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Algae Processing & Products Facility



Major Professor: Ronald Sims
Location: 459 E 1650 N,  North Logan, 84341

The Algae Processing and Products Facility (APP) was developed to promote research on algae processing, from biomass production using open pond raceways and biofilm reactors, to chemical, biological, and thermal pretreatment, to production of bioproducts. This uniquely designed facility is located on the Innovation Campus of Utah State University and has been set up to offer multiple power and other operation utilities to five outdoor stations for pilot and full scale testing. The site also houses a greenhouse outfitted with growth systems situated for algae growth, harvesting, and evaluation. The facility includes several indoor work areas that can be isolated for specific research projects as well as a conference room, break room, and lab area for sample analysis. Currently in operation are eight bench-scale raceways, four pilot scale raceways, and one large pilot scale raceway. The facility has been setup to promote a variety of different research projects and the ease of access to utilities and the facility enables a wide array of research scale-up possibilities.

The APP is currently being utilized in the processing of single and mixed culture algae that are cultivated in raceways and rotating algae biofilm reactors (RABRs) for the production of phycocyanin from cyanobacteria growing on produced water and acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE) production from wastewater algae. Algae pretreatment currently includes combined chemical and thermal processes. Also, tests directed to the characterization of algae biofilm structure, function, physiology, and lipid production are being conducted at the APP.