Mechanical CO2 sequestration improves algae production
By Mary Page Bailey |
A new, mechanical method for sequestration of carbon dioxide into water was evaluated at the University of Texas’ (Austin; www.utexas.edu) Bioproducts and Bioenergy Analytical Service Center and has revealed a pathway to economically improve algae growth for production of oils. “Existing sequestration technology generally uses some type of sparger to dissolve CO2 in water and make it available to algae. Much of the gas is not dissolved and escapes back into the atmosphere. Our technology results in a supersaturated CO2-water environment where CO2 is more available to algae, resulting in a 95% increase in algae growth,” says Gregory Borsinger, one of the inventors of the technology.
The new system employs a rotor-stator device that is operated under conditions that are thought to induce cavitation, which results in the supersaturation of gases into liquids. The highly saturated CO2 solution creates an environment of maximized photosynthetic productivity for algae production — in laboratory trials, the CO2 saturated in the media was consumed for algae production in just 24 hours.
According to Borsinger, the team from the University of Texas has observed unprecedented increases in algae growth using this new technology when…