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10-24-2016, Phoenix, Arizona

SCHOTT Glass Tubing Enables Advancements in Algae Production and Wastewater Cleaning

Glass tubing boasts higher light transmission that enhances algae growth
ecoduna’s patented vertical photobioreactor constructed with glass tubes from SCHOTT AG at ecoduna’s plant. Photo: ecoduna
ecoduna’s patented vertical photobioreactor constructed with glass tubes from SCHOTT AG at ecoduna’s plant. Photo: ecoduna
SCHOTT will demonstrate its glass tubing technologies for algae production and wastewater treatment at the Algae Biomass Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, from Oct. 24 to 26 (booth #28). SCHOTT’s tubing is a crucial component in photobioreactors and algae production systems, e.g., for the Austrian commercial algae producer ecoduna and Clearas Water Recovery, a U.S.-based municipal and industrial wastewater recovery firm. Though the two systems differ in size and arrangement, the glass tubing encourages algae growth and improves biomass yields.

Algae production systems are designed to run constantly, therefore the tubing must be structurally sound and cannot become opaque or fade. SCHOTT’s glass tubing can withstand hundreds of gallons of water filled with algae over many years and still maintain excellent light transmittance. Research has found that SCHOTT’s glass tubing boasts higher light transmission than polymer tubes while experiencing minimal solar degradation over one year.

Niko Schultz, SCHOTT PBR product manager, will highlight the advantages of glass compared to polymer tubing and will present some trends in the field during a conference presentation on Oct. 24 at 4:00 p.m. (Solana B). A short e-book, about the benefits of glass tubing, will also be made available after the presentation.

Montana-based Clearas Water Recovery, which specializes in wastewater cleaning and recovery, relies on SCHOTT glass tubing in its nutrient recovery system. Clearas Water’s reactors use sunlight and algae’s appetite to remove excess nitrogen and phosphorus from municipal and industrial water supplies before the water is discharged into the environment. The algae, feeding on the surplus of nutrients in tightly controlled, clear glass tubing, can reduce the phosphorus levels in the water by a factor of 10 and the nitrogen levels by a factor of 3; the biomass can be converted into soil enhancements, fuels, and other products. Because the system is designed to run constantly, Clearas Water uses SCHOTT’s glass tubing, which remains structurally sound and doesn’t degrade in transparency over the span of many years.

ecoduna, which produces biomass from chlorella, spirulina, and other algae, runs a vertical photobioreactor system using SCHOTT’s 65mm DURAN glass tubing. Nutrients are introduced at the base and oxygen disperses from the top. The glass tube system provides superior light dilution and utilization, as well as a large surface-to-volume ratio. ecoduna can cultivate 365 days of the year and the firm expects to replace the tubing once every 50 years. The consistency, longevity, and transparency of the tubes in this vertical photobioreactor help increase output while driving down operating costs.

“Clearas Water has turned to algae to clean and filter wastewater and prevented environment-wrecking algae blooms, like the ones in Lake Erie almost every year. ecoduna has pioneered continuous industrial algae production methods while conserving resources,” said Schultz. “Both companies offer real-life evidence of the unique properties glass tubing brings to algae production, from clarity to strength to longevity to sustainability.”

For more information:

SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. The company has more than 130 years of outstanding development, materials and technology expertise and offers a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions. SCHOTT is an innovative enabler for many industries, including the home appliance, pharmaceutical, electronics, optics, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT strives to play an important part of everyone’s life and is committed to innovation and sustainable success. The group maintains a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 35 countries. With its workforce of approximately 15,000 employees, sales of $2.24 billion were generated in fiscal year 2014/2015.

Press contact
Gregory FCA on behalf of SCHOTT
Mike Lizun
Phone: 610-642-1435
Further information
SCHOTT North America, Inc.
Rina Della Vecchia
555 Taxter Road
Elmsford, NY 10523
Phone: 914-831-2286
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