The browser or device you are using is out of date. It has known security flaws and a limited feature set. You will not see all the features of some websites. Please update your browser. A list of the most popular browsers can be found below.
"TechKnow" contributor Crystal Dilworth traveled to the Arizona desert to learn more about Heliae, a company dedicated to cultivating and harvesting algae to help produce a variety of everyday products. From cosmetics to fuel to nutritional supplements, the natural energy and complex makeup of algae makes it one of the most organisms viable for isolating proteins and other compounds.
How does a company like Heliae do it?
The most important part of their process is maintaining separation between algae strains. Space is another important factor. Working in a vast desert allowed Heliae to construct a facility large enough to grow massive quantities algae for commercial purposes.
Dilworth's personal favorite part of that process happens near the beginning stages.
"This is a little algae nursery," she told other "TechKnow" contributors during their discussion about algae and what she had learned. "They're flasks with different types of algae… They're all shaking to get enough oxygen, and [they'll eventually] grow up big and strong in the large pools."