Since finishing the MS Innovation & Venture Development program at Arizona State University, Co-Founder & CEO Travis Andren has been setting up Lemna's laboratory at the Arizona Center for Algae Technology & Innovation (AZ CATI) located on ASU's Polytechnic campus near the Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, AZ. Leasing just enough greenhouse space, Lemna has installed an 8'x16' Gorilla Grow Tent to produce a controlled atmosphere to conduct our preliminary farm water trials.
Partnering with four research farms (3 in California and 1 in Oregon), the farms are sending manure lagoon water samples to the Lemna laboratory in large format totes. Upon receiving these samples we are sending preliminary samples out for water quality analysis and will be running a range of studies regarding the growth of duckweed using the farm water samples.
Shown above are two totes that are located inside of the Lemna lab, these totes are used for freshwater and blending, where we mix the concentrated farm water with prescribed amounts of freshwater based upon preliminary tests with the various duckweed species.
Within the grow tent is a custom designed growth chamber that is insulated, temperature controlled, and features horticultural lighting systems, growth trays, and image recognition computer systems using a software called PlantCV that can analyze plant biomass growth rates. An early glimpse inside the growth chamber is shown below.
We have sourced our duckweed mothers (original strains from which clones will be grown and tested) from Rutger's University Duckweed Stock Cooperative (RDSC) and have began growing large format colonies of duckweed strains that will be used to test nutrient uptake and other effects on the farm water samples.
We look forward to updating our supporters and stakeholders as this laboratory trial continues!