2013 Poster Session


Here is the list of the participants of FESC poster competition:

Participants University
Poster Title
Benjamin Wiles Florida Atlantic University An Analysis of Florida’s Sea Water Cooling Resource
Rick Meeker Florida State University Integration of High-Penetration Levels of Solar PV Generation into the Electric Power Grid – Florida Case Studies
David Nash University of Central Florida Mechanocatalysis for the Scalable Realization of Sugars from Biomass
Janet McIlvaine University of Central Florida High Performance Residential Retrofit Challenge
Brian Martin University of Florida Design of a Solar Thermochemical Hydrogen Reactor
Cesar M Moreira University of Florida Algal Biorefinery With Exopolysaccharide Production- Studies on algae growth and polysaccharide saccharification.
Marco Pazmino University of Florida Use of Banana Peduncle Extract for Ethanol Production
Matthew Inman University of Florida Ultra-Compact Portable Power: Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Open-Cathode System
Sean Meyn University of Florida Ancillary service to the grid from deferrable loads: The case for intelligent pool pumps in Florida
Uisung Lee University of Florida An experimental evaluation and thermochemical modeling of high temperature steam gasification of municipal solid waste (MSW)
Yashen Lin University of Florida Buildings as batteries: utilizing flexible loads to help renewable energy integration into the power grid
William Harris University of Florida The Effect of Changing Aspect Ratios on the Bulk Flow Properties of Wheat Straw and Corn Stover
Michael Vasek University of West Florida Investigation of Feasibility of Installing Campus Microgrid at the University of West Florida
Dallas Snider University of West Florida Addressing Big Data Challenges and Opportunities within Florida’s Electrical Energy Sector
Nada Elsayed University of South Florida Hydrogen purification by catalytic tar reforming of biomass-derived syngas
Ryan Kent University of South Florida Landfill Gas to Liquid Fuel
Marilyn Barger, Nina Stokes, Richard Gilbert FLATE Industrial Energy Efficiency Education
Christian Bokrand Florida Gulf Coast University Performance of a Flow Battery in a Hybrid Pv-Battery System
Ahmed Taha Elsayed Florida International University Wavelet-Adaptive ANN Forecaster for Renewable Energy Sources for Continuous Supply in Microgrid Applications
Devin M. Alvarez Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Bioprospecting for Oleaginous Microalgae and/or Cyanobacteria Native to Secondary Treated Wastewater Holding Tanks from Tallahassee, FL


 Florida Atlantic University


Participant: Benjamin Wiles (Faculty Name: James H. VanZwieten Jr.)

Title: An Analysis of Florida’s Sea Water Cooling Resource

Category: Marine Renewable Energy

Abstract: This study was conducted to assess the feasibility of utilizing Sea Water Cooling (SWC) in Florida. To evaluate SWC potential, a mathematical model of a representative SWC system was developed and used to calculate the electrical power required to run a SWC AC chiller system, allowing for comparisons with conventional AC chilling systems. This SWC model predicts the electric power needed to operate a generic 10-MW (2,857-ton) AC system. For the analyses presented in this poster the pipe diameter, pipe thickness, pipe friction coefficient, heat exchanger efficiency, pump efficiency, and sea water flow rate are all held constant, while cold water intake temperatures, ambient sea water temperatures, and pipe length are all based on thermal data, and the locations of these data.

Simulated and collected temperature data were utilized statewide to predict SWC AC chiller power consumption and electricity savings. These analyses suggest that the sea water temperatures needed for effective SWC are closest to shore off the coasts of Fort Lauderdale and Miami. At these locations a mean temperature of 8°-10°C off Fort Lauderdale in 160-220 m of water and 7°- 9°C exists off Miami in 200-300 m of water. Both resources are located approximately 6 km from shore, with temperatures varying at frequencies between 2 days and 2 weeks, with cooler temperatures existing during the summer.

