What can algae do for your research? That was the focus of the networking event and tour at AlgaePARC on July 1st. AlgaePARC on Wageningen Campus is the facility where cutting-edge algae research is taking place. From across the Campus and beyond scientists and product developers were connecting their own research fields and technologies to algae. The event was organised by the Bioprocess Engineering group & AlgaePARC, together with Sharing Research Facilities (SRF).
At the welcome and introduction of Sharing Research Facilities Monique Bremer highlighted the importance and opportunities of sharing WUR’s advanced research facilities with researchers from in and outside WUR. These facilities are an irreplaceable cornerstone of WUR’s excellent research and education and is a flywheel for new research topics and funding.
Research at AlgaePARC
Maria Barbosa, professor in Microalgal Biotechnology with the Bioprocess Engineering group, provided the background on the research and the facilities: ’Since 2010 research at AlgaePARC is aimed at improving growth and production yields e.g., through algae strain selection and increasing the understanding of (lipid) metabolism and improving reactor design and process optimization, and the outdoors facilities, taking into account the techno-economic analysis. It is also working on developing the biorefinery on pilot and lab scale, with emphasis on mild processing technologies.’
The tour took the participants, from the lab, from strains and growth, via lab scale set-ups and prototypes, right through upscaling and unto the larger outdoors reactors.
At the networking end of the event prof. René Wijffels explored with the participants new research topics or collaborations, in the fields of food, feed, bio fertilizers and wastewater treatment, and also wishes in processes, strains and pilot or lab scale set-ups. An array of opportunities were mentioned from fundamental scientific topics, such as coatings, to mixed strain development and low tech processing.