With the completion of a greenhouse constructed specifically to house the reactor, the scientists at Innolab have been able to start cultivating algal biomass.
It took only three weeks to build the greenhouse, which is constructed from wood, aluminium and polycarbonate.
“This construction is good value for money, and it allows us to improve our temperature control within the reactors,” said Dr Marcella Fernandes de Souza who is project managing the Ghent reactor. “Having the greenhouse means we will be able to better maintain the temperature of the growth medium within the ideal range for the microalgae cells to grow. This will, in turn, allow us to improve our growth rate and productivity.”
The reactor was inoculated for the second time towards the end of December with a mixture of Chlorella and Desmodesmus and to date it appears to be growing well. So much so, the team expect to have their first harvest of algal biomass grown on digestate within a month.