Thinking inside the Brite-Box

 

- Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia

Using Brite-Box algal bioreactors, researchers can vary conditions within the tanks to create innovative algal applications and solutions.
Using Brite-Box algal bioreactors, researchers can vary conditions within the tanks to create innovative algal applications and solutions.

Algae are versatile organisms. They can be developed for a variety of applications from biofuel to sustainable alternatives to plastics and fish feed. Sitting on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, the NRC's marine research station is algae headquarters for the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre. Housed inside this unique facility are 6 1000 L and 14 300 L Brite‑Box algal bioreactors, specialized tanks used to create innovative algal applications and solutions.

Companies and partner organizations work with the NRC to research algae in a variety of ways, each requiring their own specific needs and uses. With the help of these tanks, the marine research station can run scientific tests on many strains of algae.

With the help of specialized tanks, the marine research station can run scientific tests on many strains of algae.
With the help of specialized tanks, the marine research station can run scientific tests on many strains of algae.

"Clients come to us with a strain of algae looking to discover the best conditions for their optimal growth, which helps them along the path towards their targeted commercial applications," says Kevin Stemmler, Technical Officer with the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre at the marine research station. "With these Brite-Box systems, we can vary growth conditions such as the temperature, the pH levels, the light intensity and other parameters in order to do carefully controlled experiments. We can also change from seawater and freshwater, test different media compositions and more."

The NRC has been growing microalgae, seaweeds, and other marine and freshwater organisms at the marine research station in Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia for nearly 50 years. The station is home to NRC experts in algal biology, marine biology, aquaculture, analytical chemistry, and applied nutrition who deliver specialized research solutions for collaborators and clients. The unique and comprehensive facility is outfitted with advanced scientific equipment for the production and research of microalgae.

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