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Research project: Spring ponds - algal biomass systems

Currently Active: 

This work is a continuation and development of previous projects on waste stabilisation pond systems, carried out in conjunction with partners in Kazakhstan (see INTAS and INCO-Copernicus projects in this area).

Project Overview

The results of the work have led to novel approaches aimed at designing for seasonal variation and local climate conditions. The research has now developed into the broader theme of non-steady state conditions, with much wider applications.

 Research topics include

  • Development of simple climate-based models for design and performance of pond systems in different regions
  • Application of existing complex models to algal systems
  • Investigation of the potential of parameters such as oxygen productivity as an indicator of the health of algal systems
  • Light penetration in pure and mixed algal cultures
  • Growth of other microbial groups, such as purple non-sulphur bacteria

Algal biomass

The work is based on operation, monitoring and modelling of algal systems, with facilities including instrumented ponds and 1000-litre temperature-controlled tanks for algal growth.  Work carried out by the Bioenergy group is also looking at the potential for algal production as a source of biomass for renewable energy and product generation for biorefineries.

Related research groups

Water and Environmental Engineering Group
Growth in natural and semi-controlled conditions
Spring ponds
Cultures of Chlorella, Scenedesmus and mixed purple bacteria
Instrumented ponds in Kazakhstan
Instrumented ponds
Experimental algal ponds in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Experimental algal ponds


Key Publications


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