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Algae Conversion Calculator
The Algae Production Conversion Calculator created by the Agricultural and Food Policy Center is available in the iTunes App Store for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. A web based version is also available for many other mobile devices(eg. Android phones and tablets). The web based version may also work offline on your device by adding it to your home screen.
 
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Algae production can be reported in volumetric units (grams per liter per harvest cycle) and aerial units (grams per square meter per harvest cycle). If one knows the water depth in which the algae is growing, converting between the volumetric and aerial measures is rather straight forward.

The first tab allows the user to calculate a volumetric measure from an aerial measure. The user enters the aerial production rate, the number of days in the growth cycle (i.e. number of days between harvests) and the depth (in inches) of water in which the algae grow. The converter will return a volumetric production rate.

The second tab allows the user to calculate an aerial measure from a volumetric measure. The user enters the volumetric production rate, the number of days in the growth cycle (i.e. number of days between harvests) and the depth (in inches) of water in which the algae grow. The converter will return an aerial production rate.

The third tab allows the user to calculate total annual "microalgae oil" production for an entire facility. The user enters the volume of the facility (in acre-feet), the percent oil content of the algae, the volumetric production (i.e. growth) rate, the depth of the water in which the algae grow (in inches), the number of harvests expected annually, and the percent volume of the pond harvested during each cycle. The converter will return both a volumetric and an aerial production value. The volumetric measure is in gallons of algae oil per acre-foot of water per year and the aerial measure is in gallons of algae oil per surface acre per year.

 
Frequently Asked Questions:
  • Q1: What are "acre-feet?"

  • A1: An acre-foot is the amount of water required to cover one acre to a depth of one foot. For example, 1000 acre feet of water would cover 1000 acres at 12 inches deep. An acre-foot of water is about 1.23 million liters of water.


  • Q2: Why is it important to distinguish between volumetric and aerial production.

  • A2: A 100 acre-feet facility operating at a 12-inch water depth would have a surface area of 100 acres. A 100 acre-feet facility operating at a 6-inch water depth would have a surface area of 200 acres. As a result, water depth has implications for the amount of land required to grow algae.

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