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Simple, often aquatic, eukaryotic (can see their nucleus surrounded by membrane) organisms that carry on photosynthesis. Can include microalgae or macroalgae (seaweed). When we say “algae” we are most likely referring to microalgae. In technical terms this doesn’t include Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).


A sealed heated container used for steam sterilization.


Organisms that can produce their own food from the substances available in their surroundings using light (photoautotrophs) or chemical energy. Opposite of heterotrophic. Our algae PBRs are designed for photoautotropic organisms.

Axenic Culture

Single species in the absence of cells or living organisms of another species.

Batch Culture

When you harvest the entire PBR full of algae. Different than continuous and drop and top (semi-continuous) harvest.


Waste treatment system. Traditional aquaculture designs aim to remove suspended solids, biofloc systems allow and encourage solids and the microbial communities to accumulate in the water. Biofloc can improve water use and feed conversion ratio. Biofloc systems are not suited for all aquacultured species.


The weight of the organic matter present. General referring to the weight in g/L of algae in a given culture.


A vessel that carries out a biological reaction. e also use the terms photobioreactor, PBR, or Algae Bioreactor for our equipment.


Preventative measures to protect your algae culture or downstream organisms from biological risks, or pathogens. All water entering our bioreactors passes through several levels of filtration. Water is prefiltered to 0.5 µm, passed through a UV sterilizer, an absolute 0.2 µm filter, and finally through a 0.1 µm absolute capsule filter. This staged filtration ensures that water enters the bioreactor without contaminants. Air entering and leaving the reactor is also filtered to 0.2 µm.


Animals having a soft body enclosed in a calcareous two-part shell, e.g., Clams, scallops, mussels, and oysters. The class Bivalvia is part of the larger group Mollusca.


A plastic of glass container used to transport your algae to inoculate the bioreactor. Typically capacity we recommend is 20L (5 US gal).


A piece of equipment that spins things quickly to separate fluids from suspended particles that have different densities. Our PBR does not centrifuge the algae once it is harvested in its liquid form. We are happy to recommend a few centrifuge companies, if concentrated algae is what you are looking to produce.

CIP (Clean-in-Place)

Method of cleaning the interior of our bioreactors where no disassembly is required.

Cleaning Cycle

The reactor is equipped with rotary spray balls and a spray pump to wash the tank internally between culture runs. Cleaning and sterilizing between culture runs in a 2 step process: biofilm removal and chlorine sterilization. Downtime and manual labour areis very minimal for cleaning our PBRs. Though the cleaning cycle takes 2-4 hours, you let the spray system work for you, like a dishwasher.

Control system

The brains of our PBRs. Where you’re able to see use the HMI and touch screen to control pH, temperature, nutrient addition, harvest volumes, etc. Note, the control system can also be accessed through Wi-Fi, so you can control from another web enabled device.


Your algae at any point in time.

Culture media

The nutrients and water used to grow your algae culture in.


A group of mostly photosynthetic single-celled algae, that form silica cell walls. They can grow singly, in chains or in simple colonies, both suspended in the water column or on the benthos (surfaces).

Exponential growth phase or logarithmic growth phase

The period of growth during which the algae population grows at an exponential rate.


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Feeding rates

Generally refers to the speed, or a ratio, that animals are given nutrients. For example larval shellfish require a certain number of algal cells per day to thrive, though this value may also be given as an algal density suspended in a flowrate, or it could be as a volume of dense algae given several times a day.

Growth rate

The speed that the number of organisms in a population increase per unit time. In our PBRs we look at the culture inside as a population.


The gathering of algae that is cultivated in the PBR.


Refers to obtaining nourishment from the ingestion and breakdown of organic matter such as plants and animals.

In situ

In the original location. The bioreactor measures pH, density and temperature in-situ


The algae culture from the carboy that you would use to “seed” the bioreactor. The PBR will use a clean inoculum to automatically scale up analgae culture to the full working volume of the bioreactor.

