Algal Biotechnology Development and Biological Soil Crusts for Restoration of Desertified Land

A novel tubular photobioreactor for mass culture of microalgae

IHB researchers carried out innovative researches on the fundamental biology of microalgae as well as paradigm-shift technologies development, with the aim to accelerate the commercialization of algal potentials. They developed a series of products, technologies and processes with independent intellectual property and provided technical supports for IP transfer and industrialization. The key R&D areas include molecular and cellular mechanisms of oil and carotenoids biosynthesis, strain development, photobioreactor design, mass cultivation technology, crop protection, products extraction and processing, techno-economic and life cycle analysis. 

After large-scale culture of excellent sand-fixing algal species, IHB researchers re-inoculated the species to the surface of drifting sand dunes and they rapidly developed into biological soil crusts composed of algae, bacteria, fungi, lichens, bryophyte and their secretions and soil. This technology has been demonstrated and promoted in about 3,330 ha of different dry lands in N China’s Inner Mongolia, and boosted ecological, economic and social benefits.