The Shipyard Lab
Our first Algae Lab got started in April, 2008, when Aaron Wolf Baum, Ph.D., confabbed with Jim Mason, the founder and executive chief of The Shipyard and All Power Labs of Berkeley, CA, picked a 20′ shipping container for the portable laboratory and issued a call for budding algae enthusiasts. These intrepid individuals soon built the world’s first community algae lab. By removing the roof and replacing it with a rack for 16 2’x3′ ponds, and filling the inside with algae growth bottles, bubbling tubes and other laboratory equipment, they soon had a space for open-source investigations of algae technology.
After demonstrating the possibility of growing hundreds of gallons of biofuel algae (a local strain of Scenedesmus) using almost entirely recycled materials (including urine as the exclusive algae nutrient source), and inducing oil production, this incarnation of the AlgaeLab has closed down, in favor of members’ home algae laboratories, and the next-generation AlgaePod trailer lab:
Next Generation Algae Lab: The AlgaePod!
This new version of the Algae Lab, a mobile trailer-based lab to be called the AlgaePod, will take advantage of the lessons learned in the Shipyard lab to provide an experimental facility with vastly more potential. This will include greenhouse-style lab space for hundreds of simultaneous algae experiments, fully instrumented for autonomous monitoring. Stay tuned for opportunities to help build the new Lab!
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