High Yield Algal Biomass Production Without Concentrated CO¬2 Supply Under Open Pond Conditions


Project ID:  D2016-72



Biorefineries are working to create sustainable solutions via conversion of biomass. Microalgae has been a popular choice for biomass inputs due to fast growth rates and their ability to grow on waste waters and marginal lands. Cultivation of microalgae in an open pond system is a less expensive alternative than closed photo-bioreactors. The open pond techniques are performed in mesophilic conditions and require availability of dissolved inorganic carbon to achieve high growth rates. However, mesophilic conditions are a recipe for slow kinetics of atmospheric carbon dioxide absorption. There are alternatives to increase the level of dissolved inorganic carbon, such as using flue gas, but these methods are limited by proximate availability of concentrated CO2 and the high cost of infrastructure to deliver CO2 to the facility and through the pond medium. Supplying CO2 contributes to about $100 to the minimum biomass selling price of $400/ton of dry algae. Therefore, there is a need for a cost effective method to grow algae.


Invention Description

The researchers at The University of Toledo have developed a method of cultivation of microalgae without the need for concentrated carbon dioxide inputs. The technique uses high pH and inorganic carbon buffer, resulting in high growth rates.



•       Production of algae biomass, products, or fuel.



•       Improvement on the economics of algae cultivation

•       Process meets standards for sterilization


       Patent Pending, US20170313972


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Katherine Pollard
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
Sasidhar Varanasi
Sridhar Viamajala
Brahmaiah Pendyala
Agasteswar Vadlamani