PHYCO2, MSU “breakthrough” grows algae 24/7 without sunlight

March 20, 2016 |

In Michigan, PHYCO2 is reporting “a technology breakthrough” in Phase I of the multi-year trial with Michigan State University (MSU).  The technology partnership set out to capture manmade carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas emission (GHG)) and create renewable alternative energy feedstock.  Phase I proved the technology can capture significant amounts of CO2 for high-density algae cultivation with the PHYCO2 Patented algae photo bioreactor.

Working closely together, MSU and PHYCO2 say they can out perform current open-pond systems, as well as competing studies being done at other universities.  Within the first round of testing, the two-month period showed an algae density of 1.7 g/L, a CO2 absorption rate of 52 percent, and a productivity rate of 0.34 g/l solution/ day, higher than the algae and production rates found at recently reported studies.

The company’s patented HILED Algae Photo-bioreactor (US Patent #8,476,067 B2 and Canada Patent #2717862) sequesters CO2 while reclaiming water and producing algae without sunlight or risk of mass contamination at an accelerated rate. This technology, PHYCO2 relates, yields up to six times the amount of algae as “open” methods for use in high-demand markets such as defense and transportation fuels.

Built in the T.B. Simon Power Plant, PHYCO2’s photo bioreactor absorbs CO2 emissions directly from the plant, creating pure algae strands that can be used for a multitude of products.  Algae are used for an array of everyday products, from lipstick to ice cream, to gasoline and animal feed.  The team is preparing for a second round of testing, in which the focus will be on doubling their algae density and reaching a productivity rate that is eight times the Phase I rate.

“With the strong industry-university collaboration, the integration of the patented PHYCO2’s reactor and MSU selected algal strains could lead to a soon-commercially-available solution to sequester CO2 and produce high-value chemicals.  Co-locating the APB with the power plant allows the process to utilize waste heat from the power plant to dry and process the produced algae to further improve the energy balance”, said Dr. Susie Liu, an assistant professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University.

“Results from Phase I testing demonstrates that our technology can be applied to manufacturers worldwide to reduce emissions, and create pure microalgae to be used as an alternate energy source, as we strive to create a market sustainable solution to address our environment without negatively impacting businesses,” said PHYCO2 CEO William Clary. “The next phases of testing will focus on how effective the photo bioreactor can be for power plants looking to reduce their carbon footprint, and how the technology can be implemented to absorb other airborne pollutants for further algae cultivation.”

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