The use of algae in research is rapidly increasing and Iowa State University has created a way to ramp up algae growth and harvesting to feed the need.
Scientists at universities and in private industry are exploring the potential for algae to be used as a fertilizer, a source of biofuel, and as a feed supplement for livestock, among many other applications
Iowa State's new algal production facility built inside a greenhouse on the BioCentury Research Farm in rural Boone went online in January.
The facility contains a simpler, more efficient way to cultivate algae designed by Martin Gross, a graduate assistant in agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Zhiyou Wen, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition.
The new facility produces about 10 pounds of algae a week.