Promising results from our inaugural 2014 season of our ALGOLAND project lead us into the 2015 season, with our photobioreactor up and running, and our new microalgae communities happily growing. In our Monday morning seminar this week, Fredrik Svensson – now a laboratory engineer! – took us through last year’s samples, month by month, during the cycle of microalgae growth and consequential CO2 uptake of flue gas produced by the Cementa factory on Degerhamn. Seeing an algal CO2 uptake of 40%-50% got the whole room excited for this year’s first sample collection!
Of course, as is typical in any pilot experiment, a fluke occurrence gave the team a bright idea for increasing productivity. During a mid-September sample collection, an improperly closed lid caused the growth of one community to exceed far above average. Naturally, this gave the ALGOLAND team the inclination that to increase productivity in 2015, samples will be taken more frequently. In addition, the growing season has begun earlier in the year, and the team is in the process of designing a greenhouse – sturdy enough to survive the windy Degerhamn weather – in order to prolong the season.
With one year down, we head into a longer and hopefully even more productive growing season, and a future filled with possibilities for increasing sustainability in the world.