Algal Production Facility

The Algal Production Facility is located at the BioCentury Research Farm. It is Iowa State University's first pilot-scale facility that is equipped to grow large amounts of algae biomass.

Open House Planned for Iowa State University's First Pilot-scale Algal Production Facility

The BioCentury Research Farm (BCRF) will host an open house to showcase its new Algal Production Facility on Thursday, May 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. This is Iowa State University's first pilot-scale facility that is equipped to grow large amounts of algal biomass.

"The Algal Production Facility at BCRF provides us an ideal test bed for scaling up laboratory research, and producing large amounts of biomass which can be further processed for various downstream processes. We are very grateful for the financial support from the Grow Iowa Values Fund, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Bioeconomy Institute, and contributions from my fellow Iowa State colleagues, Midwest Builders and Mid America Drilling Corporation.¬†It is time to show our achievements from all this generous support,” said Zhiyou Wen, associate professor of food science and human nutrition and professor-in-charge of the Algal Production Facility.

The open house will feature tours of the facility and Iowa State students will present posters on their algal biomass research projects. At 4 p.m., Martin Gross, a food science and human nutrition and agricultural and biosystems engineering graduate student, will give a presentation about his work on increasing the efficiency of growing algal biomass. Gross will also discuss other algal research being conducted at Iowa State. Following his presentation there will an open-ended conversation regarding university and industry collaboration to use this unique facility.

The Algal Production Facility features various production systems that are being used to grow algae, including flat panel bioreactors, two raceway pond systems, a novel revolving biofilm reactor and various lab-scale reactors. The facility has the ability to produce 1.3-4.5 kilograms of dried algal biomass per week.

For more information, contact Wen at or visit

Inside the Algal Production Facility

Various production systems located in the facility are being used to grow the algae, including flat panel bioreactors and two raceway pond systems.