Demostration plant for microalgae production. (Photo Credit: Ecoduna)
Bioreactor prototype tested for microalgae industrial production
Friday, October 25, 2013, 23:20 (GMT + 9)
The Austrian company Ecoduna developed a prototype of a photobioreactor for producing microalgae rich in omega -3 fatty acids at industrial scale in order to use them to create pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and energetic products.
And now, in collaboration with Energiepark Bruck, the firm intends to take its prototype to production scale.
The initiative is part of the project PHOBIOR, which has received funding from European funds. The aim is to demonstrate that the technology used by the European company ensures a continuous supply of algae in ideal light conditions and with the nutrient composition that is suitable for the production of omega-3 fatty acids for human consumption, reported Cordis.
These fatty acids are essential for human nutrition and can replace those currently extracted from fish oil. This means that this project could turn microalgae into a sustainable alternative source of omega-3.
The photobioreactors serve to amplify the photoactive volume considerably, reducing the energy and water needed to grow algae.
Fotobiorreaction technology of Ecoduna uses a patented design of 'hanging gardens,' which follows the movement of the sun to make the light exposure optimal.
This system ensures that algae absorb all the CO2 available.
Last year, the industrial-sized photobioreactor plant Phobior was opened in Energiepark de Bruck an der Leitha, in Austria.
"The hanging gardens and algae oil with omega -3 are our main products," says David Bernhard, head of the enterprise sales. He added that they also aim to produce other high value products, such as cosmetic cream.
Ecoduna is also involved in a Danish research project that uses the algae produced in the photobioreactor to clean wastewater.
By Analia Murias