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Integrated Algae Growth in the Built Environment
- Dr Luiza Campos (Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering)
- Dr Saul Purton (Structural and Molecular Biology)
- Alessandro Marco Lizzul (Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering)
- Dr Frank Baganz (Biochemical Engineering)
- Dr Marcos Cruz (Bartlett School of Architecture)
- Paul Hellier (Mechanical Engineering)
- Richard Beckett (Bartlett School of Architecture)
Algae has the potential to become a renewable source of biomass. This project investigated the feasibility of integrating algal production with common urban waste streams, such as carbon dioxide from exhaust gases and nutrients from wastewater.
Two working prototype PBRs (photobioreactors) have been built, a 10 litre and a 60 litre model. The larger photobioreactor, a development based on the original prototype, has been placed in the Darwin Building’s green house.Algal production can be integrated with many common waste streams, including diesel exhaust emissions, and wastewaters, providing environmental benefits to both air and water quality.
Biomass productivities within the reactor are high, but require considerable energy input. Work is ongoing to optimise the process and reduce costs.