by regulators. The current challenge is to produce commodities such as fuels and feed at a competitive cost.
There are two principal ways of cultivating algae today – open ponds and closed photobioreactors – and both face significant challenges to produce algae biomass at an appropriate cost, so that this can then be converted into commodity products.
Culture BioSystems has developed a hybrid technology platforms that takes the best of both traditional cultivation methods – a low-cost, closed system that can float on an open pond (FloatAlgae) or be deployed on the ground (LandAlgae). This improved engineering design allows for the production of cost-competitive products using natural algae strains. The Culture Fuels cultivation system works with any algae strain and final product market.
The main benefits of the LandAlgae system versus open ponds are:
- Minimizes impact of rainfall on culture and nutrient concentration
- Increases contamination barriers so that algae do not escape and external predators do not enter
- Produces higher biomass density due to shallow water depth (to lower dewatering cost)
- Quick installation and disassembly of reactor modules
The main benefits of the FloatAlgae system versus open ponds are:
- Allows the use of water when land is not available for use
- Requires lower capital investment to construct algae facility.
The figures below present the system embedded in an integrated algae facility with a source of carbon dioxide and generic equipment for settling the harvested algae and then extracting the oil. The system can be deployed on water or on land.