Algae Scale-Up Equipment Speeds Time-to-Commercialization for Researchers and Biomass Producers
GOLDEN, Colo., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — BioVantage Resources, Inc. (www.biovantageresources.com) has announced the availability of algae scale-up bioreactors to reduce time-to-commercialization, facilitating small-to-large volume production of phototrophic cultures.
Products come in three form-factors: 8-30 liter bubble columns, 400-6000 liter tank-based bioreactors (or inoculation systems), and larger, made-to-order raceway ponds with integrated mixing. A variety of units can be combined to meet production requirements and to support culture maintenance. These commercial units have been designed with integrated intelligence to enable repeatable, reliable production of high quality algae, even at commercial scales.
“Our laboratory needed to transition from the analytical scales that we were using to grow algae to obtain much larger quantities of biomass,” said Matthew Posewitz, assistant professor at Colorado School of Mines. “The five, 30 liter bioreactors we purchased from BioVantage Resources were perfect. Our mutant phenotypes all carried over to the scaled-up growth conditions and we can now easily obtain kilograms of dry weight for our protein research and to assess a variety of biofuel molecules at larger scale. The bioreactors are easy-to-use, clean and harvest cells.”
BioVantage’s algae production system has incorporated a low shear mixing strategy coupled with gas exchange to reduce the formation of biofilms, a highly regulated gas introduction mechanism to ensure optimal yield, and integrated sampling valves to easily dispense samples for analysis without the introduction of foreign contaminants. Highly-optimized, light-pipe technology is used to distribute illumination evenly throughout the volume for high-density growth, enabling more algae production within a smaller area. Additionally, the integrated lighting uses optimal and customizable wavelengths specifically for photosynthetic efficiency.
“For microbiologists, scale-up from the starter culture in a petri dish or test tube to any volume above an Erlenmeyer flask is a non-trivial and time-intensive process,” said Sue Kunz, CEO at BioVantage Resources. “If consistent characteristics and production level are desirable in the resulting biomass, everything from gas exchange to lighting must be controlled. We have been collaborating with research institutions, such as Colorado School of Mines, Utah State University and Brandeis to deliver solutions to help them scale and manage their algae production.”
BioVantage’s scalable capacity inoculation systems and raceways can be right-sized to provide substantially larger volumes. The systems’ modular designs comprise: up to ten, 200 and 600 Liter growing tanks or substantially larger raceways, one or more medium preparation system and a system control center for data collection and automated, remote operation. The medium preparation system distributes a user-specified recipe of nutrients to the tanks or raceways to optimize growth and to attain sufficient mass transfer. Users have the ability to grow different organisms in individual tanks with independent conditions and medium formulas, and modulate pH via sensor monitoring and automated CO(2) regulation. All units have been designed for easy maintenance and cleaning.
With BioVantage’s modular scale-up systems, less time is spent on building bioreactors, and more time is devoted to getting science out of the laboratory and products into customers’ hands.
About BioVantage Resources
BioVantage Resources, Inc. delivers commercial bioreactor systems at any scale, to research organizations that are developing algae-based products such as biofuels, biochar, nutriceuticals, cosmetics, and/or healthy dietary and feed ingredients. Typically, these organizations are focused on front-end gene or strain research or on back-end harvesting, extraction, or other production technologies. BioVantage’s systems accelerate their efforts. Deploying its own technology, BioVantage also delivers bioremediation solutions for industrial, agricultural and municipal wastewater treatment. Through regular inoculation of lagoons with our carefully selected consortia of algae, BioVantage’s “green” solution accelerates nature to more effectively, more energy efficiently, and more quickly remove contaminants, excess nutrients, heavy metals and other unwanted constituents.
Kim Moss, Business Development
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SOURCE BioVantage Resources