Louise Hall is taught the finer points of algae cultivation in the lab by colleague Fleuriane Fernandes.
My first 100 days of ALG-AD by project manager Louise Hall
I am so impressed and grateful to the team, and am excited to see first-hand the progress we make on our project.Louise Hall, ALG-AD project manager
Our ALG-AD Project manager, Louise Hall, has been reflecting on her experience with the team to date, and put this blog together to share with us. We hope it gives you some insight into the day to day work of the team, and if you’d like to find out more please follow us on Twitter, or join the conversation on LinkedIn.
“It has been just over 100 days since I have been lucky enough to get involved in the world of algae, and I am discovering a whole sector I had no idea existed!
Having worked in a variety of project management roles over the years, I am always interested to find out more from the experts I work with, and this has been an exceptional insight.
Within the first few days, I had learnt a whole new terminology… AD, digestate, membrane, inoculation, PBR, Chlorella, fractionation, characterisation … all processes and technologies used in our project which are now becoming familiar terms to me, even as one of the non-scientists on the team!
On ALG-AD, we have a highly experienced and supportive team who are passionate about their work, and who are only too happy to explain the processes involved – be it to academic audiences through conferences and publications, to businesses through engagement events, to children at public engagement festivals, or to colleagues such as myself, from a completely different background and sector.
I have been able to visit our two of our pilot facilities, one in Devon, and one in Brittany, which are trialing a new approach to use food and farm waste to grow algae, which will then be used as an animal feed. I find this incredible! A complete circular economy approach which will take waste materials from agriculture, such as the run off from milking cows, then through anaerobic digestion, this is transformed into nutrient rich digestate – some of which goes back on to the land as fertiliser, and some of which can be used to grow algae.
I have also learned that algae is almost magical, in that there are so many different uses, and problems which can be solved by algae
For example- did you know that there are nuns in Africa combatting child malnutrition with algae?
Algae is also used in cosmetics, medicines, can be used to produce energy, and can even be used as a replacement for single-use plastic – a hugely significant challenge faced by our society.
I am so impressed and grateful to the team, and am excited to see first-hand the progress we make on our project. I am hopeful we will successfully prove this new technology works, and can be used to reduce waste in our increasingly fragile environment. “
I have also learned that algae is almost magical, in that there are so many different uses, and problems which can be solved by algaeLouise Hall, ALG-AD project manager
The bottles used to cultivate algae in the lab.
From lab scale, algae cultivation at Swansea University is able to move on to a small pilot scale reactor.