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A solar based, internally-illuminated bioreactor for microalgae cultivation

Objective

Microalgae can be of great benefit as a food source, as a natural source for a wide range of products and as biomass for production of biofuels as they can replace synthetic and/or fossil biomass, but they are far from reaching their commercial potential, because their cultivation is expensive and inefficient, limiting their use to high-value markets. An important product derived from microalgae is naturally produced Astaxanthin that can replace the current synthetically produced Astaxanthin used in salmon feed. For health reasons, consumers and regulators have started demanding replacing synthetic sources of Astaxanthin by natural sources.
Brevel has created a novel microalgae cultivation system based on an internally illuminated photo bioreactor. Our system allows for microalgae production to become affordable and enables the stable cultivation of microalgae at a high capacity and resource efficient method. The unique approach lies in the internal volumetric illumination by concentrating and transporting sunlight by optical fibers.
Brevel Ltd. was founded by three brothers in 2016 whose background is in microalgae production, physics and healthcare. The company is owned by the founders who invested €350,000 of their own savings as seed funding.
Whilst the total market size for microalgae is almost €3 billion, we will first target the Astaxanthin market that had a €600 million size in 2016. Over 90% of this is manufactured synthetically due to the lower production cost. We would be the first to be able to compete with the synthetic alternative with natural Astaxanthin, which would greatly profit EU consumers who have access to eat healthier salmon.
With the Phase 1 project, we want to study the feasibility of creating a small-scale and then large-scale production plant (with 5 and 50 production systems respectively). Once we succeed, our initial product will be Astaxanthin sold to salmon feed manufacturers at a price comparable to the current synthetic one.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/biofuels
  • /engineering and technology/environmental biotechnology/bioremediation/bioreactor
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/fibre optics
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/fibers
  • /agricultural sciences/agricultural biotechnology/biomass

Call for proposal

H2020-SMEInst-2018-2020-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1

Coordinator

BREVEL
Address
Hazait 12
7634912 Rehovot
Israel
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000