277704 Magnetic Separation of Algal for Biofuel Production
Phycal is an algal biofuels company focusing on a hybrid photoautotrophic/heterotrophic open pond system using freshwater algal species. To potentially reduce costs associated with algal biofuels production and/or improve the quality of intermediate steps through improved efficiencies downstream, Phycal is developing strains that can transport and store significantly more iron than wild-type strains. The potential reward is that they can out-compete contaminating species (e.g., algae, bacteria, protozoa, and etc.) for the available iron. Once stored, the iron is in the form of magnetite inside ferritin complexes that are paramagnetic. Thus, in addition to the advantage of iron scavenging, these strains can be manipulated magnetically with the potential of magnetic separation.
In this presentation we will present progress on our Phase II SBIR work to 1) characterize the magnetic susceptibility of genetically engineered and intrinsic magnetic susceptibility as a result of culture conditions, and 2) pilot scale separation systems to “dewater” algae cultures.