SBIR Phase I: Novel Lighting Source for Bioreactors using Plasma-Shell Technology

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1315266
Agency Tracking Number: 1315266
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
4750 W BANCROFT ST, TOLEDO, OH, 43615-3902
DUNS: 009480893
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Adeline Miermont
 (419) 536-5741
Business Contact
 Adeline Miermont
Phone: (419) 536-5741
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to develop Plasma-Shell technology for incorporation into large, highly efficient and easily scalable, and conformable lighting sources for use in photobioreactors. Plasma-Shells are small gas encapsulating devices that emit light when energized. Plasma-Shell lighting systems offer opportunity not available with currently available lighting technology including LEDs and high intensity discharge lamps. Specifically, Plasma-Shells offer the ability to produce a large area diffuse light that does not saturate the algae mass. Additionally, the Plasma-Shell array systems will improve efficiency and scalability of photobioreactors with a low cost, submersible, thin, flexible, ultra-large area, rugged, light source. The parameters of the Plasma-shell lighting system also will be easily tunable to adapt to the needs of different algae species, such as different wavelengths and variable illumination intensity and duration. Under this SBIR, a prototype Plasma-Shell light source will be designed and fabricated for use in a photobioreactor. The proposed systems will be submersible and have a surface area of several feet and a thickness of a quarter inch. This novel lighting source will prove to be crucial for achieving highly efficient production of algae in photobioreactors. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be a novel technology that will provide a large, cost-effective, diffuse, easily scalable, and conformable light source for use in photobioreactors. This research has high commercial potential as the end product will be more efficient and scalable than the current light sources for photobioreactors. Lighting is the key to improved efficiency and scale up of photobioreactor systems. Efficient scalable bioreactors will lead to greater production of algae for use in pharmaceuticals, food supplements, livestock feed, fertilizer, carbon dioxide sequestration, oxygen production, water purification, and green energy. It is anticipated that the proposed novel system will compare favorably to existing lighting source and thus, become a critical component in many photobioreactor designs. The lighting system designed under this SBIR is intended to be sold as custom and/or off-the-shelf photobioreactor lighting system to satisfy the growing market for photobioreactors. Reduced costs and improved yield will allow algae to be economically produced for current applications and emerging markets such as biofuels.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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