Algae Biofuel Development Benefits From YSI Analyser Technology

It must be gratifying for a company to see their product being used to help address a really important problem facing the world today – in which case researchers and staff at YSI Life Sciences must be delighted by the use their Biochemistry Analyser is being put to. It is contributing to solving one of the great C21st problems: the energy crisis.

The pressing need for alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear power has seen growth in a number of alternative technologies. In order to be truly successful such technologies must be able to deal with the diversity of demands – from the general to the highly individual.

For example, aviation turbine fuel (jet fuel) has to meet a stringent set of criteria – including not freezing at high altitude – to be suitable for such a crucial duty and this has previously ruled out the use of certain types of biofuel. Recently though a biofuel derived from microscopic algae has achieved this notable goal – and the YSI Biochemistry Analyser has been there to help.

Algae-derived biofuels have long been a goal of researchers. After all algae can be processed in large storage containers, require only sunlight and carbon dioxide to photosynthesise and can be induced to accumulate storage oils (triacyglycerols) in great quantities – sometimes over 60% of their biomass.

This is not only more than other sources of biofuel; importantly it means a significantly greater yield per acre too. Therefore the news that a Californian-based company, which produces biofuel for the U.S. Navy, has produced the world’s first aviation turbine fuel alternative that meets the ASTM D1655 standard for jet fuel is very exciting indeed, as is the role of the YSI Biochemistry Analyzer in this process.

The YSI 2900 series biochemical analysers offers fast, accurate analysis of key nutrients and by-products, including glucose, glutamine, lactate, glutamate, lactose, sucrose, galactose, starch, hydrogen peroxide, choline, xylose and ethanol. This has found it a key role in the food and beverage and bioprocessing industries as well as in biofuel development.

The YSI 2900 series is packed with the propriety technology that has made the YSI such a hit, but its slim-line modular design also features further technical innovations to aid researchers: no requirement for a turntable, 1-96 position well-plate capability, clogging resistance and multi-language touch screen control.

Microalgal aviation biofuel and the YSI Biochemistry Analyzer – it seems they have both passed with flying colours!