Technology

AF&F and TNO building mobile algae bio-refinery

September 11, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

AF&F’s demonstration algae production plant is located in Hallum, Netherlands.

AF&F’s demonstration algae production plant is located in Hallum, Netherlands.

Netherlands-based independent research organization TNO, and algae cultivator Algae Food & Fuel (AF&F), have announced that they will be building a mobile algae bio-refinery for use in a variety of European locations where algae can be cultivated.

The refining capabilities will allow AF&F’s algae to be processed into purified raw materials for use as food ingredients and chemicals. The start-up phase is expected to be completed after the first quarter of 2014, followed by installation at various locations for algae cultivation.

Currently Algae Food & Fuel, which designs, builds, sells and installs systems for the industrial and agricultural production of algae, operates a demonstration algae production plant in Hallum, Netherlands. Together with Kelstein, a dairy farm and biogas company, they grow algae on the waste streams of the anaerobic digestion unit and the Combined Heat Power units. The installation provides them with energy, excess heat, nutrients and CO2 from the flue gas for growing algae:

AF&F’s growing system consists of four LED supported photobioreactors, each with a volume of 20 m3.

AF&F’s growing system consists of four LED supported photobioreactors, each with a volume of 20 m3.

The system consists of four LED-supported photobioreactors – each with a volume of 20 m3 – and three high rate raceway ponds. They claim to currently have the biggest operational LED photobioreactor in Europe. Their patented harvesting system uses a low energy pre-concentration combined with a centrifuge.

This past spring AF&F began the construction of a second algae production plant at the site of ACRRES (Application Centre for Renewable RESources) at Lelystad, Netherlands. ACRRES is the national application center for sustainable energy and green raw materials. The goal is to grow algae on the waste streams of the anaerobic digestion unit and the Combined Heat Power units at the location.

The installation will provide AF&F with energy, excess heat, nutrients and CO2 from the flue gas. Four 200 m3 bioreactors will be built, together with two aerated raceway ponds. The principle is basically the same as in Hallum, only these basins will be ten times larger.

According to TNO, the main challenge during the bio-refining process is to retain the functionalities of the different algae ingredients. This requires a mild process technology that will be installed in the mobile refinery. Approaches that focus on opening the cell wall in such a way that the functionality of the ingredients remain intact and subsequently separate valuable fractions will safeguard the optimal valorization of algae biomass.

TNO has set up an industrial consortium, named GAIA, together with algae producers and end-users of algae ingredients to focus on those approaches and make the application of algae ingredients feasible. In a large program together with industrial partners, TNO has gained important know-how in opening algae and separation of ingredients like proteins, oil and carbohydrates effectively on a lab scale.

Apart from the technology that enables the algae to be opened, the mobile installation contains membrane modules, extraction equipment and a number of reactor vessels.

By purifying the algae on a relatively large scale (1 kg of dry matter per hour), significant quantities of algae ingredients become available. This is necessary if the industrial parties in the GAIA consortium are to have the opportunity to test the ingredients within their current production lines and thus replace non-sustainable ingredients.

Examples of the ingredients that will be produced are high-nutritional proteins, oil, omega-3 fatty acids, emulsifiers, pigments, antioxidants and fibers. Within the GAIA consortium there are still a few places available for parties who would like to switch to sustainable algae-based ingredients and products, the group says.

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2013 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Don Willmott writes in Huffington Post about Nevada-based Algae Systems, which has built a test plant on Alabama's Mobile Bay to not only turn algae into diesel fuel but ...
James Goodman writes in the democratandchronicle.com about Jeffrey Lodge, an associate professor of biological sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, who knows wh...
As of March 1, 2015, bbi-biotech GmbH, of Berlin, Germany, has begun integrating IGV Biotech GmbH’s photobioreactors into its own life science product portfolio. A former...
Brian Krassenstein, writing in 3Dprint.com, goes deeper into the recent paper in Engineering in Life Sciences journal discussing the impact 3D bioprinting will have in th...
K. S. Rajgopal writes in thehindu.com about a new study that demonstrates how macroalgal biomass from Gelidiella acerosa and Gracilaria dura collected from Adri and Verav...
Sebastian Rich reports on PBS Newshour about the Central African Republic city of Bangui, which has been caught in the crossfire between warring Muslim and Christian grou...
In one of the first studies to examine the potential for using municipal wastewater as a feedstock for algae-based biofuels, Rice University scientists found they could e...
UC San Diego’s efforts to produce innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental problems have resulted in a partnership with the region’s surfing indu...
Algae.Tec has announced a collaboration agreement for the commercialization of its algae production technology with Larimar Energy SRL, of the Dominican Republic. The ene...
Tubular glass photobioreactor (PBR) systems protect algae from harmful environmental factors, keeping strains safer from bio-contamination. The glass tubing itself can be...
Algae “red tide” events often create dazzling nighttime light shows of blue-green bioluminescence resulting from the force generated by breaking waves. While many mysteri...
SciDev.Net’s South Asia desk reports that Indian scientists working on producing biofuel from algae cultured in municipal wastewater are enthused by the findings of a rec...
John O’Renick, in this insightful piece from the Portland (Oregon) Tribune, writes about the problems we create from treating waste streams as garbage to be disposed of i...
There are around 4500 dairy farms in Victoria, Australia, according to Business Victoria. Together they produced about 86 per cent of Australia’s dairy product exports, w...
Earthrise Nutritionals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo, Japan’s DIC Corporation, is on schedule to complete construction in August, 2015, of a new extraction plant fo...