Added: 03.06.2011 09:04
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Algae against malnutrition

Algae can in the near future solve food scarcity around the world. Production in bioreactors can further more produce special production concentrated on omega-3 fatty acids. Algae can also be used in the biodiesel and biogas production as well as in the production of pharmaceutical compounds and bacterial toxins.

Malnutrition and food scarcity is a growing problem all over the world. The project described (Eco-innovation, EU) targets the production of omega-3 fatty acids out of algae for human nutrition.

The algal production can be rather challenging when it comes to the water demand, energy, light demand and stable temperature above 15ºC (Sander Hedda, Hochschule Ostfalia, Germany: Phycology – the world of algae, 2011) . Therefore, the main goal for stable and high quality production is to up-scale an innovative photo-bioreactor into a production scale. The construction and operation of the production plant in commercial scale is crucial to a successful transfer of this new process technology to the Nutrition market.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human metabolism. Currently most of the omega-3 fatty acids products are made of fish oil. Production of special algae biomass containing high omega-3 fatty acid levels could become an alternative source to the fish. Such solution could in return reduce fish consumption and protect biodiversity. The market of omega-3 fatty acids products has exceptionally grown over the last years and is an issue of food security and malnutrition. The innovative photo-bioreactor is a closed system to minimize water losses by evaporation, enable water and nutrients recycling and prohibit contamination from outside.

Main positives of the project
• Instead of using extra energy, CO2 will move the algae through the system, at the same time nourishing it and generating oxygen
• Phosphate will be reused as well as all water. This new technology will also require less pest control additives for growing the algae.
• The system’s design also optimizes space and sunlight to stimulate algae growth

References:

Martin Mohr
Ecoduna Produktions-GmbH, Austria
E-mail: mohr@ecoduna.com
Tel: +43 676 118821

Energiepark Bruck, Austria

Environment – Eco-innovation. 2009. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/events/2011/index_en.htm

Your idea/solution in one sentence: Energetical solution for alage production in order to reduce food scarcity and malnutrition problems.

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