The plant model, with 3 years of HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) temperature data, predicts that, in South Miami, an SWC system can operate using the least amount of average electrical power in the state. At this location, the chilling element of the SWC system is estimated to operate  with an average power savings of 86.9%, and a total comfort cooling system is estimated to operate with an average power savings of 58%, when compared with a traditional AC system.
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Florida State University


Participant: Rick Meeker

Title:  Integration of High-Penetration Levels of Solar PV Generation into the Electric Power Grid – Florida Case Studies

Category: Solar grid integration

Abstract:  This poster will present recent work and results-to-date of the Sunshine State Solar Grid Initiative (SUNGRIN).  SUNGRIN is a five year project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy funded project, with additional support by Florida utilities and suppliers to the industry, to improve the understanding of issues with integrating high penetration levels of solar PV generation into the electric power grid and to help identify or develop necessary planning and operation tools, approaches, and technology solutions to enable increasingly high levels of grid-connected solar PV.
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University of Central Florida


Participant: David Nash (Faculty Name:Richard Blair)

Title: Mechanocatalysis for the Scalable Realization of Sugars from Biomass

Category: Biomass

Abstract: The catalytic depolymerization of biomass allows for realization of valuable sugars from non-food sources.  These sugars can be used to produce biofuels or chemicals. A scalable process is realized by grinding a cellulose source, such as agricultural waste, with an effective catalyst in an attrition mill.  The catalyst kaolinite alone can effectively break down biomass in a small reactor.  The addition of small amounts of other minerals such as dolomite, wollastonite, and metakaolin reduce the processing time when performing conversions on a larger scale.  Milling is a mature technology that can be implemented on a multi-ton scale.  This approach requires no additional heating above what is already produced by the apparatus, no solvents, and produces no toxic by-products. We demonstrate this process on water oak, a short-lived species found in Central Florida. The use of agricultural and residential wastes as a cellulose source has advantages in that they are easily obtained and will reduce the amount of these materials burned or sent to landfills.
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Participant: Janet McIlvaine

Title: High Performance Residential Retrofit Challenge

Category: Residential Energy Efficiency

Abstract: Researchers at the Florida Solar Energy Center distilled results from a four year field study into easy to follow guidelines for including energy efficiency in residentialremodeling projects. Researchers now invite affordable housing entities that manage renovation programs to take the High Performance Retrofit Challenge.
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University of Florida


Participant: Brian Martin (Faculty Name: James F. Klausner)

Title: Design of a Solar Thermochemical hydrogen reactor.

Category: Solar

Abstract: Traditional solar hydrogen production is using photovoltaics in conjunction with electrolysis which is unlikely to be economically competitive with traditional sources of energy.  Recently,  there has been interest in hydrogen production using a cycle of oxidation of metal oxide  (MOx) and thermal reduction, as shown below.

The use of an oxidation-reduction cycle means the metal oxide is not consumed and can be re-used. The only consumed resource is water, which can be recovered in combustion of the hydrogen if necessary. Significant engineering challenges exist as barriers to making a reactor for this process commercially viable due to the high operating temperatures. These include selecting materials that can withstand the high temperatures, materials that will not fail after numerous thermal cycles, chemically stable materials to contain the reaction, creating gas tight high temperature seals, and providing adequate insulation to prevent heat loss.  Advantages for this process include flexibility afforded by using an oxidation-reduction cycle which can be used to make syngas from CO2. An ultimate goal of 20% sunlight-to-fuel thermal efficiency is the target.
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Participant: Cesar M Moreira (Faculty Name: Dr. Pratap Pullammanappallil)

Title: Algal Biorefinery With Exopolysaccharide Production- Studies on algae growth and polysaccharide saccharification.

