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A technology developed to increase commercially viable and scaleable algae yields was lauched recently by Bionavitas, Inc. The process, Light Immersion Technology™, involves immersing the light source, natural or artifical, in the algae culture which, says the company, produces an order of magnitude more algae biomass than existing growth methods.
Nearly every large scale approach to algae growth has been challenged by a simple fact of nature: as algae grow, they become so dense they block the light needed for continued growth. This “self-shading” phenomenon results in a layer that limits the amount of algae per acre that can be grown and harvested. The Light Immersion Technology enables algae growth layer in open ponds to be up to a meter deep. The company says this represents a 10 to 12 fold increase in yield over previous methods that produced only 3-5 centimeters of growth.
10-12 times increase. Now, that’s really massive. Let’s hope this is not just PR or a freak idea but is something that actually can be sustained in an energy effective way.
Essentially what they are doing is using “a system of light rods which extend deep into the algae culture.” It will be interesting to know what materials these rods comprise of and more inputs on the same. Is this light distribution entirely passive, or is energy required for light distribution for layers underneath?
I tried their web site, but could not find more inputs…will keep an eye open for more developments on this…
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