Montana State University researchers say they have discovered a chemical trigger that could double algae oil yield.
The chemical trigger is a well-timed dose of bicarbonate, a low-cost, easy-to-use chemical, similar to common stomach antacids. These results were presented on the first day of the Algal Biomass Summit in Phoenix, Ariz.
When given to algae during a specific point in its growth cycle, the bicarbonate doubles the rate of production of triacylglycerol, the key precursor to biodiesel. Some cultures have shown nearly three times faster rates of triacylglycerol accumulation, which would result in significant cost savings for biofuel manufacturers. This effect has been shown in both diatoms and in green alga.
The technology is available for licensing to interested companies and entrepreneurs.
Source : MSU News