Cornell University - Visit www.cornell.edu Kirby Research Group at Cornell: Microfluidics and Nanofluidics : - Home College of Engineering - visit www.engr.cornell.edu Cornell University - Visit www.cornell.edu
Cornell University, College of Engineering Search Cornell
News Contact Info Login
Dielectric characterization of algal biofuel feedstocks
Funding: DOD
We are developing a method to rapidly measure the lipid content of algal biofuel feedstocks using dielectric spectroscopy. For algal biofuels to be an economically feasible energy source, it is necessary to reliably grow algae with high lipid content in an industrial setting. One of the most promising ways to do this is to subject the algae to environmental stresses such as nitrogen starvation. Since these stresses increase lipid content but decrease growth rate, it is necessary to identify the harvest time that will yield the maximum lipid production rate. Growth and lipid accumulation are also affected by environmental factors like temperature and light exposure that are impossible to fully control in an industrial algae production facility. For this reason, effective implementation of stress-induced lipid accumulation requires the ability to rapidly measure lipid content in real time, an ability which is not possible using existing lipid measurement methods.

Archival Publications

PDF version of Bono, Ahner, Kirby:
Detection of algal lipid accumulation due to nitrogen limitation via dielectric spectroscopy of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii suspensions in a coaxial transmission line sample cell

Bono MS, Ahner BA, Kirby BJ,
"Detection of algal lipid accumulation due to nitrogen limitation via dielectric spectroscopy of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii suspensions in a coaxial transmission line sample cell", Bioresource Technology, Volume 143, pp.623–631, 2013. doi pdf(with errata)

Presentations and Other Publications
28 Mar 2013

Bono MS , Ahner BA , Kirby BJ
Quantitative in situ measurement of algal lipid content via dielectric spectroscopy, Division of Analytical Chemistry oral session on "Characterization of Algal Lipids" at the 245th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiania.

7 Nov 2012

Kirby BJ
"Electrokinetic and immunospecific characterization of cells for human health and energy applications", SUNY-Buffalo Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Seminar Series, Buffalo, NY.

30 Sep-5 Oct 2012

Kirby BJ
"Dielectric and dielectrophoretic measurements and manipulations of cells for human health and energy applications", SciX 2012, Kansas City, MO.

28 Mar 2012

Bono MS , Rhoads K , Ahner BA , Kirby BJ
Dielectric measurement of algal lipid content, Division of Analytical Chemistry oral session on "Challenges in Algal Biofuels: Biochemistry, Lipid Extraction and Analysis" at the 243rd ACS National Meeting, San Diego, California.

10 Jun 2011

Bono MS , Rhoads K , Ahner BA , Kirby BJ
Dielectric measurement of algal lipid content for biodiesel production, 11th New York Complex Matter Workshop, Syracuse, NY.

30 Mar 2011

Bono MS , Kirby BJ
Microfluidic dielectric spectroscopy of particle and cell solutions, Division of Analytical Chemistry poster session at the 241st ACS National Meeting, Anaheim, California.

Mike's work on dielectric characterization of alagal lipid accumulation for biodiesel applications (see ref here).
Concentrated suspensions of replete (left) and nitrogen-limited (right) Chlorella vulgaris used for dielectric characterization.
Chlorella vulgaris cultured in replete (left) and nitrogen-limited (right) growth media.