Microalgae: underexploited resource.
Microalgae are tiny plant cells that capture carbon dioxide & produce oxygen like forest, but at a much faster rate due to their high growth rate. They are flexible and can live in many environments - open ocean, lakes, even in wastewater. They are mini-factories of high value biomolecules and applied in sectors such as agriculture, nutrition, cosmetics and aquaculture.
A wide range of colours can be extracted from microalgae because of the large varieties of molecules they produce - green from chlorophylls; red, yellow & orange from carotenoids; blue and red from phycobiliprotenis. They also grow much faster than flowers or fruits, the other sources of natural colorant.
We maintain microalgae in compact bioreactors. We create microenvironments with smart technologies for optimal production of our desired pigments. We also aim to better understand the effect on how different culture conditions alter the biochemical pathways and physiology of our targeted species.
Supported by HKU iDendron & HKSTP IDEATION.