Industrial Scale Winter Farming of Cryophilic Microalgae

One of the major drawbacks of algal biotechnology in temperate climates is the enormous energy requirement during the winter season. In most cases the costs for heating and artificial light disable economically feasible production using the common, mesophilic model strains. Nevertheless and despite the nonfavourable limitations by the law of thermodynamics as well as low solar irradiation during the cold season, nature has evolved perfectly adapted specialists.

These so-called cryophilic or cryotolerant algae show remarkable productivities at around the freezing point, as may be observed by algal blooms in polar sea ice or on alpine glaciers during spring.

In close collaboration with Prof. Rüdiger Schulz and coworkers (Botanical Institute, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel) we do investigate cryotolerant microalgae aiming to select biotechnologically relevant strains with low temperature optima and high yield of the desired products.

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