Making light work
Xanthella has an active programme of research underpinning our technology. We are particularly interested in the use of light in growing and manipulating algae in photobioreactors. The influence of different parameters of light (intensity, wavelength, flash rate, etc) on both growth and on the production of target compounds is known but poorly understood. There is great potential for improving the cost effectiveness of algal production through tailoring the light regime in photobioreactors. We are aiming towards a situation where users of our technology will be able to enter the strain of algae they are using and the desired production of compound and the Zeus unit will configure the PBR for optimal production of the target compound. We are a long way off this ideal at present but our research collaborations are aiming towards this. There is also potential for improving algal production using solar light through wavelength manipulation and light guiding and we have a research programme in collaboration with St Andrews studying this.
There is considerable interest globally in using algae as part of integrated solutions to waste and pollution problems, either as a stand-alone technology or in conjunction with other technologies such as anaerobic digestion or microbial fuel cells. Xanthella is working with a number of other companies, academic groups and public sector bodies to investigate the potential of algae to form a major component of the Circular Economy. Using waste carbon dioxide and nutrients from industrial processes to grow algae for biofuels is an obvious target and may provide an answer to problems of fuel security in islands and other remote communities. Alternatively, the algae can be used to produce high value compounds either for local use or for export, strengthening local economies.
Xanthella are currently engaged in an exciting project to fully explore the potential use of algae alongside renewable electricity to provide new industry for the rural parts of Scotland. This project is supported by various agencies including Zero Waste Scotland and the Local Energy Challenge Fund and our partners include Robert Gordon’s University, the University of Strathclyde and ALIenergy.
Xanthella are keen to be involved in challenging R&D projects that can use our technology and expertise. Our management team have extensive experience of participating in and managing R&D programmes at both national and international level. We are an independent SME so an ideal partner for European Horizon 2020 projects and for any industry led programmes. Please contact us if you have a project you think we may be interested in.