Knowledge Management

Technology watch


Method and device for cultivating eucaryotic microorganisms or blue algae, and biosensor woth cultivated eucaryotic microorganisms or blue algae


Bjoenr Podoloa

The invention relates to a method and device for cultivating eukaryotic microorganisms, whereby a perforated support having a first major surface and a second major surface which is substantially impermeable to eukaryotic microorganisms are applied on the first major surface. A layer containing an aqueous solution, passes over the second major surface.


Photobioreactor for algae growth


Gorny Rudiger

The invention provides a flow-through photobioreactor containing at least one thermoplastic multi-wall sheet having an upper layer and a lower layer having arranged there between at least two sidewalls, at least one inner wall and two or more end caps. Also provided is a process for the production of a biofuel with the inventive photobioreactor. The photobioreactor and process of the present invention have the following advantages: genetically engineered microbes that give higher yields cannot escape into the environment, water in the system does not evaporate, no wedding (presence of unwanted algae), UV light from the sun is filtered out by the reactor walls, temperature control is possible, CO2 from power plants, breweries, etc. can be artificially fed to increase yield. The inventive photobioreactor is also less expensive to build than pipe reactors and may have low energy costs to operate, beacause little or no energy is needed for agitation and pumping in a preferred gravity assisted embodiment.


System for harvesting algae in continuous fermentation


Shepherd Samuel L.

The present invention is a system for harvesting algae in continuous fermentation. There is a harvester including a main moving belt, a plurality of rollers, and a motor for driving the main motor belt. There is a reactor tank and a vacuum extractor for applying a vacuum over a width of the main moving belt to extract biomass and to dry the main moving belt. The main moving belt has one end in the reactor tanks and another end extended into the vacuum extractor. The algae contained in the reactor tank are collected for further processing, including oil extraction. With algae harvested in the large-scale manner of the present invention, a more efficient oil extraction method can be used because of the concentration, temperature, and pressure can be more easily controlled.



Method and system for water purification by culturing and harvesting attached algal communities


Jensen Kyle R.

A floway for cleansing water of pollutants is presented that has an upstream weir wherein water to be cleansed is admitted, a downstream weir wherefrom water is discharged, and curbs extending between the weirs for retaining water along the sides. The bottom surface is specifically textured conducive for growing a bed of algae to form an algal turf thereon. The algae bioassimilates pollutants from the water and is harvested periodically by a vacuum system having a notched, rotating nozzle at the intake end. An ultraviolet reactor positioned at the downstream end is used to degrade volatile organic compounds. In addition, the water surface is disturbed to change the angle of incidence of light and focus additional light energy on the algae.One object of this invention to provide for the effective harvesting and removal of mature communities of algal turf in a dewatered but wet state by a vacuum pickup having a nozzle end tailored to optimize harvesting.



Apparatus for water purification by culturing and harvesting attached algal communities


Jensen Kyle R.

A floway for cleansing the water of a waterway containing nutrients and other pollutants, utilizing growing attached algal turf, the floway utilizing at least two elongate curbs spaced apart in a parallel relationship. A growing surface for algae is disposed between the curbs, on which growing surface, selected algae are caused to grow and form an algal turf able to bring about bioassimilation of nutrients and pollutants, as well as the physical trapping of particulates contained in water caused to flow over the algal turf. Water from the waterway is directed to flow through the floway and over the algal turf. A mobile harvester is provided for removing mature algal turf containing nutrients and pollutants assimilated and trapped by the algal turf, such harvester being of a width commensurate with the spacing of the curbs, so as to be supported therefrom. The harvester contains a vacuum pickup system, including an intake plenum for harvesting mature algal turf. Advantageously, the harvested algal turf is disposed of without permitting it to reenter the waterway. This floway may be a part of an algal farm made up of a number of floways disposed in a parallel array, with a barge being available to move the harvester from one floway to another, such that the mature algal turf in each floway can be effectively harvested.



Method for water purification by culturing and harvesting attached algal communities


Jensen Kyle R.

