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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Algae for Conversion of Manure Nutrients to Energy and Animal Feed: Evaluation of Advanced Nutritional Value, Toxicity, and Zoonotic Pathogens Project Number: 2036-32000-003-04
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Oct 01, 2013
End Date: Aug 31, 2016

Objective:
Advance the development of low-cost microalgae technology to reclaim wastewaters on dairy farms facilities while reducing pathogens and producing an oil-rich biomass for liquid biofuel production.

Approach:
Removal of N, P, and other constituents will be optimized in influent and effluent of identical ponds. Algal biomass (harvested by bioflocculation+settling) will be analyzed for N, P, protein, carbohydrates, and profiles of fatty and amino acids. Pathogen, total bacterial and algal communities in raw and feed-processed algal biomass will be analyzed using metagenomics such as 454 pyrosequencing and GeoChip. Potential toxicity of algal biomass will be studied using toxicity evaluation of cell–free extracts on cultured mammalian cells. A TC 20 Cell counter (BioRad Laboratories) will be used to monitor toxicity events on treated cells using trypan blue staining. Cytotoxic positive samples will be tested for both presence and concentration of known cyanobacterial toxins. The researchers have decades’ experience in algae production, wastewater treatment, and food safety.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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