Due to the lack of sufficient data on the performance of industrial-scale photobioreactors, fermentation, dewatering/harvesting and extraction equipment, the National Algae Association (NAA) announcing a new collaborative testing center starting in The Woodlands, Texas, USA, beginning in January, 2012.
"If we are really going to help this emerging industry, we must address certain basic businss facts. Investors and commercial lenders must be able to confirm growth rate data, production levels, and/or scalability of turn-key industrial algae production equipment before making investments, financing or loan guarantee committments to any algae production farm.To create values in any industrial PBR technology, or any other process technology for that matter, testing and benchmarking must be done, unless we want to take the same path as the dotcom industry" according to NAA Executive Director Barry Cohen.
As new industrial photobioreactors begin to come online, the NAA strives to continue to do due diligence confirming growth rates and performance data, and to incorporate the results into the specifications being developed by its Engineering and Oil Specs Committees. Industrial photobioreactors are key to the success of the algae production industry and must prove scalability before expanding onto hundreds of acres. Various new lower cost materials are being tested to help lower CAPEX as well as document life-cycle issues.
Process engineers, plastic extruders, sensor, material, tankage, dewatering/harvesting and extraction providers will do collaborative testing and benchmarking.