Special Projects: The Bentley Bottle - a photobioreactor

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This was a simple request for a fancy sounding application - a borosilicate photobioreactor.

 Dr. Bentley, from the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, writes about the development and use of this piece of cell culture glassware:

      "This 1-liter glass container was designed to operate as a gaseous/aqueous two-phase photobioreactor for the generation and sequestration of volatile bio-products from microorganisms, such as microalgae and cyanobacteria. A long aerator tube allows for the delivery of gasses, such as CO2 or air, to support photosynthetic growth and biomass accumulation of the culture. These gasses are slowly bubbled through the bottom of the liquid culture after passage through an external filter unit to maintain sterility. A second side arm functions as a headspace sampling, liquid culture sampling and/or product removal tube. Both side arms are fitted with stopcocks so that the headspace of the bioreactor can be sealed to allow the accumulation and concentration of the volatile bio-product. We have successfully used this gaseous/aqueous two-phase photobioreactor for the constant generation and accumulation of volatile short-chain hydrocarbons from photosynthetic microorganisms in a semi-continuous culturing system. Importantly, this method utilizes solar energy to drive the assimilation and conversion of CO2 into high-value bio-products, which has a positive impact of the quest for renewable energy generation."

 The Bentley Bottle - 
Simple (custom!) glassware for important work - we're happy our craft continues to be relevant to the developments in alternative energy, humble though it may be.

And this is one way physical objects get their name....

Dr Bentley writes;
"Hi Tom,
I haven't forgotten about your request to put a photo of the culture bottle on the web. Sorry this has taken so long, but we are at the stage now where we are happy for you to do this. Thanks for all your help in preparing this bottle - they are still working really well."

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