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Has anyone had any experience with the Soley Institute

Hi all,

I am thinking of applying for a grant from the Soley Institute (http://www.soley.cn/) to test algal growth in different PBR's.

Has anyone here won a grant or does anyone know someone who has won a grant from them? I ask because in my mind some things don't quite add up with Soley. For instance they are based in Turkey but they use a chinese (.cn) email address. Also if you win a grant they expect you to forward them a sum of money based on USA taxes, which in itself doesn't seem right (to me at least). Of course they want the money up front before you get anything.

I'm not saying they are a scam, however I find it extremely unusual that there is nothing on the web about Soley except for some unsubstantiated claims of scam.

Any help would be sincerely appreciated.
Thu July 15 2010 04:50:48 AM by Alby 2

PBR's the ultimate design!?

In my early days I confess to growing algae in open tanks. I would take raw seawater and add a NPK fertilizer and aerate it. Interesting exercise but not very useful if you were trying to feed it to a filter feeder. Too much NPK and the dominant strain would be some sort of green filamentous algae which is useless.

Then I started using photobioreactors (PBR's) even though in those days they were never called that. Carboys, bags were what they were. About 15 years ago I was introduced to continuous culture in a PBR and, to me anyway, there is no better method of culturing a high quality monoculture.

Something that has caught my attention over the years is that people always state that open pond systems are cheaper to construct and operate than PBR's. I have never seen any data to support this assumption. One important specific that many people forget is that the number of cells per mL is (somewhat) inversely proportional to volume when comparing closed systems to open ones. Red tides are usually visible at a concentration of about a million cells per litre, yet that concentration is useless to people who want (at least) several million cells per millilitre to make growing algae viable.

Any comments?
Thu May 06 2010 03:13:48 PM by Alby 7

Some statistics?

I have been growing algae for more than 20 years, all as food for various aquaculture species. Now things are a little different and I am working with someone who wants to take flue CO2 and use it to grow algae for other purposes (e.g., human food, feed ingredient etc). Can anyone point me to a reference(s) which details the dry weight of various species. Data that can be verified. I am looking for data which gives values in grams per litre (or can be converted to it) when the algae is harvested in exponential phase. I realize that such a figure can be highly variable due to growing conditions, nutrients, temperature etc. For example, a figure which should be reasonably universal is at what dry weight is Spirulina harvested from open ponds.
Thu May 06 2010 02:47:49 PM by Alby 4