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Algal production facility to feature revolving photobioreactor

November 7, 2012  By Brandi Cowen

The algal production facility will feature a custom-made revolving attachment-based photobioreactor. (Courtesy of Iowa State University.)

Iowa State University’s new greenhouse will feature an algal production facility capable of making 50 to 100 dried kilograms of biomass per year.

The 720 square foot greenhouse, located at the school’s BioCentury Research Farm, is scheduled to come online this month. According to ISU’s Center for Crops Utilization Research, the greenhouse will feature two raceway pond systems and four flat panel photobioreactors. The facility will also house a custom-made revolving attachment-based photobioreactor invented by ISU graduate student Martin Gross. Geothermal heating and cooling will allow for year-round operations while minimizing energy consumption.



The facility will create an ongoing supply of algae for ISU researchers to access, free of charge, and provide a testing ground for food science and human nutrition research and technology development.


High-demand biomass users on and off campus will also be able to lease the facility in order to meet their needs.


Once operational, the facility will be able to produce between 50 and 100 kilograms of dried algae every year.


Visit the ISU Center for Crops Utilization Research website to watch a slideshow about the facility.

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