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- Algal cultures can be very rapid and efficient means to generate biomass and regenerate the atmosphere for closed environmental life support systems. However, as in the case of most higher plants, a significant fraction of the biomass produced by most algae cannot be directly converted to a useful food product by standard food technology procedures. This waste biomass will serve as an energy drain on the overall system unless it can be efficiently recycled without a significant loss of its energy content. Experiments are reported in which cultures of the alga Scenedesmus obliquus were grown in the light and at the expense of an added carbon source, which either replaced or supplemented the actinic light. As part of these experiments, hydrolyzed waste biomass from these same algae were tested to determine whether the algae themselves could be made part of the biological recycling process. Results indicate that hydrolyzed algal (and plant) biomass can serve as carbon and energy sources for the growth of these algae, suggesting that the efficiency of the closed system could be significantly improved using this recycling process.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19880002872.
Accession ID: 88N12254.
NASA, Ames Research Center, Controlled Ecological Life Support System: Regenerative Life Support Systems in Space; p 9-13.
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