A method for purifying water includes the steps of establishing a floway for water that has originated in a waterway. The sides of the floway are bounded by a pair of curbs that are disposed in a spaced-apart, parallel relationship. The floway has an inlet end and an outlet end disposed lower than the inlet, so that gravity flow occurs toward the outlet end. An algal growing surface is established between the curbs, so that algae can grow and form a turf. A periodic surge of water is caused to flow along at least part of the floway, which permits bioassimilation of nutrients and pollutants by the algal turf, and also permits a physical trapping of particulates therein. The algal turf is harvested after maturation and is disposed of without permitting the algal turf to reenter the waterway. Harvesting may be accomplished for example, with the use of a wheeled harvester disposed to roll along the curbs.



Continuous flocculation, deflocculation process for efficient harvesting of microalgae from aqueous solutions


Katz Lynn E., Kinney Kerry A., Choi Jinyong, Chen Eric

A continuous process for efficiently harvesting microalgae from aqueous systems is described herein. The method and apparatus of the present invention allows continuous harvesting of algae from a variety of source waters including saltwater, brackish water, fresh water, and treated wastewater. High concentration factors are achievable and the system produces a deflocculated product that is readily processed for biofuel or pharmaceutical applications. The process of the present invention does not add contaminants that can limit the downstream usage possibilities for the algae concentrate produced. The effluent water from the process is suitable for conventional discharge or recycling to the growth system. The process of the present invention is inexpensive, scalable, and generates useful effluent water and algae concentrate as products.


System and method for biological wastewater treatment and for using the byproduct thereof


Limcaco Christopher A.

A wastewater treatment system and process biologically treats wastewater to produce substantially clean water effluent and byproducts. The treatment system includes an array of media wheels that rotate into and out of exposure to sunlight for sustained algae growth. One byproduct is algae removed from the rotating media wheels, which may be provided to other processing facilities to produce, for instance, bio-diesel fuel. Waste CO2 from the processing facility may also be returned to the treatment system for enhanced algae growth. Bacteria is provided to form a symbiotic relationship with the algae, fueled by sunlight to effectively remove toxic materials from the wastewater. Large scale facilities may integrate the treatment systems in a regenerative cycle in which the biomass obtained from the algal colonies is used in a separate facility and byproducts of the operation of the separate facility are used by the treatment system to fuel further algal growth.



Photobioreactors for production of algae and methods therefor


Dimanshteyn Felix

The present invention is directed to a photobioreactor comprising: (a) a tank for containing a liquid microbial culture; (b) a rotating mixing system contained within the tank, the rotating mixing system comprising one or more motors, and one or more shafts connected to the one or more motors, and a plurality of mixing blades attached to the one or more shafts, wherein the mixing blades are capable of mixing the microbial culture throughout the volume of the tank; (c) a lighting system, comprising a light source located outside the tank; a light emitting device mounted on the blades; and a conduit that transfers light from the light source to the light emitting device, wherein the lighting system is capable of providing sufficient light for growth of the microbial culture throughout the volume of the tank. The rotating system may be replaced with an oscillating system, and either system can be mounted on a moveable raceway.



Algal Turf Water Purification Method


Walter H. Adey

A method for removing pollutants from water, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, comprises the steps of providing algal spores for seeding, providing a source of water for flowing through a floway, and the water contains a quantity of pollutants and has a pH on entry into said floway, providing a growing surface in the floway upon which the algal spores form an attachment, subjecting the algal spores in the floway to operating conditions resulting in the formation of an algal turf in which the algae has cell walls on its surface, adjusting the floway operating conditions such that a predetermined pollutant precipitates onto and/or into the algal cell walls but not into the water, and harvesting a portion of the algal turf including the cell walls onto and/or into which the pollutants have precipitated. By control of such floway operating conditions as water flow rate, light level, intensity and wavelength, water surge rate, recirculation rate, and nutrient concentrations, the pH of the water adjacent the algal cell wall is caused to increase to a level at which the desired pollutants precipitate. Since the operating conditions are carefully adjusted to allow the pH of the water to remain below the pH level normally required for precipitation, precipitation of the pollutants occurs only onto and/or into the algal cell wall, and not into the water column as a whole. No precipitation occurs in the water because its pH does not rise to the pH at which the pollutants of interest precipitate.



Rotating Bioreactor and Spool Harvester Apparatus for Biomass Production

Inventors: Logan Christenson (Logan, UT, US) Ronald Sims (Logan, UT, US)

Publication date: 2011-09-08

An apparatus that exposes a biofilm growth surface to liquid media as it rotates. A biofilm growth substratum is wound around a rotatable body in the form of a non-rigid material capable of supporting biofilm growth. A harvester receives the biofilm laden substratum, collects the biofilm as a biomass and reloads the substratum onto the rotatable body.



