Oilgae Club - an Online Community for Algae Fuel Enthusiasts Worldwide.

Blogs under tag Diatom

ALGAE IN DARKNESS Posted by AlgaeNova on Wed March 16 2011 10:19:50 AM 33

The
world’s oceans teem with unicellular algae that carry out
photosynthesis in the sunlight. It has been known for a while that the
particularly abundant diatoms (unicellular algae with a silicate
frustule) are also able to survive in the dark bottom of the ocean,
where neither photosynthesis nor respiration with oxygen is possible.
Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology now
disclose this artifice of the algae in the journal Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences: In darkness, the diatoms breathe with
nitrate in place of oxygen.
Microalgae
often measure only a few hundredths of a millimeter, but due to their
vast abundance in the world’s oceans they are responsible for about 40%
of the marine primary production, i.e., the biomass production via
carbon dioxide fixation in the sunlight. They often appear as massive
blooms near the sea surface or as greenish-brownish meadows on the sea
floor, if still reached by sunlight. However, diatoms (unicellular algae
with a silicate frustule) are also able to survive in the absence of
sunlight and oxygen, for instance, buried in the sea floor. Anja Kamp,
Dirk de Beer, Jana L. Nitsch, Gaute Lavik, and Peter Stief, scientists
at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen cultivated
several diatom species in the laboratory to explore the metabolic
process that allows the tiny algae to survive in darkness. A correlation
was found between the nitrate that is stored by a diatom cell and its
ability to survive in the absence of sunlight and oxygen. The more
nitrate the cell contained, the longer it could survive in darkness
where the cell does not have the possibility to produce oxygen via
photosynthesis for its own respiration. In experiments with the
coffee-bean-shaped diatom Amphora coffeaeformis, the scientists proved
that diatoms use the nitrate stored in their cells for respiration in
the absence of oxygen. Within just one day, most of the stored nitrate
is used up, converted to ammonium, and excreted by the cell. A key
finding of the Max-Planck scientists was that diatoms use nitrate just
for respiration rather than for biomass production, as would be the case
in sunlight. Anja Kamp says: “The rapid consumption of nitrate and the
absence of biomass production tell us that nitrate respiration in
diatoms is a metabolic process that only serves to prepare the cell for a
resting stage and therefore nitrate respiration is not sustained for
longer time periods.”

In bacteria, nitrate respiration in the absence of oxygen is nothing
exceptional, as many of the bacteria studied at the Max-Planck-Institute
are able to breathe with nitrate, sulfate, or even iron compounds. It
is more spectacular to discover that algae, i.e., organisms with a cell
nucleus, are able carry out both photosynthesis and nitrate respiration,
each under different environmental conditions. These results have just
been published in the renowned interdisciplinary journal Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences.

For more information follow this link: http://idw-online.de/en/news413265

The Chesapeake Algae Project Posted by AlgaeNova on Wed September 29 2010 10:59:43 AM 2

Today I
received my newsletter from the algaeindustrymagazine.com with this report:



The
Chesapeake Algae Project brings together W&M scientists and their partners
to figure out how to use algae to generate bio fuel while cleaning polluted
waters...



And could
watch the video clip of all the efforts being made to re-establish a eutrophied
lake. After having watched this, seeing all the earnest and engaged scientists
and experts I had to smile a little bit remembering the German saying. -Viele
Koeche verderben den Brei-  which means when you translate it - Too many cooks
will spoil the dinner.

What is it
this people want to achieve? Turn a lake into an algae pond or do they want the lake back as it was, a healthy water with all aquatic live in a natural balance
?



If they
start harvesting the algae from the lake to make a business out of the
biomasses (this is said to be the goal), than they have to keep the algae
growing or the productivity will decrease throughout this process, - meaning
they have to keep on fertilizing the waters. Not all the fishes in this waters
will feed on algae, meaning you can count on a loss in biodiversity. The way
they are harvesting the algae, - and I can see no other way to do it either, - is
skimming of the algae with some sort of sieve or screen but with this method
you will also remove all kinds of phytoplankton and zooplankton which results
in even more loss of species and in destroying the natural habitat even more.A clear
statement in this video clip was made that all the efforts to clean this lake
should be made economical feasible?- in my understanding this means Good
by lake, youll become now a huge algae breeding pond.



This is the
most complicated attempt to clean a polluted lake and the final gaol is not to
bring back the natural balance, but to trim it for productivity by mono
culturing.



?We help
nature to help us? this is what Mr. Sampath Kumar, the inventor of NUALGI once
wrote to me. And Mr. Bhaskar (a member of this community!), who stands for the
marketing of NUALGI will be able to confirm this -  there is a simple but very effective way to
clean up such waters that are so heavily eutrophied and to restore the natural
balance ? simply use diatoms! Inspired by the ingenious invention I have made a
presentation to demonstrate the astonishing simple method to clean up with algae
bloom and eutrophication:



 http://www.behance.net/gallery/DIATOM/632929



I am the
last one who is against the use of algae biomasses for economical use of all
kind, - even for bio fuel, but such a production should only be in a controllable
environment and not in natural waters. For gods sake, - leave nature alone. We
have exploited already too much of it, destroyed and polluted we should care
for the rest we still have. If this Chesapeake Algae Project serves as an
example of how to use natural waters for the production of algae biomasses, others will come to do it likewise. All with the argument that it is an economical
way to produce environmental friendly BIO FUEL, - and than good night to natural
lakes. It is so much cheaper to fertilize a lake causing artificial algae
bloom, than skimming off the algae (and with it all other form of plankton)
than having to run an open pond system or even a photo bio reactor. It is like
burning down rainforest to plant oil-palms, sugar cane or jatropa nuts, - its
nuts!