Category:  Biomass

Abstract: Synechococcus BG011 is a hypersaline, nitrogen-fixing, exopolymer producing cyanobacterium that was isolated from a shallow lagoon in the Florida Keys.  Laboratory scale batch growth experiments (under 13 hour light and 11 hour dark cycles) were carried out to determine the effect of light intensity and carbon dioxide enrichment on growth.  At low light intensities there was no difference in the specific growth rate whether using air or enriched CO2 environment; however, upon increasing light intensity to half the average peak daily solar light intensity, the specific growth rate of cultures growing in CO2 enriched air was more than doubled. Upon reaching stationary growth phase, the cultures were set aside in an air-environment under the same light/dark cycle but at low light intensity.  The culture solution gradually became more viscous and the ash free dry weight (afdw) increased from 0.5 (primarily cells) to 0.8 (cells and exopolymer) g/L within two weeks. The secreted exopolymer was a mixture of carbohydrates (made up of glucose, arabinose, glucuronic acid) and protein. The exopolymer was saccharified using commercially available cellulase, hemicellulase, pectinase and amylase, and the maximum attained sugar recovery was about 14% of afdw. On-going research is focusing on optimization of conditions for growth and exopolymer production, characterization and separation of exopolymer, and development of optimal saccharification techniques.
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 Participant: Marco Pazmino (Faculty Name: Dr. Pratap Pullammanappallil)

Title: Use of banana peduncle extract for ethanol production

Category: Biomass

Abstract: Tropical and sub-tropical countries in Latin America, Caribbean and Asia have the potential to grow bananas in large quantities. Ecuador is the world’s largest producer of bananas, producing 8.1 million tonnes annually.  More than 12% by weight of harvested banana cluster is peduncle, which is discarded. The idea of this project is to evaluate the viability of using the banana peduncle as a feedstock to produce ethanol by fermentation and/or biogas by anaerobic digestion.

The analyses considered will characterize the composition, structure, chemical properties, fermentability and anaerobic digestibility of banana peduncle juice. Preliminary results from HPLC analyses of juice from banana peduncle revealed high concentrations of glucose (37 g ) , sucrose (11 g  ) and fructose (20 g  ). These results are promising indications on the usability of peduncle juice for fermentation. Further experimental work expected to form the basis for large scale ethanol production from peduncle juice, helping to meet the growing demand of biofuels worldwide.
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Participant: Matthew Inman (Faculty Name:William E. Lear)

Title: Ultra-Compact Portable Power: Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Open-Cathode System

Category: Fuel Cells

Abstract: Researchers at the University of North Florida and the University of Florida have developed a novel Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) for powering portable electronics in the 10-100 W power class.  DMFCs represent a promising alternative to traditional batteries for long-duration operation, but until recently were marginally suited for mobile applications due to their bulky architecture, mostly attributed to the cathode exit water recovery system required to continuously re-supply the anode reaction.  By utilizing a patented Liquid Barrier Layer (LBL) in the fuel cell, the DMFC system presented here performs this task passively, eliminating many bulky, water-related components.  A prototype of this simplified architecture has been tested for long-duration performance in CERDEC labs and has shown remarkable energy density characteristics, far exceeding those of current, state-of-the-art Li-Ion batteries and other commercially available DMFCs in the same power class.  Ongoing research at UF is geared towards further optimizing the LBL to expand the operational envelope of the DFMC to higher ambient temperatures.
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Participant: Sean Meyn

Title: Ancillary service to the grid from deferrable loads: The case for intelligent pool pumps in Florida

Category: Demand response resource

Abstract: Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power have a high degree of unpredictability and time- variation, which makes balancing demand and supply challenging. One possible way to address this challenge is to harness the inherent flexibility in demand of many types of loads. We focus on pool pumps, and how they can be used to provide ancillary service to the grid for maintaining demand-supply balance. A Markovian Decision Process (MDP) model is introduced for an individual pool pump. A randomized control architecture is proposed, motivated by the need for decentralized decision making, and the need to avoid synchronization that can lead to large and detrimental spikes in demand. An aggregate model for a large number of pools is then developed by examining the mean field limit. A key innovation is an LTI-system approxi- mation of the aggregate nonlinear model, with a scalar signal as the input and a measure of the aggregate demand as the output. This makes the approximation particularly convenient for control design at the grid level. Simulations are provided to illustrate the accuracy of the models and effectiveness of the proposed control approach.
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Participant: Uisung Lee (Faculty Name:Dr.Jacob Chung)