Light attenuation

The decrease in light available relative to distance from a source as a result of absorption and scattering of light energy due to particles (algal cells) in the water.

Logarithmic growth phase

The period of growth where the population grows at an exponential rate.


Multicellular seaweed you can see without a microscope. Often commonly referred to as kelp or seaweed


These are the major nutrients that algae require for growth. They are Nitrogen and Phosphorus, as well as Silica for diatoms only.


Are unicellular photosynthetic organisms. They are responsible for approximately ½ of the atmospheric oxygen, and make up the base of most marine food webs. There are 50,000 described species, but an estimated 200,000 – 800,000 total.

Micron (µm)

One millionth of a meter (1 inch = 25,400 µm). 1 millimeter = 1000 microns.


A group of invertebrate animals including the snail, bivalves and octopus, that are characterized by the presence of an internal or external calcium shell.


An algae culture that is of a single species.


An important nutrient essential to plant (or in our case, algal) growth.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (of the United State of America)


A pharmaceutical alternative which claims physiological benefits. Astaxanthin in nature is produced from microalgae, and is known as a nutraceutical for its antioxidant properties. It is also the pigment that naturally bioaccumulates to give wild salmon their pinkish red colour.


Substances used to achieve growth. For such as nitrogen and phosphorus, used by algae to grow.


Short for photobioreactor

Peristaltic pump

Commonly known as roller pumps. The fluid is pumped within a flexible tube fitted inside a circular pump casing. Peristaltic pumps are used for adding nutrients to the PBR and harvesting algae semi-continuously.


Damage caused by overstimulating algae with light, reducing photosynthetic ability. Can also occur in plants and cyanobacteria.


The time that the algae is exposed to light in a 24-hour period. You can set your custom photoperiod with the PBR’s control system.


the study of algae, and a person who studies algae is a phycologist.


Microscopic, photosynthetic plants that are suspended in the water column.


Any organisms that live in the water column, including zooplankton (microscopic animals) and phytoplankton (plants), that cannot move against a current.

Raceway pond

A shallow artificial pond used in the cultivation of algae. Our bioreactors are great for inoculating large scale algae raceways.

RAS (Recirculating aquaculture systems)

A method of production for fish, shrimp, or shellfish where water exchange is limited. RAS takes up much less space and can be located inland and closer to the consumer.


The total quantity of dissolved salts in seawater, measured by weight in parts per thousand.


Seaweed Bioreactor, or Seaweed Bio-Reactor. You can choose your preferred spelling. Our SBRs are designed for culturing macroalgae, as known as seaweed.

Semi-continuous culture (drop and top)

This is where the algae culture is regularly harvested and refilled with nutrients and water (media) diluting the algae. In our PBRs media harvests and media addition can be set up automatically. Between harvests, the algae is given time to increase in density so the density at time of harvest can be consistent.


A group or organisms of the same species, that differ in minimal ways from the rest of the species. For example the diatom, Chaetoceros muelleri, has a strain called CHGRA that is commonly cultured for feeding shellfish in hatcheries.

Trace metal (element) solution

This is a collection of micronutrients that make up one part of many nutrient recipes.

True Continuous culture

A state where water and nutrients are constantly entering the PBR, diluting the algae, and this incoming water forces water rich with algae out the overflow.


Is a metric of how much light is being obscured in a liquid. It is caused by suspended material in water (i.e., particulates such as sediments, phytoplankton, colloids, etc.).

Vitamin solution

A solution containing small amounts of important organic molecules that allow for normal growth. These generally cannot be made by the algae. For marine algae a vitamin solution generally consists of thiamine (Vitamin B1), biotin (vitamin H), and cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12). These vitamins can be denatured when sterilized with heat, so we use submicron filtration to avoid contamination in our PBRs.


Zooplankton are microscopic animals that are suspended in the water column.