Algae and Seagrass Research Group

Commercial-scale microalgae culture

The production of valuable products and services through the use of microalgae culture is a major research and development focus of the Centre. In the past we have studied developed processes for the production of the carotenoids beta-carotene and astaxanthin use in microalgae. Most recently we concluded a major project on using saline microalgae to produce biofuels which culminated with a pilot plant being constructed in Karratha, WA. This project is now being continued by Muradel Pty Ltd, a joint venture company between Murdoch University, University of South Australia and SQC Pty Ltd.

Current projects include the development of new highly productive and salt-tolerant strains of diatoms for the production of biofuels and long-chain fatty acids, new carotenoids, an integrated culture system which uses the solar spectrum more efficiently and produces both electricity and algal biomass, and the development of new methods to non-destructively harvest hydrocarbons produced by microalgae.