Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

Sustain-ALGae Report Summary

Project ID: 736727

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Sustain-ALGae (Sustainable Integrated micro-Algae Culturing System (Sustain-ALGae))

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Micro-algae are one of few underutilized resources on earth, and they are a solution to the world’s food-related problems. Currently, a few dozens of species are cultured for commercial use while at least 25 thousand species can, in principle, be exploited. Within these, thousands are strong candidates for valuable food components and nutritional compounds that enhance and promote health. Micro-algae give very high biomass yields per culture volume and are a very efficient food source, usually used whole, contrary to many plants where only leaves, roots, fruits or seeds are used. They are excellent source of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates for food and feed. They are from the bottom of the food-chain and convert carbon dioxide to carbohydrates, providing sustainable unpolluted food and oxygen. In comparison with soybean production, production of 1 kg micro-algae protein uses only 23% of the water and 4% of the land needed for the same amount of soybeans. Their production enhances food safety as micro-algae can be cultured under completely constant, controlled conditions.

The Photo Bio-Reactor has the potential to answer a clear need in Europe for a solution to mass produce algae. This kind of full scale industrial sized solution is not present on the market. Its productivity and ability to secure harvest to users facilitates its market entry. By finalizing the scale-up of the Photo Bio-Reactors Keynatura is able to tackle the EU-wide and the world-wide challenges of the food industry to provide consumers with sustainable, safe and high quality algae bio-mass.

The industrial problem that the innovation has the potential to solve is the production of micro-algae products which are in shortage and often with unstable deliveries due to contamination and pests. The innovation - the Photo Bio-Reactors - enhance productivity; firstly, by controlling and regulating factors of importance for fast growth. Secondly, by lowering losses from current rates of 30-50% down to 5%, achieved by designing the Photo Bio-Reactors for integrated pest management.

The economic problem which the innovation contributes to solve includes lower capital and operational costs and saver incomes due to saver harvest. Installation time and costs of the Photo Bio-Reactors tanks are much lower compared with the conventional tubular solution, the overall costs for buyers will be lowered.

In addition, in environmental terms operational costs for tanks are lower than traditional tubes, due to 50% less use of electricity due to use of LED´s instead of HPS lights, and also lower for consumables by utilization of waste CO2 from geothermal origin and considerably lower costs due to ease of handling and cleaning.

Importance for society
The socio-economical problem that our solution contributes to solve - to a world in a need for sustainable nutrients feeds is: increased sustainability in the production of unpolluted and nutritious food and feed products, given that micro-algae is a known source of nutrients, produced with significantly less water and energy consumption than any other sources of nutrition. Furthermore, our solution offers production of micro-algae within a smaller space less energy and water consumption than competitors and, in absence of daylight, allowing for food production within cities, minimizing need of transport and enhancing food safety and allows for all of this in a resource efficient way.
Secondly, for society but very important for us, our solution offers supply of nature’s strongest antioxidant. It can be used as an antioxidant in food, enhancing the preservability of food and feed products.

Overall objectives
The concept and objectives for the project are directly aimed at preparing the photo-bioreactor system for market introduction. The current state of development at Keynatura will be used as a basis. At the end of the project the system will be fully simplified, optimized, tested and qualified in operational environment and ready for market introduction. All relevant documentation will be available, a sales plan will be ready and demonstration and training programs set up. First sales can take place. Distribution channels are interested both for the culturing system and for the astaxanthin as well.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Work performed; a detailed business plan, a market study and report, a plan on needed validations and quality and report, a plan on Integrated culture and technology and a report, a freedom to operate analysis and report and starting to patent.
Communications have been performed with interest groups, both farmers and distributers. A survey was performed among users on their requirements, and interests among i.e., experienced algae farmers, newcomers in the industry and potential newcomers (having been in the planning phase for several months).
Main results are as follows: This culturing system poses a considerable business opportunity. The path to success on integration of culture and technology has been paved, and there is a plan on what shall be performed and how.
The most important feature to present farmers is the pest prevention design giving easy hygiene and disinfection. The most important eye opener to us is to build in the system logical corrective actions, beside normal regulation of growth factors. Further details are given in the report. We have worked out a detailed freedom to operate report, and are working on patenting the patentable solution.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The expected progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact is that in our equipment algae farmers will be able to culture in industry sized enclosed tank based photo bioreactors and enabled produce very high quality astaxanthin in these. The impact will be to bring this kind of enclosed tank based culturing systems on market.

The potential socio-economical impact of our solution - is to enable to provision of sustainable unpolluted and nutritious food and feed products on consumers dish: micro-algae is a known source of nutrients, produced with significantly less areal use, water and energy consumption than any other sources of nutrition. Furthermore, our solution offers production of micro-algae with in smaller area, with less energy consumption and less water consumption,than competitors, in absence of daylight, allowing for food production within cities, minimizing need of transport and enhancing food safety with all this in a resource efficient way.

Related information

Record Number: 196394 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29
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