Algal Production Facility

The 720 square-foot Algal Production Facility is outfitted with various cultivation systems to quickly grow algal biomass for algae-based research projects including renewable fuels, nutraceuticals and livestock feed. The facility is able to produce 1.3 to 4.5 kilograms of dried algal biomass per week.


Algae Production Systems

Various production systems located in the facility are being used to grow the algae, including flat panel bioreactors and two raceway pond systems.

The Algal Production Facility enables researchers to conduct pilot-scale research year-round in a geothermally heated and cooled greenhouse. The facility includes:

  • Two 3,000-L raceway ponds
  • Four 200-L flat panel photobioreactors
  • One 250 ft2 biofilm-based reactor

The facility's research laboratory includes:

  • Long-term viable algal agar slant storage system
  • Flask culture systems
  • Tubular airlift photobioreactors (300 to 2,000 mL)
  • Flat panel photobioreactors (4 to 16 L)

The facility has access to various growth and sample analysis technologies that can assess:

  • Temperature
  • Light intensity
  • pH
  • Cell density
  • Moisture content
  • Lipid, protein, carbohydrate and ash contents

Facility Sponsors

The Algal Production Facility is supported by Grow Iowa Values Fund, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Bioeconomy Institute and Iowa NSF EPSCoR. Partners include Gross Renewables, Superior EcoTech and Wave Tech.

For more information, contact:

Zhiyou Wen, Professor-in-Charge, (515) 294-0426,
Martin Gross, Facility Manager, (515) 294-3011,

Algal Production Facility
The Algal Production Facility