Adapting Mass Algaculture for a Northern Climate

  • Jesse C. McNichol
  • Patrick J. McGinn
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 25)


Most attention for algal biofuel-related schemes has been focused on ‘optimal’ locations, such as the southwestern USA. While these locations have clear advantages such as high yearly insolation and availability of unused land, we believe a case can also be made for adapting algal biofuels for a diversity of ‘suboptimal’ climates. The key, as in other regions, will be to link algaculture with industrial and municipal waste resources, including nutrients from wastewater and CO2 from point source industrial emissions. Productivities comparable to warmer climates may be obtained throughout the year by a combination of factors, including appropriate strain selection for low temperature and waste heat utilization, or by switching to a heterotrophic growth mode when light is insufficient for productive photosynthesis. In this manner, mass algaculture and associated R&D can be justified by offering valuable remediatory functions (i.e. tertiary wastewater treatment and CO2 abatement), rather than relying on optimistic estimations of oil and biomass productivity to spur development in this field.


Anaerobic Digestion Algal Biomass Waste Heat Microalgal Biomass Redfield Ratio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Marine BiosciencesNational Research Council of CanadaHalifaxCanada

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