Pressurized flexible tubing system for producing Algae

Inventors: George Benjamin Cloud (Chandler, AZ, US) Souren Naradikian (Phoenix, AZ, US) Stephen Irwin (Avondale, AZ, US)

Publication date: 2008-12-18

An apparatus for producing algae circulates algae fluid through flexible reactor tubing that is at least partially translucent to sunlight. The reactor tubing lies flat when not pressurized. Preferably, the reactor tubing is made of clear polyethylene with UV inhibitors, the polyethylene being between 6 and 15 mil thick. The reactor tubing preferably has a substantially circular cross-section with a 6 inch diameter and is preferably 1250 feet long. Gas relief valves allow gases generated during algae production to escape from the reactor tubing. CO2 may be injected into the algae fluid to stimulate photosynthesis. A circulation pump propels the algae fluid through the reactor tubing, keeping the reactor tubing pressurized and stationary without touching the reactor tubing, so that a rigid support structure is not needed. One or more layers of plastic mulch may be disposed above or below the reactor tubing to control temperature and sunlight exposure.



Apparatus for cultivating oil rich micro-algae

Inventors: Chien-Feng Lin (Hsinchu City, TW)

Publication date: 2009-10-01

An apparatus for cultivating oil-rich microalgae includes a tank having a cultivation medium held therein for cultivating the oil-rich microalgae, the tank being provided at predetermined positions with at least one feeding pipe for feeding carbon dioxide and other nutrients to the tank and at least one drain pipe for discharging used cultivation medium from the tank; at least one transparent tubular container partially immersed in the tank for holding a plurality of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) therein; and at least one solar power generating unit being electrically connected to the LEDs in the transparent tubular container. With the above arrangements, the oil-rich microalgae cultivation can be achieved with reduced space and equipment cost without bringing air pollution.



Laminar photobioreactor for the production of microalgae


Publication date: 2013-05-09 

A modular photobioreactor for the production of microalgae particularly suited for absorber emission gases with a high carbon dioxide (CO2) content. It is based on the continuous recirculation of a microalgae-containing liquid medium through sheets of fabric facilitating CO2 absorption and microalgae illumination. The photobioreactor enables supplying the gases to the culture from inside the chamber. It provides highly efficient algae illumination, allows easy exchange of CO2 from the emission gases to the culture and can be used at a low cost on a large scale.



Hydrophilic coatings comprising a polyelectrolyte

Inventors: Aylvin Jorge Angelo Anthanasius Dias (Maastricht, NL) Guido Joseph Elisabeth Hensen (Oirsbeek, NL) Johannes Wilhelmus Belt (Geleen, NL) Marnix Rooijmans (Born, NL) Nicolaes Hubertus Maria De Bont (Stein, NL) Edwin Peter Kennedy Currie (Sittard, NL)

Publication date: 2009-07-02

The invention relates to a hydrophilic coating formulation which when cured results in a hydrophilic coating, wherein the hydrophilic coating formulation comprises a copolymeric polyelectrolyte. The invention further relates to a hydrophilic coating, a lubricious coating, use of a copolymeric polyelectrolyte in a lubricious coating, an article, a medical device or component and a method of forming on a substrate a hydrophilic coating.



Multifunctional coatings

Inventors: Cécile Van De Weerdt (Sprimont, BE) Cécile Van De Weerdt (Sprimont, BE) Cécile Van De Weerdt (Sprimont, BE) Christophe Detrembleur (Esneux, BE) Aurelia Charlot (Villeurbanne, FR) Robert Jerome (Sart-Jalhay, BE) Christelle Vreuls (Blegny, BE) Germaine Zocchi (Villers-Aux-Tours, BE)

Publication date: 2011-03-31

New polyelectrolyte copolymer, composite material, multilayer film and substrate carrying such polyelectrolyte copolymer, composite and multilayer film wherein the polyelectrolyte copolymer comprises a) a first type of identical or different units (A) each comprising one or more dihydroxyphenyl groups such that sidechains are present along the backbone of the polyelectrolyte copolymer which contain at least one dihydroxyphenyl group each; and (b1) a second type of identical or different units (B1) each comprising a cationic moiety, or (b2) a second type of identical or different units (B2) each comprising an anionic moiety.



Method for proliferation of cells on polyelectrolyte multilayer films and use thereof, particularly for the preparation of cellular biomaterials

Inventors: Patrick Menu (Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, FR) Cedric Boura (Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, FR) Halima-Assia Kerdjoudj (Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, FR) Vanessa Moby (Dombasle, FR) Nicolas Berthelemy (Nancy, FR) Jean-Claude Voegel (Valff, FR) Pierre Schaaf (Molsheim, FR) Jean-Francois Stoltz (Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, FR)

Publication date: 2011-06-23

The invention relates to the use of a unit including a substrate and polyelectrolyte multilayer films deposited thereon in order to: carry out a method involving the proliferation of initial stem or differentiated cells that are brought into contact with the unit; and cover the unit with confluent viable adherent cells resulting from the proliferation of the initial cells, the cover being obtained at the end of a period of no more than one month, such as 14 days, 11 days or, in particular, 7 days, after the initial cells are brought into contact with the unit.



Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Films At Liquid-Liquid Interfaces

Inventors: Nicholas Abbott (Madison, WI, US) Nicholas Abbott (Madison, WI, US) Nathan A. Lockwood (Minneapolis, MN, US) Katie D. Cadwell (Madison, WI, US) Frank Caruso (Melbourne, AU) Elvira Tjipto (Melbourne, AU)

Publication date: 2010-08-05

The present invention is directed to methods for providing a polyelectrolyte multilayer film at a liquid-liquid interface. Such methods include steps of sequentially-depositing layers of cationic and anionic polyelectrolytes at a liquid-liquid interface that is formed between immiscible first and second liquids whereby a polyelectrolyte multilayer film is provided at the liquid-liquid interface. In certain preferred embodiments, the first liquid is an aqueous solution and the second liquid is a liquid crystal. In alternative embodiments, the first liquid is an aqueous solution and the second liquid is an oil. The invention further encompasses polyelectrolyte multilayer films provided by the disclosed methods as well as applications utilizing such materials.



Polyelectrolyte Complexes

Inventors: David R. Scheuing (Danville, CA, US) David R. Scheuing (Danville, CA, US) David J. Lestage (Livermore, CA, US) Carl W. Bennett (Pleasanton, CA, US) Mona M. Knock (Livermore, CA, US) Charles W. Scales (St. Augustine, FL, US) William L. Smith(Pleasanton, CA, US) Rui Zhang (Pleasanton, CA, US)

Publication date: 2011-09-29

The present invention relates to aqueous compositions of associative polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs), optionally containing surfactants, biocidal agents and/or oxidants, which can provide surface protection to treated articles including reduced soiling tendency, reduced cleaning effort and improved soil repellancy, as well as providing bacteriostatic properties to treated surfaces that thereby gain resistance to water, environmental exposure and microbial challenge. Treatment means and compositions are provided that employ associative polyelectrolyte complexes formed by combining a water soluble cationic first polyelectrolyte with a water soluble second polyelectrolyte bearing groups of opposite charge to the first polyelectrolyte under suitable mixing conditions where the one polyelectrolyte present in molar excess is added in the form of a first aqueous solution during a mixing step to a second aqueous solution comprising the oppositely charged polyelectrolyte present in molar deficiency. Also provided are means to form stable associative polyelectrolyte complexes in aqueous solutions having R values from about 0.10 to 20, including near stoichiometric R values approaching 1, being the ratio of charged groups present on the component polyelectrolytes employed.



Preparation Of Layer-By-Layer Materials And Coatings From Ionic Liquids

Inventors: Nicholas A. Kotov (Ypsilanti, MI, US) Nicholas A. Kotov (Ypsilanti, MI, US)

Publication date: 2012-06-21

A method for making a layered material can include providing a substrate having a surface with at least one region having a charge and forming layers by sequentially contacting the at least one region with a first solution and a second solution. The first solution comprises a first layering material in an ionic liquid and the second solution comprises a second layering material in a second ionic solution. The first and second layering materials can have a chemical affinity to each other. The first layering material and/or the second layering material can include polyelectrolytes, polymers, carbon nanotubes, or combinations thereof.



Harvesting Microalgae

Inventors: Hongjun Liang (Arvada, CO, US)

Publication date: 2011-08-18

A reusable composite paramagnetic particle may comprise a paramagnetic core encased by a protective material to which is grafted a tendril layer comprising a plurality of polymeric chains. The polymeric chains may be designed to interact with a microorganism. The interaction between the microorganism and the polymeric chain may be electrostatic. The nanoparticle may be used in a method to isolate or recover microorganisms from solutions using an externally applied magnetic field.



Multifunctional Electroprocessed Membranes

Inventors: Liang Chen (Cambridge, MA, US) Lev E. Bromberg (Swampscott, MA, US) T. Alan Hatton (Sudbury, MA, US) Gregory C. Rutledge (Newton, MA, US)

Publication date: 2011-07-21

Described is the application of layer-by-layer (LbL) electrostatic assembly techniques to electrospun nanofibers in order to fabricate novel, breathable electrospun fiber-based chemical and biological detoxifying protective fabrics and filters. The combination of layer-by-layer electrostatic assembly and electrospinning technique allows one to take advantage of high specific surface area, light weight and breathability of electrospun fiber mats while simultaneously providing the versatility to incorporate different functional polyelectrolytes to achieve multifunctional coatings for both chemical and biological protection together. The functionalized fiber mats can be incorporated into breathable chemical and biological protective fabrics, filters and masks. In addition, LbL electrostatic coating of porous non-woven materials provides the versatility to generate multifunctional polymer-based membrane materials for other applications.



Biofilm establishment and heavy metal removal capacity of an indigenous mining alga-microbial consortium in a photo-rotating biological contactor
Inventors: S. Orandi, D.M. Lewis, N.R. Moheimani
Publication date: 2012-05-29

An indigenous mining algal-microbial consortium was immobilised within a laboratory-scale photo-rotating biological contactor (PRBC) that was used to investigate the potential for heavy metal removal from acid mine drainage (AMD). The microbial consortium, dominated by Ulothrix sp., was collected from the AMD at the Sar Cheshmeh copper mine in Iran. This paper discusses the parameters required to establish an algal-microbial biofilm used for heavy metal removal, including nutrient requirements and rotational speed. The PRBC was tested using synthesised AMD with the multi-ion and acidic composition of wastewater (containing 18 elements, and with a pH of 3.5 ± 0.5), from which the microbial consortium was collected. The biofilm was successfully developed on the PRBC's disc consortium over 60 days of batch-mode operation. The PRBC was then run continuously with a 24 h hydraulic residence time (HRT) over a ten-week period. Water analysis, performed on a weekly basis, demonstrated the ability of the algal-microbial biofilm to remove 20-50 % of the various metals in the order Cu > Ni > Mn > Zn > Sb > Se > Co > Al. These results clearly indicate the significant potential for indigenous AMD microorganisms to be exploited within a PRBC for AMD treatment.


Market watch

Grow Energy developing algae-based construction components

Developing a new generation of energy-producing construction components, Grow Energy, of San Diego, California, plans for algae to create clean electricity for residential and commercial structures. Their first system, called Verde, is a technology specifically designed for individual homes. According to the company, Verde employs a clean combustion process to burn algal biomass to create electricity and heat energy, which can significantly offset a property’s utility expenses, if not supplement the entirety of a property’s electricity needs.



BIQ-first building in the world with bioreactor facade

Natural, efficient and unique: the BIQ is setting new standards as the first building in the world to have a bioreactor facade. Microalgae are cultivated in the glass elements that make up its “bio skin”. These are used to produce energy, and can also control light and provide shade. Inside, an innovative living concept is aimed at ensuring maximum design versatility for everyday life, and gives us a glimpse into urban life in the future. With its innovative living concept, futuristic exterior, and “intelligent” algae facade, the BIQ is a highlight of ”The Building Exhibition within the Building Exhibition”.



Algae Garden Featured at International Garden Festival

Algae Garden, which celebrates the beauty and productive potential of algae via its diversity and meaning, will be on display from June 23 to September 30 at The International Garden Festival in Quebec, Canada. The display explores and demonstrates possibilities for how algae might become an evocative and productive part of our daily lives.

The creators of the Algae Garden position it standing between the landscape, the artistic and the scientific world, and present their algae organized by colour and species in curtains of tubes hanging from steel frames. The garden leads the visitor to appreciate algae both as an alternative to oil and other energy sources, as well as a source of food and nutrition