How the selective breeding of algae for an elite farming variety can replace the use of fossil fuels

4 Sep 2015

Global demand for oil could be satisfied by introducing algae farms across an area equivalent to the size of South Australia, according to University of Melbourne PhD student Simon Takouridis.

The promise of algal biofuels and farming them for energy will be the focus of Mr Takouridis’ presentation at All-Energy Australia, taking place on October 7th and 8th at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“The issue is that we know very little about these wild organisms and therefore the ability to make further biological improvements on these organisms is very limited,” said Mr Takouridis. 

“Using a novel method of selective breeding, I was the first to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach by developing the ability for a freshwater dwelling organism to grow in seawater.”

“My approach was to start with a species of algae that has a very high potential for domestication through biological improvement to conserve precious freshwater and reduce pond contamination.”

“Its successful application now possesses a complement of key characteristics that enable low-cost algal farming with the real prospect for economical production of biofuels.”

Mr Takouridis is now looking to deploy his specialist algae variety for farm-scale operations to produce aquaculture feed for select feeding species of fish and shrimp to scale for the global market.

“The generation of commercial interest is a challenging project in its own right, and I would encourage researchers and innovators to treat it as a parallel project early in their endeavours.”

Simon Takouridis will be presenting at Innovative Energy Concepts 3: From Academia at 3.25pm on 7 October. 



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