Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Process

IDEA’s value chain of algae production

April 29, 2018
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Francis Kurz is a partner in the IDEA project with his company Algae Natural Food.

The aim of IDEA, a new project in the European Interreg North-West Europe programme, with partners in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Ireland, is to optimize the algae value chain, from local production to storage and handling, in such a way that it becomes a viable, economically relevant industry.

Northwest Europe is suitable for commercial algae cultivation, albeit for specific types of algae. “We already know it’s possible in closed systems, for example in empty greenhouses. But we’re also looking for alternatives outside the greenhouse,” says VITO’s Leen Bastiaens, lead partner in the IDEA project.

IDEA focuses on the complete value chain of algae production. At the moment, the various steps all exist separately, but there is not yet a full chain that is able to continually guarantee the supply of high-quality algae on an industrial scale. IDEA will work on the cultivation and harvesting of different types of algae, all year round.

The project will also investigate how water can be reused to make cultivation more viable, in both ecological and economical terms. In addition, IDEA will look into the various possibilities for storing and transporting algae. Finally, the bio-refining of the algae will be studied, to ensure it reaches the end user in optimal workable condition.

In the IDEA algae value chain, this end user is not the consumer in the shop but rather, for example, the producer of algae-based care products, food or high-quality animal feed. IDEA’s partners come from a range of different backgrounds: academics, SMEs, scientists. They will all bring their specific expertise to the project, in order to develop the algae value chain and to take it to a higher level.

Francis Kurz is a partner in the project with his company Algae Natural Food. “Above all, we need a high-quality product. The public opinion of spirulina is not especially positive in France, because we’ve been confronted with poor-quality products in the past. We need to change this.

“Microalgae are rich in proteins and vitamins, and can be used to produce high-quality fish food for aquaculture, for example. The entire sector is still being developed and the IDEA project is extremely important for the dissemination of knowledge. Financiers want to have guarantees. This international grouping helps by enabling us to expand and reinforce our skills by means of collaboration. At the moment, we work with 16 people on 1.3 hectares. If the first industrial production of microalgae turns out to be successful, we have prospects to expand to 40 hectares globally. There is a bright perspective in the cultivation of microalgae for a huge number of applications and markets,” he says.

Other companies are supporting the project as associated partners. They supply the vital biomass, for example, and in return they benefit from the network and the knowledge that is developed and shared here.

One example is the German company MIAL, which is working on the cultivation of algae for the food chain. Their unique selling point is the organic production that takes place entirely in Germany. Theodor Fahrendorf, head of R&D says, “At the moment, we’re producing organically certified chlorella. In the future we want to start growing other algae, too — types that are suitable for cold climates.

“The market is asking for 5 to 10 times more algae than we’re currently able to provide. Our greatest need at present is therefore to grow enough algae. From our participation in IDEA, we want to firstly gain insights into types of algae that are suitable for cultivation in Northwest Europe. Secondly, we also want to explore the market for high-quality end products. Because cultivating indiscriminately doesn’t work; we need to deliver the product where there is demand for it.”

Antwerp, Belgium-based company Gova is also an associated partner in IDEA. “We’re looking for algae as a raw material for cosmetics”, says R&D manager Patrick Gonry. “We want to make products with algae that contain substances that are good for the skin, such as carotene and vitamin E.

“We’re currently getting these from plants, but that’s not sustainable, which is why we’re interested in algae. But at the moment, there’s not a single supplier that is able to provide us with algae that is suitable for cosmetic applications on a large scale. Our products are very sensitive to smell and color. Algae that are not treated properly smell and turn brown after a few weeks. As such, they are of no use to us. We don’t want to grow our own algae. Hopefully, the IDEA project will help us find a supplier of high-quality algae, with whom we can build a sustainable relationship.”

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2018 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required 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.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. have announced that, in joint research into advanced biofuels, they have modified an algal strain to more than double its oil conte...
Researchers at ETH Zurich, Empa and the Norwegian research institute SINTEF are pursuing a new approach to treating arthritis. This is based on a polysaccharide, a long-c...
Jeff Gelsky writes in Meat+Poultry that Corbion executives have given insights on how its September 29 acquisition of TerraVia Holdings Inc., an algae-based ingredients c...
Ali Morris writes in dezeen.com that Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have developed a bioplastic made from algae, which they believe could completely rep...
Watertechonline.com reports that the All-Gas project in the El Torno treatment plant in Chiclana, in southwestern Spain, in the province of Cádiz, has started its demonst...
The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, a technology-based economic development program funded by the state of Utah, has awarded a $175,320 grant for...
Israeli-based Algatechnologies, Ltd. (Algatech) has become the major shareholder in Supreme Health New Zealand, Ltd. (Supreme) to supply the rapidly growing markets in Ch...
French researchers have been exploring the potential of algae for boosting the immune systems of animals and reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock farming. Past st...
Global EcoPower (GEP), of Aix-en-Provence, France, has signed a 5-year partnership contract with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). This ...
Amy Thompson writes in Space.com that SpaceX successfully launched its 15th Space Station cargo-resupply mission on Friday, June 29; carrying a payload of experiments des...
Alexander Richter writes in thinkgeoenergy.com that Israel-based Algaennovation last week signed a 15-year contract with Icelandic energy utility and operator ON Power fo...
The Swiss Algae Consortium Association (SWALG) was founded in May 2018 as a non-profit organization that serves as a platform for algae-related activities in Switzerland ...