Using light as an energy source, photosynthetic microalgae can be used to produce products like biofuels and cosmetics. But algae grown in a reactor block out the light on which they feed. New reactor designs could solve this problem and help the industry move forward.
Photosynthetic algae – tiny algae that use light to grow – offer an alternative to traditional fossil fuels. The small amount of lipids each cell produces can be harvested to produce biofuel for the transport industry. Currently, there are two main designs to grow the algae: either through an outdoor artificial ‘pond’ or through a closed ‘photobioreactor’ – usually a transparent tube or bag. For more information see the IDTechEx report on 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 2020-2030: COVID Edition . Both have their problems. Although an open pond can be big enough for industrial production, it is difficult to control the pond’s temperature […]
Researchers from UNIDEMI at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa in Portugal took note of the fact that, while 3D printing...