Researchers at a university in Spain believe they have a new photobioreactor that will make it easier to turn algae into biofuels. The University of Alicante announced a patent on the new device:
The Research Group in Polymer Processing and Pyrolysis at the University of Alicante is the team that has designed and developed this device, consisting of a photobioreactor, easily scalable to larger production, which has attracted the interest of both Spanish and foreign firms in the sector of biotechnology.
The director of the research group, Antonio Marcilla Gomis, explained that the novelty of this photobioreactor compared to those existing is that it allows mass production, less cleaning and maintenance operations, better use of CO2 and better light transfer to cultivation…
The design of this novel technology aims to overcome any difficulties or problems that have been presented over the years with the use of other similar cropping systems.
“The subject on the cultivation of microalgae is having a major boom in terms of research in the last fifteen years as an alternative energy to oil”, he said.
Marcilla Gomis did admit that turning algae into fuel is still not on par with the profitable process that petroleum uses. But they’ll keep working on making it comparable, including finding multiple uses for the algae, such as food, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics.