lgenuity, maker of the Algem® lab-scale photobioreactor for algal research, has announced the delivery of three integrated Algem systems to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Their latest delivery makes a total of six Algem systems at the research laboratory.
The Algem photobioreactor is a bench-top or rack-mounted lab-scale system that accurately simulates algal growth conditions all over the world. Each system contains two independently programmable reactors, comprised of standard 1-liter Erlenmeyer flasks enclosed within a specially-designed light-proof housing. The housing contains computer-controlled white, blue, and red LED’s illuminating each flask from below, as well as a computer-controlled active heating and cooling system that can accurately maintain temperatures from 4° to 50°C.
The flasks are internally mounted using a proprietary gimbal-based mechanism that simulates the swirling action of a human hand – low shear but highly effective at keeping microalgae cultures in suspension, even in extremely dense populations. pH is also computer-controlled via CO2 regulation using solenoid valves.
For setting up an experiment, the Algenious software allows the researcher to drag the mouse pointer to anywhere on a map of the world. Point and click, and diurnal day/night and heating/cooling data for that region at that time of the year will automatically be populated into the experiment (a global information database is integrated into the software). Alternately, the profile-creation software affords the operator the ability to develop new profiles modelling actual collected data from anywhere, such as a proposed production site.
“One of our strategic goals this year was to greatly expand our footprint in the U.S., and this sale to LANL represents a major achievement for the company,” said Andrew Spicer, CEO of Algenuity. “This, combined with a recent installation at the California State University, Fresno, and with several other orders pending in the U.S., is a testament to not only the Algem itself but to the deep scientific investment that Algenuity has to the field of algal research.”
Algenuity is a wholly-owned division of Spicer Consulting Ltd., located in Stewartby, Bedfordshire, U.K. While a major portion of Algenuity’s business is the development of cutting-edge technology and instrumentation for algal research, their primary concern is the development of technologies and innovation to drive algal research globally.
In their clean-room Eden Laboratory facility in Stewartby, England, their algal scientists and engineers use, among other instrumentation, a bank of 20 Algem systems to investigate, develop, and improve algal strains.