Renewable energy by algal biofuel

 

TITLE

Renewable energy by algal biofuel

STAFF

Maria Teresa Giardi
Giuseppina Rea
Arianna Tibuzzi*
Viviana Scognamiglio*
Daniela Giannini*
Gianni Pezzotti*
Ittalo Pezzotti*
Francesca Vergari
[*] Personale non strutturato


KEYWORDS

Solar energy conversion, biohybrid device, biofuel, photobioreactor

COLLABORATIONS

Università di Roma Tor Vergata-Center for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy (http://www.chose.uniroma2.it/); CNR-IBP Napoli (http://www.ibp.cnr.it); CNR-ISMAC Milano (http://www.ismac.cnr.it); Star Srl (http://www.star-srl.it/); Ambiente & Energia srl (http://www.ambienteenergia.com/); Troiani&Ciarrocchi Srl (http://www.gruppotec.it/); Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II"-CRIAcq (www.acquacoltura.unina.it); Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope (http://www.uniparthenope.it/); Ben Gurion University (http://cmsprod.bgu.ac.il/Eng/Home/): biosensor.srl (www.biosensor.it)

DESCRIPTION

If integrated with solid state electronics, photosynthetic complexes can offer an attractive architecture for future generations of devices where the high efficiently produced photocurrent can be properly exploited. One potential application is in the solar energy conversion, relying on the high efficiency electron transport generated by photon absorption in the Reaction Center protein complex. Our group can provide engineered and biologically derived photosynthetic components, such as Reaction Centers and Light Harvesting complexes isolated from bacteria (e.g. Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides) and algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtti), to be embedded with organic polymers to produce an active biohybrid layer able to collect photons and activate one of the fastest and most efficient electron transfer in nature. Our deep competence in molecular biology and bioinformatics support the production of biologic material for an efficient light absorption and photocurrent coupling.

The use of microalgae as high productivity biomass to produce biofuel and biooil is another line of study within our group. Our objective is to obtain algal strains enhanced in lipid content, the key parameter for an efficient production of biooil. We propose a combined approach of genetic engineering and elicitation of algae cultures for the optimization of the lipid production process, that is variable according to the genotype. Therefore we select the genotypes exhibiting the highest lipid content from an already established library of algal mutants available in our laboratories. The lipid content is measured for different algae mutants, at different growth steps and for different culture conditions (nutrients, light intensity, temperature) to identify the most suitable chemical and physical parameters in charge of the lipid increment. In addition, by the gene expression analysis we can identify the main genes responsible for the accumulation and induction of lipids inside the cell membrane and focus our metabolic engineering activity.

 

Renewable energy by algal biofuel - Img

 

CONTACTS


Arianna Tibuzzi
Email: arianna.tibuzziATmlib.ic.cnr.it
Tel.: +390690672704

Last Updated (Tuesday, 21 December 2010 16:03)