Title: An experimental evaluation and thermochemical modeling of high temperature steam gasification of municipal solid waste (MSW)

Category: Biomass

Abstract: This study investigates the feasibility of clean gaseous fuel production using a pure high temperature steam gasification from plastics, tire rubber, MSW and woody biomass. 1000°C of steam was used to generate syngas which mainly contains hydrogen and can be used as a gaseous fuel. Since the process does not contain air, the syngas is free of nitrogen and air pollutants which usually dilutes and lowers the heating value of the syngas unlike the air breathing gasification process. The experimental setup produced the high quality syngas and the gas was analyzed using the gas chromatography. The results showed the syngas has very high H2 and significant CO concentrations, and the heating value of the syngas from all four types of feedstock reaches 7.8-10.8 MJ/m3. In addition, thermodynamic equilibrium model was developed and successfully verified by the experimental results. The simulation results show the lower heating value from steam gasification is approximately 2.5 times by weight and 1.6 times by volume compared to the previous air gasification system. The most important benefit of the steam gasification is its environmental friendliness as typical air pollutants and toxic effluents (dioxin and furan) from the MSW incineration process are absent in the current process.
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Participant:  Yashen Lin (Faculty Name: Dr. Prabir Barooah)

Title: Buildings as batteries: utilizing flexible loads to help renewable energy integration into the power grid

Category: Electricity

Abstract: With the introduction of volatile renewable energy sources into the power grid, the need for inexpensive ancillary service increases. The thermal storage potential in buildings is an enormous untapped resource for providing such services. The large thermal inertia of commercial buildings in particular makes the power demands of their Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems inherently flexible. By utilizing these flexible building loads, we propose a method to provide substantial ancillary service to the power grid. A key idea here is the bandwidth limitation of the regulation signal, which allows the building’s HVAC system to provide this service with little effect on the indoor climate. In this poster, we present two regulation controllers for reference signal with different frequency. For high frequency ancillary service ([1 / 3min, 1 / 4sec]), the supply air fan speed is manipulated to track the reference; for mid-range frequency ancillary service ([1 / 1hour, 1 / 3min]), chillers are used. The proposed control scheme can be applied on any building with a VAV (Variable Air Volume) system. Calculations show that the commercial buildings in the U.S. can provide 5.2 GW of regulation reserves with supply air fans and 47 GW with chillers.
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Participant:  William Harris (Faculty Name: Dr. Jennifer Curtis)

Title: The Effect of Changing Aspect Ratios on the Bulk Flow Properties of Wheat Straw and Corn Stover

Category: Biomass 

Abstract: Energy companies around the world use Wheat Straw, Corn Stover, and other forms of biomass to produce Ethanol, a greener alternative to oil. The use of biomass worldwide is continually increasing and is a very important aspect of sustainability. When companies store these materials in large hoppers, however, they often get entangled and stuck and it becomes very challenging to move them from place to place. This project is investigating how bulk flow properties, such as flow ability and cohesion, change as the lengths of these particles change. When these particles are smaller, they become more flowing, but grinding the particles that small takes tremendous amounts of energy. This project is using a Schulze shear cell tester to determine the properties of these particles. By changing the normal stress and measuring the shear stress that results, the flow properties can then be determined. By looking at these properties, the ideal aspect ratio can be determined and a hopper can be designed that will hold these particles as efficiently as possible to make it easy to transport them and harness their energy.
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University of West Florida


Participant: Michael Vasek (Faculty Name: Bhuvaneswari Ramachandran)

Title: Investigation of Feasibility of Installing Campus Microgrid at the University of West Florida

Category: Microgrid (Distributed Generation)

