ASU’s algae testbed facility to benefit from Heliae’s HelixTM photobioreactor featuring specialized SCHOTT glass tubing technology
SCHOTT North America, Heliae, and Arizona State University (ASU) today announced a partnership to bring Heliae’s algae production technology to ASU’s algae testbed facility. Through the partnership, SCHOTT, a global leader in glass innovation, financed a HelixTM photobioreactor built by Heliae and installed at ASU’s Department of Energy (DOE)-funded algae testbed facility on its Polytechnic campus. Over the next several years, algae research staff at ASU will leverage the HelixTM photobioreactor for pioneering research that will forward the understanding of algae production technology, including an investigation into the effect of glass tubing innovation on the yields and economics of algae production. The reactor will also deliver the production of high-quality algae cultures, which will support broader ASU algae operations.
The DOE-sponsored testbed at ASU is part of the Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3), a network of algae industry leaders, national labs, and research facilities. Led by ASU, ATP3 enables both researchers and third party companies to succeed in their algal endeavors by providing a national network of testbed systems and other services, such as research and education. Heliae, a technology-driven algae production company, designed, built and installed the HelixTM inoculum reactor late in 2013. Over the course of the multi-year research plan, ASU will manage HelixTM operations and research, while Heliae and SCHOTT will support the project in an advisory capacity.
As a key facet of the program, SCHOTT will continually supply novel glass tubing configurations to be placed within the HelixTM platform for validation and performance analysis. SCHOTT’s new CONTURAX® oval glass tubing will likely replace current tubing later in 2014. Its oval shape offers a larger surface area for better light utilization and penetration, which should increase the productivity of the reactor, thereby reducing operating costs. In addition to testing various types of glass configurations, ASU will analyze the growth of various algae strains, production regimes, and light conditions, while offering a powerful tool to enhance ongoing operations at ATP3.
“To develop world-class technology, it’s essential to partner and collaborate with the best innovators in the industry,” said Dan Simon, Heliae’s president and CEO. “For glass innovation, there is no equal to SCHOTT, and the interactions between Heliae’s and SCHOTT’s research and development teams over the years have helped both companies develop world-class technology that will truly enable this industry.”
“SCHOTT and Heliae have been working together on technology development for years, as Heliae’s technical leadership in the algae industry is unmatched,” said Dr. Nikolaos Katsikis, Director Business Development SCHOTT Tubing. “Pairing our history in glass innovation with Heliae’s demonstrated algae expertise will continue to produce commercial technology for the growing algae industry. This partnership and public research are great steps in bringing efficiency and cost reduction to producers of high-quality algae around the world.”
“By linking academic and commercial interests, we aim to accelerate the pace of innovation in algae research and development,” said Gary Dirks, Director of ATP3 and the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability. “Pairing the skills of ASU algae researchers and technicians with technology from industrial partners like Heliae and SCHOTT brings ATP3 closer to its mission of propelling algae technology into a commercial realm.”
Heliae® is a platform technology company that uses sunlight and low-cost carbon feedstocks to produce high-value products from algae. Based in Gilbert, Ariz., Heliae is leveraging its core production technology into four target markets: personal care, nutrition, therapeutics, and agrosciences. With a seasoned management team and world-class science, Heliae is advancing the future of the algae industry by delivering novel algae-based products to dynamic markets around the world. www.heliae.com
SCHOTT is an international technology group with more than 125 years of experience in the areas of specialty glass and materials and advanced technologies. SCHOTT ranks number one in the world with many of its products. Its core markets are the household appliance, pharmaceuticals, electronics, optics, transportation, and architecture industries. The company is strongly committed to contributing to its customers’ success and making SCHOTT an important part of people’s lives with high-quality products and intelligent solutions. SCHOTT is committed to managing its business in a sustainable manner and supporting its employees, society, and the environment. The SCHOTT Group maintains close proximity to its customers with manufacturing and sales units in 35 countries. Its workforce of approximately 16,000 employees generated worldwide sales of $2.6 billion (approximately 2.0 billion euros) for the 2011/2012 fiscal year.
Arizona State University is the largest public research university in the United States under a single administration, with total student enrollment of more than 70,000 in metropolitan Phoenix, the nation’s sixth-largest city. ASU is creating a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real-world application, blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 120 nations.
Led by ASU, ATP3 serves as a learning environment for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and business leaders to help accelerate the research and development of algae-based technologies. The ATP3 open test bed and evaluation facilities are a hub for research and commercialization of algae-based biofuels and other biomass co-products. ATP3 is a network of private industries, educational institutions and national labs. ATP3 is made possible by a $15 million US Department of Energy competitive grant from its Bioenergy Technologies Office. For more about ATP3, visit atp3.org.
Source: Schott North America
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