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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge

 

Biography

Bioenergy - Algal biodiesel production, algal synthetic biology, biophotovoltaics.

Carbon Capture and Storage - carbon capture and remediation by algae

Research

Research in Alison Smith's group is exploring the potential for exploitation of algae for bioenergy production, in particular the use of algae to capture CO2 from fixed installations, and metabolic engineering of high value products from algae to provide income stream. In addition, the group demonstrated an intimate interaction between algae and bacteria in which the latter supply algae with vitamin B12 in return for photosynthate. The implications of this for the growth of algal feedstock in open ponds are being investigated. 

Publications

Key publications: 

1. Grant MAA, Kazamia E, Cicuta P, Smith AG (2014) Direct exchange of vitamin B12 is demonstrated by modelling the growth dynamics of algal-bacterial coculture. ISME J doi: 10.1038/ismej.2014.9.

2. Davey MP, Horst I, Duong GH, Tomsett EV, Litvinenko A, Howe CJ, Smith AG (2014) Triacylglyceride production and autophagous responses in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii depend on resource allocation and carbon source. Eukaryotic Cell 13: 392-400; doi:10.1128/EC.00178-13

3. Kazamia E, Aldridge DA and Smith AG (2012) Synthetic ecology- a way forward for sustainable algal biofuel production? J Biotechnol 162: 163-169

4. Stephenson AL, Kazamia E, Dennis JS, Howe CJ, Scott SA and Smith AG (2010) Life-cycle assessment of potential algal biodiesel production in the United Kingdom: comparison of raceways and air-lift tubular bioreactors. Energy & Fuels 24: 4062–4077 

5. Scott SA, Davey MP, Dennis JS, Horst I, Howe CJ, Lea-Smith D, and Smith AG (2010) Biodiesel from algae: challenges and prospects. Curr Op Biotechnology, 21:277–286

 

Subject: 
Professor of Plant Biochemistry
Energy Transitions@Cambridge Steering Committee Member
Professor Alison G Smith
Available for consultancy