Inoculation day arrives for first ALG-AD pilot

The first of ALG-AD’s three large scale pilot photobioreactors has been inoculated for the first time at Langage AD in Plymouth, Devon.

The algae culture was transported from Swansea University on Tuesday morning (12th March). Initial readings are positive, and the algae appears to be settling in to its new environment.

The 4800 litre reactor will now run continuously, growing algae on the nutrient rich digestate produced at the Langage Anaerobic Digestion plant.

“Today was a really important day for the ALG-AD project,” said Dr Claudio Fuentes Grunewald. “Now we are able to scale up our project and test the science in an industrial setting.

“We are going to allow the algae to settle into their new environment and grow, and in a couple of weeks’ time we will harvest the algae and test the biomass produced. So far, things are looking promising.”

ALG-AD is using the excess nutrients created by the anaerobic process at Langage to feed the algae. Tests will be conducted throughout the process to measure the uptake by the algae of nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients. The resulting biomass, once harvested, will be measured and sent to colleagues in Brittany for further analysis.

The team celebrate completion of the inoculation of the bioreactor at Langage. Left to right are: Dr Claudio Fuentes-Grunewald, Dr Darren Oatley-Radcliffe, Vanessa Ndovela, Fleuriane Fernandes, Jose Ignacio and Dr Yilu Xu.

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