Systems Engineering Approach For Algae Production

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) works with customers in a phased approach to design systems and facilities to meet specific requirements and to integrate key technologies to improve productivity and efficiency. The company is experienced in design, procurement, construction, operations, growth management, training, and economic evaluations and commercialization planning. As algae-biomass demand increases, GA-EMS' solutions can be scaled to expand production.

The company's unique approach features:

Expanding Pond Design – Standard pond designs use paddle wheels for mixing and are limited to one to two acres in surface area. GA-EMS' pond design is scalable to very large size, i.e., >50 acres each, which dramatically increases production yield potential and cuts capital and operating costs through the use of fewer pumps, instruments, and support personnel, and simpler electrical and piping distribution systems.

CO2 Utilization – GA-EMS has proven the ability to collect CO2 from a power plant exhaust stack, store it with minimal long-term losses in a form useable as a carbon source for algae growth, and feed it to algae for direct assimilation. The system's design offers significantly greater efficiencies than standard CO2 collection and utilization technology.

Reduced Water Handling – GA-EMS' use of higher-density algal cultures results in a significant reduction in the volume of water that must be handled for biomass production. Lower fluid handling requirements translate to fewer and smaller pumps, smaller harvesting and water recovery systems, and reduced energy requirements for fluid circulation.

Contamination Control – GA-EMS has successfully operated large outdoor ponds with minimal contamination, without having to resort to the use of extremophiles and their associated lower growth rates. Enhanced contamination resistance allows higher-growth rate algae species to be used and minimizes the use of costly photobioreactors.