What's the latest with our MicroAlgae project?
We've got ALGAE!
After a few small setbacks, we finally got some algae! Unfortunately, there were a few issues with the supply of some of the equipment for the project and so it took us a little longer than anticipated but, in July, we added some algae to the raceway and what a lovely bright green colour it is!
What’s going on?
The carbon dioxide that we are capturing from the brewing process is being piped across the road from the brewery into a polytunnel, inside which sits a 400-litre photobioreactor. There is water in the tubes, in which grows a blue–green algae called spirulina. The carbon dioxide bubbles up through these tubes, where it is taken up by the algae to fuel its photosynthesis.
The polytunnel also houses something called a raceway [pictured here], which can hold a further thousand litres. It is essentially a bath equipped with a paddle that turns very slowly to keep the water inside moving. As the liquid runs around the raceway carbon dioxide is bubbled through it.
Sending samples away for testing
Part of our job is to record the pH and temperature of the algae water daily and then send these sample pots back to Swansea University for analysis. The university will change the culture throughout the course of the project to see which algae is most effective with our Co2 and polytunnel conditions.
Concentrated Algal culture
Here are six bottles of concentrated Algal culture, grown on CO2 from our brewery. This culture has been harvested by a membrane filtration system & is now ready to be transported to Swansea University where they will be centrifuged and turned into a paste.
This paste will then be passed to Phytoquest in Aberystwyth who will find out if this biomass contains any unique metabolites for pharmaceutical application.
This is the exciting part where we should start to see some results 🤞