Posted on 17 October 2014
AlgaeBiotech has managed to grow and harvest microalgae in industrial wastewater as a source for sustainable Omega-3, together with project partner CSM. The successful testing of this process in a 15 litre reactor was announced on 15 October
The development of a new method to convert industrial wastewater to high value microalgae biomass is part of the BioBased Delta project, a joint Dutch research programme on green chemistry, to accelerate the transition to biobased production processes that do not create any waste.
AlgaeBiotech, a subsidiary of Feyecon, and sugar producer CSM started the research to cultivating algae in waste water from the bakery and dairy industry that is filled with nutrients, forming an ideal diet for microalgae.
Wastewater – the ideal diet for algae
During the production of fruit based intermediates for the bakery and dairy industry the installations need to be washed many times. This created a slightly polluted waste water stream that contains valuable and nutritional leftovers.
After testing at a CSM plant for bakery products it became clear that these nutrients are an ideal base for the cultivation of microalgae that in their turn are a sustainable and vegetarian source of Omega-3.
|End product (1): high value Omega-3 capsules.|
Toxin free and sustainable Omega-3
The advantages of Omega-3 fatty acids for human consumption have been known for decades. It has a positive effect on the developing of children’s brains and it lowers cholesterol (LDL) levels in the bloodstream.
At this moment the most important source for Omega-3 is fish and fish waste. Currently a staggering 30 million tons of fish is caught yearly just for Omega-3 production.
A second problem is that fish increasingly contains high concentrations of heavy metals and other toxins like PCBs. By consuming fish and fish related supplements these harmful elements end up in our bodies.
Extracting Omega-3 from the original source - microalgae - AlgaeBiotech is able to avoid these negative effects. By cultivating algae in a controlled and regulated environment it is possible to create a 100% pure, contaminant free and vegetarian product.
|End product (2): high value nutrient-rich young fish feed.|
Microalgae as super fish feed
After extracting Omega-3 out of microalgae, a nutrient-rich biomass is left.
This remaining biomass has served in commercial hatcheries, replacing synthetic feed for young fish.
AlgaeBiotech reports a significant improved fish health and a higher survival rate. It absolutes the need to produce synthetic feed and improves the efficiency of fish hatchery.
Due to the positive results of the project, AlgaeBiotech will continue researching and improving the cultivation of microalgae in wastewater. One of the most important goals is to create consistent and a reproducible quality product.
At this time AlgaeBiotech is searching for additional partners in the region that form an addition to the project.
Weesp, the Netherlands
+31 294 457 733
www.biobasedelta.nl (in Dutch only)