Sandia lab working with HelioBioSys to scale up cyanobacteria production

August 21, 2017 |

In California, a Bay Area company has patented a group of three single-celled, algae-like organisms that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories is helping HelioBioSys Inc. learn whether farming them on a large scale would be successful.

HelioBioSys founders say they chose to grow a community of three cyanobacteria rather than focus on a single organism (which is common in algae cultivation) because communal systems more closely resemble nature. They say cyanobacteria in communities are stronger and more likely to survive changes in the environment, contamination and predation. Sandia is helping them test this idea.

The cyanobacteria have already proved successful in closed, controlled, sterile laboratories. Sandia researchers are now growing the cyanobacteria in large raceway systems that resemble long bath tubs. Though the raceways are indoors they are open to the air, so predation could prove a much bigger challenge.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Research

Thank you for visting the Digest.