Devarenne Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics
Dr. Timothy Devarenne, Ph.D.
Participation in entrepreneurial ventures and business development activities
Seeking undergraduate students with a passion for sustainability and renewable energy. No prior experience necessary, all team members will receive training. Relevant majors include, but are not limited to: Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Management Information Systems, Technology Management
Botryococcus braunii is a species of green algae that forms colonies and produces petroleum-equivalent liquid hydrocarbons. This organism could be an industrial-scale source of renewable and valuable advanced bioproducts. However, it is first necessary to build a strong understanding of the basic biological properties of B. braunii. A key component of this process is the cultivation and collection of the algae for further study. Numerous technologies already exist for harvesting algae and have been thoroughly reviewed (1). Some research has focused specifically on methods for harvesting B. braunii, including magnetic nanocomposites (2), magnetic flocculants (3), polymer immobilization (4), starch-based flocculants (6), thermoreversible gels (7), and glycine-induced harvesting (8). This project will focus on testing and optimizing a method for high-throughput collection and storage of algae biomass. It will involve the following activities: • Identify and implement tools for automated sample management • Prepare synthetic media and manage cultivation of algae biomass • Build and test protocols for magnetic or centrifugal biomass collection • Measure and analyze physical properties of the collected biomass • Develop and assess plans for scale-up and commercialization To apply, submit resume to Daniel Browne (firstname.lastname@example.org) References 1. N. Pragya, K. K. Pandey, P. K. Sahoo, A review on harvesting, oil extraction and biofuels production technologies from microalgae. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 24, 159-171 (2013). 2. S. Hena, N. Fatihah, S. Tabassum, J. Lalung, S. Y. Jing, Magnetophoretic harvesting of freshwater microalgae using polypyrrole/Fe3O4 nanocomposite and its reusability. Journal of Applied Phycology, (2015). 3. S. K. Wang et al., Magnetic flocculant for high efficiency harvesting of microalgal cells. ACS applied materials & interfaces 6, 109-115 (2014). 4. N. D. Giraldo Calderón, K. C. Díaz Bayona, L. Atehortúa Garcés, Immobilization of the green microalga Botryococcus braunii in polyester wadding: Effect on biomass, fatty acids, and exopolysaccharide production. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology 14, 80-87 (2018). 5. K. Gerulová et al., Magnetic Fe 3 O 4 -polyethyleneimine nanocomposites for efficient harvesting of Chlorella zofingiensis, Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorella sorokiniana, Chlorella ellipsoidea and Botryococcus braunii. Algal Research 33, 165-172 (2018). 6. C. Peng, S. Li, J. Zheng, S. Huang, D. Li, Harvesting Microalgae with Different Sources of Starch-Based Cationic Flocculants. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 181, 112-124 (2017). 7. B. Estime, D. Ren, R. Sureshkumar, Cultivation and energy efficient harvesting of microalgae using thermoreversible sol-gel transition. Scientific reports 7, 40725 (2017). 8. Y. Shen, W. Zhu, C. Chen, Y. Nie, Glycine induced culture-harvesting strategy for Botryococcus braunii. Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 121, 424-430 (2016)