Picture of Dr. Ahmet Y. Manisali

Assistant Professor

Chemical and Biological Engineering

3001 NERC
 (205) 348-9267
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  • Ph.D., Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, University of South Florida, 2020
  • M.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, 2008
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, TR, 2005
  • B.S., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, TR, 2005


A. Y. Manisali’s research involves cultivation of microalgae within photobioreactors by manipulating the operating conditions such as pH, temperature, light intensity, micro and/or macronutrient concentrations, etc. to exploit essential biocomponents within the algal cell mass in the direction of biofuels and/or bioproducts. Specifically, algal phospholipids that could be potentially utilized in green cosmetic formulations as liposome formers, emulsifiers, solubilizers, and wetting agents are on the realm of the research since currently phospholipids are isolated from food sources, which brings in sustainability concerns. Characterization of specific phospholipids could be performed efficiently via 31P NMR spectroscopy, which may not require pre-processing of the algal extract owing to its capability of directly tracking the phosphorus element within the complex matrix of samples. Once determined both qualitatively and quantitatively, specific phospholipid compounds can be isolated by utilizing Semi-Preparative HPLC.

Because the biochemical composition of the algal cell mass depends on many cultivation process variables such as the types of microalgal strain utilized, type and design of photobioreactors, variability of cultivation media and other operating conditions, and the yields of isolated desired biomass compounds, i.e. phospholipids, are dependent upon the isolation techniques, multivariable optimization of not only the cultivation environment but also the aftermath processing of the microalgal cell mass should be performed. Statistical tools such as the design of experiments, or DOEs, and Monte Carlo simulations could be very helpful to reduce the number of experiments and to predict the optimal experimental conditions to boost the overall algal biomass and phospholipid productivities.

Future research endeavors will include microalgae cultivation in novel photobioreactors towards in-situ wastewater/water treatment processes to handle uncontrolled rural water contamination problems.

Areas of Research

Latest Publications

  • A.Y. Manisali, “Grown of Microalga Nannochloris oculata in Packed-Bed Photobioreactor”, MSc. Thesis, 2008.
  • A.Y. Manisali, G.P. Philippidis, A.K. Sunol, “Effect of macronutrients on phospholipid production by the microalga Nannochloropsis oculata in a photobioreactor”, Algal Research, 41, 101514 (2019).
  • T. Pirasaci, A.Y. Manisali, I. Dogaris, A.K. Sunol, “Hydrodynamic design of an enclosed Horizontal Bioreactor for algae cultivation”, Algal Research, 28, pp. 57-65, (2017).