Abstract: Microgrids, which are pockets of distributed energy resources that can be isolated from the utility power grid, represent an attractive option for single-owner campus environments. Campus microgrids, and especially educational institutions, are currently the leading segment of the microgrid market in terms of actual online operating capacity. A smart microgrid allows campus facilities managers, or contracted service providers, to measure and respond to energy demands in near real time leading to more efficient distribution of available power. The reduction in energy consumption and associated reduced energy costs has the potential to play an important role in campus sustainability, particularly to campuses that are doing climate action planning and have set aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals. However, these systems require additional investments for control infrastructure, and as such, additional costs and the anticipated benefits need to be quantified in order to determine whether the investment is economically feasible. This research proposes a methodology for representing benefits and cost associated with installing of microgrid at the University of West Florida (UWF). This methodology is demonstrated by determining the economic feasibility of a Microgrid with distributed generations installed at UWF as a case study.
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Participant: Dallas Snider

Title: Addressing Big Data Challenges and Opportunities within

Florida’s Electrical Energy Sector

Category: Smart grid

Abstract: We live in an environment where an increasing number of everyday objects are becoming network enabled and generating copious amounts of data.  These networked objects are forming an Internet of Things (IoT) where the growth of data for analysis and discovery is accelerating at a rate that will prohibit efficient processing by current hardware and software. With the increasing use of smart-grid technologies, the electrical energy sector is not immune to these big data problems.  While there has been extensive research and industry development in big data software and hardware products for processing large volumes of data, the smart-grid IoT is creating new problems that must be solved.  However, there are numerous opportunities to improve the extraction of knowledge and decision making from this emerging IoT paradigm by identifying and testing new big data methods.  The semi-structured heterogeneous networks created by the IoT can be modeled to capture essential semantics of the real world including the behavior of residential, commercial and industrial customers. Furthermore, there are opportunities to use smart grid data to make the grid more secure.
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University of South Florida

Participant: Nada Elsayed (Faculty Name: Dr. John Kuhn)

Title: Hydrogen purification by catalytic tar reforming of biomass-derived syngas

Category: Tar reforming, biomass conversion

Abstract: In this study, tar reforming of oak-derived syngas was studied over a mixture of Ni/Mg/K supported on commercial ±-Alumina at 900°C. Almost complete conversion of benzene and heavy tars was achieved, but the catalyst deactivated quickly presumably due to impurities in the raw syngas. The thermodynamics of the process were modeled using ChemCad® in a temperature range of 400°C to 900°C at 1 bar. Production of hydrogen began at 600°C and it reached a stable maximum at 90°C where a H2/CO ratio of  1.3 was attained.

An economic analysis on hydrogen production from biomass obtained from the gasification of the residue from a paper pulping plant was performed. Results showed potential for profitability during the long run however, a more in depth study is still necessary to optimize profitability.
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Participant: Ryan Kent (Faculty Name: Dr. John Kuhn)

Title: Landfill Gas to Liquid Fuel

Category: Biomass, Landfill Gas reformation to fuel

Abstract: Landfill gas can be captured, converted, and used as an energy source. Using LFG helps to reduce odors and other hazards associated with LFG emissions. Collecting LFG also helps prevent methane and NMOC’s from migrating into the atmosphere and contributing to local smog and global climate change. LFG is extracted from landfills using a series of wells and a blower/flare (or vacuum) system. From this point, the gas can be flared, used to generate electricity, replace fossil fuels in industrial and manufacturing operations, or upgraded to pipelin’quality gas where the gas may be used directly or processed into an alternative vehicle fuel.
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Education by FLATE

Participants: Dr. Marilyn Barger (FLATE), Nina Stokes (FLATE), Dr. Richard Gilbert (University of South Florida)

Title: Industrial Energy Efficiency Education

Category: Industrial Energy Efficiency (Education)

Abstract: In 2008, Florida’s legislature directed, via FESC, the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, the State’s University and College system to develop applied research and specific technical education pathways to allow Florida to meet its 2020 energy generation and demand criteria. The current strategy is entertaining a mix of conventional, nuclear, solar and bio-fuels for generation and a range of options to make Florida “green” within a “smart” grid. In that same legislative action, FLATE, the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence for Florida, was commissioned to partner with FESC to prepare and execute a technician workforce plan that will put that energy workforce into place on time. The new Industrial Energy Efficiency specialization track and college credit certificate (CCC) for the AS/AAS degree in Engineering Technology, comes at a time when green job sectors such as energy efficiency, are flourishing. Interest in reducing operating costs through energy efficiency maximization is growing significantly, both in Florida and throughout the nation. Collaboration with industry subject matter experts has allowed the energy efficiency specialization curriculum to be tailored to match training directly to industry needs.
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Florida Gulf Coast University


