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The University of Southampton
EngineeringOur research

Algal Biomass Facilities

Our interest in this area centre on the engineering design of cultivation systems and the use of marine and freshwater micro-algal biomass for biochemical methane production and as the basis for biorefineries. 

Our facilities include those that we operate in conjunction with partners in Spain. At the experimental site in Almeria we have two large-scale (100 m2) raceway reactors and our research partners the University of Almeria have an extensive range of photobioreactors up to production scale.  The EU FP7 ALL-GAS demonstration project on algal biofuels production has its experimental site at Chiclana de la Frontera, and we are working there with industry partners using a range of production and harvesting facilities. 

At our laboratories in Southampton we have a 320-litre photobioreactor and facilities for producing smaller batches of different algal strains for experimental purposes. Work on the kinetics of algal growth is carried out using our instrumented lab-scale photobioreactors.

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Chlamydomonas grown in the Almeria raceways
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Mark Walker (Research Fellow) building the raceway in Almeria
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Dr John Benemann cutting the first turf at the Chiclana experimental facility
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Measuring the growth rate of algae
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Growing algal starter cultures
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Growing algal starter cultures
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Lab scale instrumented photobioreactor
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Lab scale instrumented photobioreactors
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300-litre photobioreactor in the greenhouse facility
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Testing a paddle wheel in a flume
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Testing diffusers in the experimental raceways in Almeria
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Adjusting a raceway paddle wheel
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Raceways in Almeria Spain
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Algae growing in the raceways in Spain
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Algae growing in the raceways in Spain
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Tubular photobioreactors - Research partners University of Almeria
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Tubular photobioreactors - Research partners University of Almeria
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Pilot scale raceways at Chiclana de la Frontera, Spain (EU All-Gas project)
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Pilot scale algal raceways at the Chiclana facility (EU All-Gas project)
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Algal harvesting facility at the Chiclana facility (EU All-Gas project)
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