Algae research

Algae biofuels to transportation needs


2018. May 24.
With continued breakthroughs on the horizon, the hope is that someday, passengers might fly on algae-fueled planes, and packages will be delivered via algae-fueled trucks. Until then, here’s a look at how far 10,000 barrels a day could take passengers by plane from California, the home of the current algae research farm, to major airport hubs across the country.
 

Selected algae spices


2018. April 19.

The chosen strains are: Chlorella sorokiniana,Chlorella vulgaris,Scenedesmus quadricauda,Spirulina platensisand Synechocystissp. PCC6803. Anabaenasp. PCC7120 was also tested but it did not grow in the different tested culture conditions and was disregarded in later experiments

 

Original environment

Optimal temperature (°C)

Optimal light intensity (µmol m-1 s-1)

Optimal pH

Recommended growth media

Speciality

Chlorella vulgaris

fresh water

20-28

50-300

6-8

BBM

Good biomass yield, presence of phytohormone-like molecules

Chlorella sorokiniana

fresh water

20-28

50-300

6-8

BBM

Good biomass yield, presence of phytohormone-like molecules

Scenedesmus quadricauda

fresh water

20-28

50-300

6-8

BBM

Good biomass yield, presence of phytohormone-like molecules

Spirulina platensis

fresh water

28-35

150-200

9-10

SOT

High microelement content, high temperature tolerance, high alkalinity

Anabaena sp. PCC 7120

fresh water

25-30

50-200

7-8

BG11

Ability to fix N2

Synechocystissp. PCC 6803

fresh water

25-30

50-200

7-8

BG11

Well documented cyanobacterial modell organism

1. Table General characteristics and short description of the chosen algae strains.

 During the open-pond alga production only Chlorellasp. and Scenedesmussp. were able to adapt to the sometimes extreme conditions occurred in the greenhouse. Other alga strains however appeared and were able to grow in the alga suspensions:

Coelastrellasp.

This microalga is able to withstand temperatures over 50°C for more than 8 h and produces pigments including astaxanthin, lutein, canthaxanthin and β-carotene (ordered by polarity of these compounds) after the cells are stressed for a period of time.

 Acutodesmus obliquus

These microalgae are cosmopolitan genus with small globular cells. It includes strains with high temperature tolerance as some strains can grow between 15-40 °C. They are used in open pond systems because of their high autotrophic growth rate.

 Actinastrumsp.

Found in the plankton of nutrient-rich lakes and ponds. Can be abundant in sewage ponds, particularly during summer. It is a very common contaminating alga in open ponds.



Algae can also enhance the growth of cultivated plants


2017. February 27.

Extreme weather caused by climate change and the prolonged use of fertilizers may result in deterioration of soil quality and its water-holding capacity and thus make it more prone to desiccation. The farmers have to increase irrigation in order to maintain the yield level, which in turn increases the costs of production.

The deeper layers of the soil are less susceptible to sudden changes in temperature and are able to retain their moisture content for a longer period of time. The close relationship between the plant roots’ depth (length) and water uptake is a well-known fact among scientists performing biological and agricultural research. In addition, young plants in growth are especially vulnerable to desiccation and need greater attention from the point of view of water supply.

Green algae however may be capable of producing substances similar to plant hormones, which affect the development of plants. Within the framework of the Vegaalga project of the Institute of Biotechnology (BAY-BIO) in Szeged of the Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research we examined the impact of cultivated algae culture on the germination ability and root growth of field-produced wheat among laboratory conditions.

During the experiments, in addition to the live algae cell treatments, BayBio associates studied the effects of centrifuged nutrient solution of algae culture on (supernatant) root growth. Namely, according to certain resources, the algae are able to select plant hormone-like substances into their culture environment. The aim of the research is also to find the optimal applicable dosis. The results were compared with the impact of tap water and algae-free nutrient solution treatment.

The applied treatments were the following:

K1 – fresh, algae nutrient solution which never contained algae

K2 – tap water

A – 2 g/l algae nutrient solution

B – 1 g/l algae nutrient solution

C – 0,5 g/l algae nutrient solution

D – 0,25 g/l algae nutrient solution

E – 100 % centrifuged algae nutrient solution

F – 50 % centrifuged algae nutrient solution/tap water

G – 25 % centrifuged algae nutrient solution/tap water

H – 10 % centrifuged algae broth / tap water

I – 5 % centrifuged algae nutrient solution

 

The following graph shows a three-day average root length (in mms) of wheat treated by supernatant living algae or algae culture compared to young plant root length treated by control fluids. The results represent the average of root length measured in 10 different plants per treatment.

 

3 napos búzanövények gyökérhossz átlaga

3-day average root length of wheat plants

 Root length study results show that the roots of young plants treated by supernatant living algae or algae culture is longer compared to the control plants, and the direct presence of algae had an extremely positive impact on root growth. The difference may reach up to 91%.

 

Based on the results we can say that algae treatment has a positive effect on root growth of young wheat plants. Due to longer roots, the young plants can access water resources more quickly in the deeper layers of soil, which makes them more resistant to a sudden, short-term drought. At the same time, increased root length ensures better water and nutrient content to the plants, which has a beneficial effect on growth and can also make them more resistant to certain biotic and abiotic stress factors. All this can lead to a more stable crop creation, which has a positive effect on yield. Rapid development of deeper roots can contribute to a reduction in irrigation needs, which in the long run reduces production costs. What is more, all this is possible without the use of fertilizers.

Field tests have started


2016. March 25.

Tested plants:

3 hectares of onion: 1-1 hectare treated by different types of algae, 1 hectare of control area

1 hectares of spring onion: 0.5 hectares treated by one type of algae, 0.5 hectares of control area

1 hectare of garlic: 0.5 hectares treated by one type of algae, 0.5 hectares of control area

2 hectares of celery: 1 hectare treated by one type of algae, 1 hectare of control area

14 hectares of parsley: 4-4 hectares treated by different types of algae, 3 hectares treated by one type of algae, 1 hectare of control area

11 hectares of wheat: 5.5 hectares treated by one type of algae, 5.5 hectares of control area

10 hectares of sunflower: 5 hectares treated by one type of algae, 5 hectares of control area

Would you like to test VegaAlga on your own farm?  Contact us here!