Enhancing photopigment formation to boost biofuel production

Jessica Brand writes about a HOT Green Chemistry article for Chemistry World

Chlorophyll formation was enhanced when algae were grown in a flask surrounded by a solution of gold and silver nanoparticles

Scientists in Australia have developed a nanoparticle light filter system that only lets through wavelengths favourable for microalgae growth. The system could make producing algal biofuels more efficient.

Photosynthetic systems, particularly microalgae, are at the forefront of the search for new renewable fuels and feedstock chemicals. The speed and efficiency at which microalgae grow is currently limiting them from becoming a commercially viable product so optimising their production is obviously a priority.

Colin Raston from Flinders University and his co-workers at the University of Western Australia have developed a new technique to enhance the formation and accumulation of photopigments, namely chlorophyll, in algae. They cultured Chlorella vulgaris in flasks that were surrounded by a solution of gold and silver nanoparticles. Tweaking the composition and size of the nanoparticles alters the wavelengths of light allowed through to the algae.


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in Green Chemistry:
Enhanced accumulation of microalgal pigments using metal nanoparticle solutions as light filtering devices
Ela Eroglu, Paul K. Eggers, Matthew Winslade, Steven M. Smith and Colin L. Raston  
Green Chem., 2013, 15, 3155-3159, DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41291A

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)