The cultivation of algae offers a cost-effective way of producing bio-fuels all year round with minimal use of land. These are important prerequisites for large-scale commercial production of bio-fuels.
In our research team at the University of Queensland, Australia, we use
functional genomics and in vitro evolution approaches to improve efficiencies
production from algae. Our development of new improved microalgae strains
aims to maximise bio-diesel or bio-hydrogen production in reactors and
open/closed pond systems. We work closely together with our collaborators
Olaf Kruse and Clemens Posten as well as industry partners that are interested
in new algae crop varieties and biofuel production to cover the future
Using functional genomics we have identified regulatory genes that provide tools for further improvement of bio-fuel producing algae strains. Recently, we have developed a meta-genomics and an in vitro evolution approach for biodiscovery of new algae strains. By applying cutting edge high-throughput analysis tools it currently offers the opportunity to pioneer in this widely unknown area.
Our goals are:
- To develop high-yielding bio-hydrogen-producing algae crop varieties
- To develop high-yielding bio-diesel-producing algae crop varieties
- To develop suitable bio-reactor and open or closed pond systems for large-scale commercial production
- To minimise costs and maximise environmental benefits by making use of low quality water (waste-water or high salt contents) for algae nutrition and cultivation on marginal or unused areas
- To further maximise benefits by using algal biomass for either biogas production or for carbon sequestration using dried pellets
- To facilitate rapid commercialisation of new algal biofuel technology by closely collaborating with industry partners