Participant: Christian Bokrand (Faculty Name: Joseph H. Simmons)

Title: Performance of a Flow Battery in a Hybrid Pv-Battery System

Category: Solar and Energy Storage

Abstract: A 5 kW-2 hour flow battery was integrated with a 5 kW single-axis tracking PV system to evaluate the possibility of firming up power delivery and increasing the length of the solar day in the evening. The hybrid system used a zinc-bromide, first generation prototype battery made by Redflow and modified for US operation. The battery was designed to operate on the AC side of the generation and load. The poster shows the performance of the hybrid system in the presence of a variety of cloud conditions in Fort Myers, FL. While the hybrid system could not be optimized due to the need to pass the output of the solar panels through inverters, the battery responded rapidly and maintained a constant output under many conditions. On days when sufficient sunlight was available for the battery to maintain a charge, electrical power was produced several hours after the evening drop in solar production.
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Florida International University


Participant: Ahmed Taha Elsayed (Faculty Name: Osama A. Mohammed)

Title: Wavelet-Adaptive ANN Forecaster for Renewable Energy Sources for Continuous Supply in Microgrid Applications

Category: Solar and Wind

Abstract: The performance of hybrid power system (HPS) with high penetration of renewable energy sources (RES) was investigated under dominant weather conditions. Hourly solar radiation and wind speed were forecasted for one week ahead (168h) using wavelet – adaptive feed forward artificial neural network. The load was fore-casted for the same time horizon. Based on these forecasts, the supervisory control calculates available power from the installed PV modules and wind turbines then send the required reference signal to the voltage source inverter (VSI). The VSI will control the power flow at the point of coupling to guarantee continuous power supply to the loads. For better understanding of the interactions of the microgrid with the main AC grid under weather conditions and to validate the effectiveness of the system, an experiment was carried out in a laboratory based smart power system. The controller response and consequently, power flow were monitored, controlled and discussed.
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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University


Participant: Devin M. Alvarez  (Faculty Name: Dr. Ashvini Chauhan)

Title: Bioprospecting for Oleaginous Microalgae and/or Cyanobacteria Native to Secondary Treated Wastewater Holding Tanks from Tallahassee, Fl

Category: Biomass/Algae/Wastewater Treatment

Abstract: Biofuel generation coupled with wastewater remediation has been proposed as a viable, environmentally sustainable technology. We used Fluorescent Automatic Cell Sorting (FACS) as a high throughput method to isolate native algal cells with a potential of producing lipids for biofuel generation. Secondary treated wastewater samples were collected from the TP Smith Water Reclamation Facility, Tallahassee, Fl. Three sample preparation methods were employed to concentrate the native algal biomass; a) centrifugation (sample 1), enrichment for two weeks in Chu10 media (sample 2), and sonication for 20 and 50 m at 42 kHz. Prior to FACS, all samples were stained with 1µM of BODIPY 505/515 for the purpose of microalgae cell lipid fluorescence enhancement. FACS was run on a BD FACSAria machine using all possible combinations of excitation lasers and filters, and those that showed the highest resolution between bands were chosen for sorting. We isolated approximately 83 lipid containing strains from 768 wells sorted from sample 1. Most of the isolates were characteristic of the green pigmentation shown by microalgae but we also found some with brown and golden pigmentation. From the enriched sample, 82 cultures were isolated from 4800 wells sorted possessing brown, yellow, gold or red pigmentation but no green colored cells were found; this likely occurred because the enrichment condition permitted for the green algae to be outcompeted by brown algae. From sample 3, a total of 24 cultures grew. The isolates produced from samples 1 and 3 were analyzed by Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) using the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) genes to determine purity and diversity of the isolated algal strains.
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