BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV
Entity description and role in FUEL4ME
The Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory (MBL) at the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research represents one of the few research centres that are interfacing basic algal physiology and biochemistry with industrial applications. Our expertise spans microalgal cultivation, design of photobioreactors, algal physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, valuable secondary carotenoids and PUFA overproduction, taxonomy and contamination management. We are currently coordinating a large European project for genetic improvement of microalgae for the production of high value compounds (GIAVAP (2011 - 2013), and participate in consortium BIOFAT for the demonstration of algal biofuel production at the 10 hectare scale. MBL has developed and supports the most advanced tubular photobioreactor facility (~ 10.000 m2, 300 m3) for the production of astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus biomass at ALGATECH, Kibbutz Qetura, one of the most successful Algal Biotech enterprises worldwide.
Other current activities in the group involve the production of PUFAs such ARA or DGLA. Environmental applications of microalgae in integrated algaculture biosystems for efficient water utilization and resource recovery, as well as bioremediation are an additional focus point of MBL
MBL is involved in FUEL4ME activities related to lipid production understanding (WP1), cultivation and scaling up to outdoors conditions (WP2), data input for sustainability assessment (WP5), and dissemination and exploitation of results (WP6).