Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) Summit - Salt Lake City, Utah - October 29 - November 1, 2017

Last week I attended my favourite Conference and Exhibition - the ABO Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah.

With more than 110 technical presentations and more than 35 companies and research organizations exhibiting, this was really a great way to get up to speed with the microalgae and macroalgae industries - and a great way to network with the main players.

I will be blogging about a number of the presentations and companies in detail over the next few weeks, but just to pick out a couple of the main takeaways I thought particularly important:

  • Professor Stephen Mayfield - University of California San Diego (California Center for Algae Biotechnology). Prof Mayfield was one of the panel at the Algae 101 session.

    As ever, Stephen made the most interesting and stimulating presentation. His argument was that great efforts should be made to convince the public that algae-based products were a good thing. He has deliberately made fashionable products such as surf boards and flip-flops from microalgae to get the attention of the public. He sees the main future of microalgae as being the production of protein. Any replacement of meat will have a great effect on the levels of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide produced by cattle.

  • Albert Vitale - Commercial Algae Professionals. Albert gave a review of the various types of photobioreactors available along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. He made the important point that before buying a photobioreactor users should first decide what products they want the microalgae to produce. They should then determine the best way to handle the microalgae to maximise their production and then decide if the process is single-stage or multi-stage. Only then can the most appropriate photobioreactor be chosen.