Algae cultivation: Presentation of algae research at the TH Wildau

Thank you to Peter Salomon for the insight into the algae cultivation at TH Wildau. In a previous article, Mr. Salomon already said about Algae energy written.

Starting from that Lecture by Prof. Wildenauer (TH Wildau) on April 11.04.2013th, 14.06.2013 on the "algae problem", after the excursion to the Senftenberg pilot plant on June XNUMXth, XNUMX, a tour of the research facility for algae cultivation at the TH Wildau was due. The Algae research in Berlin-Brandenburg is traditionally well developed and the tour of the facilities at the TH Wildau took place on May 24.05.2013, XNUMX on the occasion of the open house. Here is a small idea of ​​the system.

Algae research at the TH Wildau

The tour of the existing algae plant took place together with its presentation by Prof. Wildenauer. The algae cultivation facility in operation at the TH Wildau is a pure research project for the research of profitable and therefore economical Possible applications of algae cultivation. Wildau is less about algal energy (Algae biofuels | Biogas from algae | Biomethane from algae), but about economically interesting applications of algae for the food and feed industries. For example, a large application potential is expected from concentrate feed replacement in cattle and fish farming.

Photo CHP plant for algae biomass

Algae cultivation in a bioreactor

In the beginning, a vertical algae plant was used in Wildau. The flow of algae liquid with CO2-containing exhaust gases from a CHP (application example: Algae cultivation in Senftenberg) was made in the vertical direction using special plastic pipes. A major problem is the “growth” of the algae on the inner walls of the tube, so that regular cleaning is also necessary with this system in order not to impair the light.

Photo algae reactor bioreactor

Alternatively, however, a horizontal algae plant is currently being tested, with which obviously better results are achieved. The different color of the reactor tubes results, among other things, from the use of different types of algae. Since these are only laboratory tests, the necessary light irradiation is also realized by artificial lighting of various types.

Bioreactor for algae cultivation

In order to be able to push the exhaust gases from the CHP through the otherwise standing water column of about 2m, a suitable compressor is required, as with the Senftenberg system. Comprehensive chemical-physical plant equipment is required for the subsequent processing of the harvested algae biomass to the desired yield products. A first impression of the complexity of process engineering for algae cultivation can be found in the following photo gallery (for the next photo please click the current one).

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In summary, it can be stated that the TH Wildau has accumulated considerable knowledge potential regarding the use of algae for many possible purposes and that one is also on the best way to get economical procedures in the short term.

The personal meeting with Prof. Wildenauer was very informative and was also taken as an opportunity to hand over a promotional information flyer regarding our own project "Bioreactor", along with the request for notice boards, if necessary, for other interested parties from the TH Wildau area to be able to win this project. If you are interested in working together on the bioreactor project, I look forward to hearing from you.

You can find more information about here Companies and research projects in Germanywho deal with the cultivation and use of algae. Even the idea of ​​the European EnAlgae research project offers a deeper insight into current algae research in the EU.

Here you can read the article on Algae cultivation and algae research at the TH Wildau save or print as PDF.


  • Peter Salomon
  • psalomon.kd (at)

© Copyright photos by Peter Salomon

4 comments on “Algae cultivation: Presentation of algae research at the TH Wildau”

  1. Thank you for the insight into the research work of the TU Wildau. What about the downstream processes like harvesting or concentrating the algae suspension for you? To my knowledge, this is still the most energy-intensive effort in the cultivation of algae. I would also be interested in the algae species used.



  2. Thank you Marvin for your comment and your interest in algae research. I have unfortunately not yet got to know the research project at TH Wildau myself and maybe Mr. Salomon or Timo Enderle knows about AlgaeObserver more about the downstream processes. I know that the IGV is already working on bioreactors, which should facilitate both the growth and the harvest of the algae. I have no further information on the subsequent concentration of the algae suspension and can only speculate that cyclones or drying processes will probably be used to separate the algal biomass from the water.

    It would also be exciting to learn about the algae species. You may be working with the classic algae research such as spirulina, chlorella etc.

    With sunny greetings from Berlin, Ron

  3. Peter Salomon

    Thank you Marvin for your interest in algae technology.

    I have a vision of a completely new industry that, like photovoltaics at the time, can have exorbitant growth rates: bring algae into a cycle instead of fossil fuels.
    I am looking for enthusiastic colleagues. Unfortunately, my efforts to win such as at the TH Wildau have so far had little success. Ron Kirchner suggested some time ago - in evaluating my article "Energy from algae - today and not just the day after tomorrow" - to bring together interested parties from the Berlin area in a so-called "algae round table". Unfortunately, this has not yet become a reality ...

    @ Ron Kirchner
    Who is "IGV"?

    Existing service providers, such as Märka GmbH in Schwedt, could be used to process the harvested algae biomass. However, it still remains to be seen whether the concentration of the entire manufacturing and processing chain down to biogas / biodiesel in one hand makes sense.
    First and foremost, I am concerned with a wide-ranging, cost-effective production of algae biomass for energy generation - further processing can be left to established companies ... whether that is the best way in the future will have to be proven.

    Greetings from Berlin

    Peter Salomon

  4. The IGV is that Institute for grain processing, a GmbH in the Nuthetal. Professor Otto Pulz also worked for a long time on site. With his many years of research in the algae area (most recently also the development of bioreactors), he has a reputation as Algae Pope Developed.

    If companies are interested in building a common algae stem table (also on the Internet via Google+), this can be organized.

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