UFS-1 Results

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UFS-1 Experiment (Oct - Dec 2013)


The first Unified Field Study (UFS-1) was performed from October to December 2013.

The goal of the UFS-1 experiment was to establish the operational capability to simultaneously perform the same algal growth experiment using identical equipment, media, strain, experimental protocol, and analytical techniques across the 6 ATP3 testbed sites. A common algal species (Nannochloropsis oceanica KA32) was grown at all sites. The UFS-1 Experiment was intended as a first live run-through using the full volume and capabilities of the 6 identical ATP3 ponds to build pond operator familiarity with the equipment and procedures in an effort to eliminate operator error from the upcoming UFS Production runs.

A total of 6 x 1,000 L (nominal volume at 25 cm depth) identical raceway pond simulators, paddle wheels, and data logging (e.g., YSI 5200 monitoring and control system with probes for pH, temperature, oxidative reduction potential (ORP), dissolved oxygen, conductivity/salinity probes, and a PAR sensor connected to one YSI unit) have been installed at each site. The six ponds allow experiments to be conducted in duplicate for up to three experimental variables in a simultaneous, randomized design. To date, we have run treatments in triplicate; however our data indicates that ponds of the same treatment have low enough variation that duplicates are sufficient for each treatment, which allows us to test more treatments at one time. In addition to the outdoor cultivation system harmonization, we have installed at each site an identical system for cultivation of indoor seed culture. This coupled with consistent cultivation management will allow for uniform production of starting culture across the sites in terms of volume of seed available and quality.

This experiment was initiated on October 17, 2013. For all data generated in this experiment, the ExperimentID is OCT172013.

Experimental Protocols

Here is the experimental protocol used to conduct these runs. NOTE - UFS-1 was originally referred to as "UFS BASELINE". There are several references to this earlier name in the protocol.

ATP3 Baseline UFS Protocol.pdf

Pond Operational Data

Click here for the complete operational data for each pond at each site. These data include the measured pond depth (cm), pH, salinity, pond water temperature (C), nitrogen concentration (ppm as N), phosphorus concentration (ppm as P), N:P ratio (molar), the sample ID and tracking ID of a physical sample (if taken), the algae concentration (g/L) as dry weight and ash-free dry weight (AFDW), the ash content of the algal biomass (%), and the optical density at 750nm (OD750). Not all data are available for all sites and ponds.

Instrumentation Data

Click here for the complete and daily-averaged instrumentation data for each pond at each site. These data include the pH, oxidation-reduction potention (ORP, mv), pond water temperature (C), pond conductivity (ms.cm), dissolved oxygen concentration (DO, mg/L), dissolved oxygen saturation (%), salinity (g/L), and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, umol/m2/s). The PAR sensor was connected to only one of the ponds. Not all data are available for all sites and ponds.

Weather Data

Click here for the complete and daily-averaged weather data for each site. These data include air temperature (C), relative humidity (%RH), Global Light Intensity (W/m2/s), daily precipitation (cm), wind speed (km/hr), and wind direction (degrees). Not all data are available for all sites.

Summary Harvest Data

The UFS-1 experiment was an initial startup, equipment, and operator trial run thus no harvest data were collected. This trial run had the potential to be highly variable due to unfamiliarity with equipment and operations, operator error, equipment failure, or other unforeseen events that commonly occur upon startup of complex systems. During the UFS-1 experiment, very few of these events occurred successfully meeting the goals of the experiment.

Compositional Analysis Data

While no harvests were performed during UFS-1, samples were taken for compositional analysis. Click http://en.openei.org/datasets/dataset/ufs-1-compositional-data here] for the complete compositional analysis data for each of these samples at each site. The data include the lipid (FAMELipids.AF), protein (Protein.AF) and carbohydrate (Carbohydrates.AF) content of biomass harvested from the ponds throughout the cultivation experiment and immediately freeze-dried. All data were collected using standardized methodology (http://www.nrel.gov/bioenergy/microalgae-analysis.html) by each of the participating laboratories. Data collection included the implementation of QA/QC in analytical methodologies; a standard data collection spreadsheet and a method validation standard material (Nannochloropsis granulata), a biomass sample that is in abundance and has been well characterized in all labs through an interlaboratory round robin validation. Samples (1-4 L) for biochemical analysis during the production runs were collected from the ponds within +60 min of sunrise and concentrated to a pellet by centrifugation, freeze dried, and stored until the conclusion of the experiment. The biomass samples were split into experimental sets of 15-20 samples and each set included triplicate samples of the QC biomass. All data presented here are averaged over technical replicates and expressed as percent (%) on an ash-free dry weight basis of harvested biomass. The link with productivity data in other data sets found on this site can be made through the tracking identifier (Tracking ID). Some data points are missing due to either data not meeting the rigorous QC requirements or experimental errors during data collection.

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