The Technical University of Munich, Germany, has opened their new AlgaeTec facility to develop new processes for producing biokerosene and renewable chemical products. Supported by Airbus, the state-of-the-art, energy-efficient building is able to simulate growing conditions around the world. Two outer halls are capable of simulating tropical and arid conditions, while a middle hall is designated for cultivation and preparatory experiments.
Of the 150,000 known species of algae in the world, only 5,000 have been characterized and only ten are commercially exploitable. Part of the center's work will see how different types of algae function in environments vastly different from their native climate.
"No one can predict whether or not a specific alga from the South Pacific will be just as productive in Germany as it is in its native environment," says Brück. "In the same vein, no one knows whether species which are successful in Bavaria would function as well in the light conditions of the Sahara, but now we can test all of this in our technical facilities."
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