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Title: Review of the cultivation program within the national alliance for advanced biofuels and bioproducts

item LAMMERS, PETER - New Mexico State University
item HUESEMANN, MICHAEL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
item BOEING, WIEBKE - New Mexico State University
item ANDERSON, DANIEL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
item ARNOLD, ROBERT - University Of Arizona
item BROWN, LOUIS - Texas A&M University
item BROWN, JOLA - Texas A&M University
item BROWN, JUDY - University Of Arizona
item DOWNES, C - New Mexico State University
item Sui, Ruixiu

Submitted to: Algal Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2016
Publication Date: 3/1/2017
Citation: Lammers, P., Huesemann, M., Boeing, W., Anderson, D.B., Arnold, R.G., Brown, L., Brown, J., Brown, J., Downes, C.M., Sui, R. 2017. Review of the cultivation program within the national alliance for advanced biofuels and bioproducts. Algal Research. 22:166-186.

Interpretive Summary: Algae can be used as feedstock for biofuel production. Compared to land-based feedstock, algae have higher photosynthetic efficiency and biomass productivity, and do not compete with food crops for arable lands. In recent years, intensive researches are underway to develop large-scale systems to produce algal biomass for biofuels. Scientist at USDA-ARS Crop Production Systems Research Unit in Stoneville, MS worked in the research program of algal cultivation within National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) to develop novel technologies of algal cultivation for biofuels. Researches in the program have made significant progress, which includes development of microalgae biomass growth model, demonstration of successful microalgae cultivation using municipal wastewater and produced water resulting from oil and gas exploration, and improvement of the design of various pond culturing systems. Results from this research program provided very useful information for production of algal biomass for bioenergy in US.

Technical Abstract: The cultivation efforts within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) were developed to provide four major goals for the consortium, which included biomass production for downstream experimentation, development of new assessment tools for cultivation, development of new cultivation reactor technologies, and development of methods for robust cultivation. The NAABB consortium testbeds produced over 1500 kg of biomass for downstream processing. The biomass production included a number of model production strains, but also took into production some of the more promising strains found through the prospecting efforts of the consortium. Cultivation efforts at large scale are intensive and costly, therefore the consortium developed tools and models to assess the productivity of strains under various environmental conditions, at lab scale, and validated these against scaled outdoor production systems. Two new pond-based bioreactor designs were tested for their ability to minimize energy consumption while maintaining and even exceding the productivity algae cultivation compared to traditional systems. Also, molecular markers were developed for quality control and to facilitate detection of bacterial communities associated with cultivated algal species, including the Chlorella spp. pathogen, Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, which was identified in at least two test site locations in Arizona and New Mexico. Finally, the consortium worked on understanding methods to utilize compromised municipal wastewater streams and prodcuced waters for cultivation. This review provides an overview of the cultivation methods and tools developed by the NAABB consortium to produce algae biomass, in robust low energy systems, for biofuel production.