BaySpec, Inc. (Fremont, CA) introduces a Raman-specific 1064nm spectrometer designed for measuring microalgae, a promising future source of biofuels. Using the NunavutTM spectrometer, researchers were able to overcome issues with fluorescence seen at lower wavelengths.
While algal oil is similar to other vegetable oils in terms of fatty acid composition, the oil productivity of microalgae (on an annual per-acre basis) could potentially provide 100 times greater yield than soy, and 10 times greater yield than palm oil.
Traditionally, these microalgae were treated in bulk, lyophilized, or in extracted forms, making it impossible to assess the information on fundamental biological processes in the single-cell or sub-cellular level.
The NunavutTM 1064nm spectrometer allowed for single-cell, real-time, and in vivo study of algae, with various lipid-triggering mechanisms - enabling the possibility of researching and engineering of the best conditions and the best species for algal growth and oil production.