The recent events at Fukushima are concerning on every level possible. Here's an article linking to science about radio-remediation by algae.
Experiment 1: DIY algae beginning with a home Spirulina tank to establish and promulgate home algae growing for food and sequestering of carbon dioxide from the windowsill.
The outcome of the initial attempt was that Spirulina can not withstand heat over 107 degrees. Here in the Valley of the Sun, the transit of the little plants was their demise during triple digits. They simply seemed to vanish. Dr. Aaron Wolf Baum sent me another bottle of starter spirulina as soon as the temperature was consistently under 100 degrees.
The second attempt has gone exactly as hoped and now my window Spirulina operation is underway! Above is a photograph from the first harvest, and to the left is how it looked in unsweetened almond milk just before I drank it.
Update: the spirulina tank has been producing for 6 months continuously. By adjusting the heating element (or removing it) and regulating the amount of light the tank gets, I can reduce or increase the rate of production based on my needs. This way, I have been able to both leave the algae for up to 10 days and have been able to harvest 1 tablespoon each day. This experiment is a great success!! High quality, clean, indoor grown spirulina which has not needed to be shipped or run through an industrial process is excellent to have. Additionally, unlike the dried spirulina which has a fishy taste and aroma, fresh spirulina is tasteless, and odorless--much more palatable.
The founder of Algae Lab, the source for our initial experiment (link above. other sources for DIY algae kits can be found HERE. ) was recruited by NASA after creating an engrossing installation about algae at Burning Man.
experiment 2: Algal Turf Scrubber(ATS) for removing hexavalent chromium and other contaminants at a Superfund site.
ATS system is also being used in aquariums.
Algae for Health
- Check out another article on the health benefits of Spirulina HERE. Also, I have just grown through harvest, windowsill spirulina, using Dr. Baum's starter kit referenced above! I'm so excited!
- Health benefits of Chlorella.
- Desirable Super Blue Green Algae(BGA)? or Not (?) (my experience is that BGA is drying, nutritive and energizing, but not everyone seems to have that experience...)
- Red Algae such as dulse....
I am here reading instructions for starting my own home DIY Spirulina farm and I come across this interesting note: "In case of necessity ("survival" type situations), [compounds needed for the matrix to grow Spirulina] can all be brought by urine (from persons or animals in good health, not consuming drugs) at 5 ml/l and iron by a saturated solution of iron in vinegar (use about 0.1 ml/l)." That's comforting. I can grow my survival superfood on my urine (and added iron) in case of emergency. Wryly.
- All things Algae Fuel Oil . Also, a company in Las Cruces has begun production of algae for fuel oil.
- ASU's algae research center has recently received a 15 million dollar federal grant to explore algae as resource for biofuel.
- US based National Algae Association (NNA) has a conference coming up in late September and a lot of great information.
- This Algae Biomass Summit , at the end of September....which I missed, but will find summaries or interesting feedback to share with you.
- 2 examples of algae carbon capture, including algae streetlights. Well footnoted with notable carbon-capture projects.
- France/US partnership puts sewage into use as fuel in France. Lots of links for info including the websites of the two collaborating comanies, OriginOil and Ennesys. These companies have developed a system for small scale farming algae. Click around these websites! They're full of cool info, it seems. Waste as fuel is an awesome strategy (and essential value of permaculture).
- NASA is working on algae as a solution to food/fertilizer/fuel issues with their OMEGA project. The Smithsonian is positively LOADED with links and studies which we will be reviewing.
- An EU project in Turkey and Ireland using seaweed biofuel to replace fossil fuels is described in this article.