Location Funding Institution Principal Investigator(s)
Hawaii $47,969 University of Hawaii at Manoa Zhi-Yan (Rock) Du, PhD

Overall Goals
Design and test oleaginous fungal filters to isolate the selected commercial microalgae and design and manufacture a sustainable and economical BioCube system to harvest microalgae with the fungal filters.

1. Optimize the incubation conditions including media, temperature, and growth period to obtain the best performance of the fungal filters such as efficiency and thickness. 
2. Test the harvesting efficiency using various algal species that are important for industry and aquaculture such as marine algae Nannochloropsis and Thalassiosira and green algae Chlorella and Hamatococus.
3. Determine the capacity of the fungal filters for how much algae (cell numbers and biomass) can be collected by a standard fungal filter before saturated; optimize the methods to separate algae from the fungal filter after filtration.
4. Analyze the valuable compositions of the final alga-fungus biomass including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and fatty acids.
5. Modular design, 3D-print, and test the BioCube System that consists of easily replaceable trays (drawer-like design, support and growth container for the fungal filters) and container cube to hold multiple trays (vacuum compatible and connectable of multiple BioCubes for industrial-scale cultures).
6. Manufacture prototypes with durable and less expensive materials such as clear polycarbonate parts and add Raspberry Pi cameras and optical sensors to monitor the filters and flowthroughs.