Algae can be cultivated in large bioreactors, using a range of technologies, for purposes as diverse as biomass production, water treatment, and carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation. Algae biomass can be extracted or refined to produce bioethanol or higher value products such as natural products, fatty acids, and proteins. Careful monitoring of the health of the bioreactor can significantly increase yields, leading to a commensurate increase in profit from harvested products. The ability of SIFT-MS to measure gas phase volatile organic compounds (VOCs), in real-time, offers a unique approach to monitoring critical compounds produced by the bioreactor, potentially at low parts-per-billion by volume (ppbV) concentration.
This application note presents the results of a pilot-scale feasibility study conducted over several weeks, demonstrating the utility of SIFT-MS for maximizing production outcomes.