CCRES Algal Production Facility

CCRES First Pilot-scale Algal Production Facility
 
Nears Completion

An algal production facility located at the CCRES Research Farm will be operational by June. This is the first facility at Croatia that can produce large amounts of algal biomass.

The facility is a 800 square-foot greenhouse that will accommodate two raceway pond systems, four large flat panel photobioreactors and one custom-made revolving attachment-based photobioreactor. The total production capacity will be 100-200 dried kilograms of algae biomass per year.

CCRES Researchers will use the various production systems to quickly grow algal biomass for various research purposes including the production of renewable fuels, food or animal feed. “This greenhouse algal production system will be a test bed for different researchers to try out their algal production capability at a large scale,” said Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES ALGAE TEAM.

“The raceway pond systems are each 20 feet in length and both systems can hold approximately 1,000 liters of algae culture medium. Raceway pond systems are the most common method for large-scale algae cultivation. At first glance, the four flat panel photobioreactors appear to be large tanks,” said Ilam Shuhani, Chairman of the CCRES Supervisory Board and professor-in-charge of the greenhouse.

CCRES ALGAE TEAM
part of
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)
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3 thoughts on “CCRES Algal Production Facility

  1. CCRES Algae

    Algae are the fastest growing plant organisms in nature and have the ability to convert large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen.

    Before algae evolved, the earth’s atmosphere had no oxygen but instead consisted of carbon dioxide and methane. Photosynthetic algae converted carbon dioxide into biomass and released oxygen into the atmosphere. Today, algae still produce 70% of the earth’s oxygen.

    Algae also form the base of the aquatic food chain. They produce carbohydrates, oils, protein, vitamins and organic minerals. Since they are aquatic, algae grow much faster than land plants as they do not have to expend energy growing roots and cellulose support structures like trunks, leaves and stems. Without the need for support structures, algae can triple or quadruple their biomass every day. This rapid growth means that one acre of algae can produce the same amount of protein in a year as 21 acres of soybeans or 49 acres of corn.

    The Biodiversity of Algae

    Algae are extremely diverse. Many species are single-celled microorganisms but some are multi-celled. Most species are photosynthetic like plants, others consume organic carbon compounds like sugars and starches. They are also chemically diverse with some strains high in protein, oil and carbohydrates.

    Algae’s biodiversity means that they have many potential uses. Algae are used in food, animal feed, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels. They can also be used for carbon sequestration and bioremediation of waste and waste water.

    CCRES Algae Production Facility

    Algae production starts with inoculation of a flask in the lab. A dense culture of algae cells is grown in the flask and then transferred to a seed fermentor. A dense cell culture is grown again and then transferred to a larger seed fermentor.

    When the algae are ready to be harvested, they are transferred to the centrifuges to remove most of the growth solution and then to the spray dryers where they are turned into powder.

    CCRES Algae is an impressive production facility but its value as a research facility may be even more important. It is equipped with a fully functional pilot plant.This system allows our research and quality teams to experiment with new strains and production methods before rolling them out for commercial production.

  2. In the last decade, biofuels have emerged as a small but important element in the global transport fuels mix, spurred largely by government policy in a few key markets. However, as 2013 dawns the sector may be on the cusp of significant change. In established markets, momentum is growing behind a long awaited transition towards advanced biofuels. This shift is being driven by the evolution of government support systems, in response to sustainability concerns that have dogged the first generation of bioproducts.

    The biofuels market has expanded steadily in the last 10 years, with growth in the USA and Europe adding to longstanding activity in Brazil. Reported total biofuels production grew from approximately 20 billion ltrs in 2001 to over 107 billion ltrs in 2011.1 Globally, ethanol is the dominant biofuel, accounting for 80% of production, although this is down from 95% in 2001, with the development of commercial scale biodiesel capacity.

    Technology in transition

    Biofuels are transport fuels produced from biomass. Feedstock sources include food crops (sugars, starches and oil crops), fast growing energy crops (such as jatropha, miscanthus and algae), crop residues and waste products (such as used cooking oil, UCO). While terminology varies, they are broadly classified as either conventional (also referred to as first generation) or advanced (second, third and even fourth generation) products. In general ‘first generation’ refers to crop based ethanol and biodiesel; ‘second generation’ can include ethanol and biodiesel from non-food crops and waste; ‘third generation’ includes biofuels produced from algae; ‘fourth generation’ includes those with identical chemical structures to fossil fuels and other newer products.

    Gaining Support

    Most biofuels remain uncompetitive in cost terms with fossil fuels, and market development has therefore relied on governmental support in the form of incentives and mandated consumption levels. The key support measures so far are those implemented in the US, the EU and Brazil. In addition, state support is increasing in other markets. Notable instances include the implementation of a 5% ethanol blending mandate in India, launched in November 2012, and the setting of mandatory 10% blending targets in nine Chinese provinces.

    Chemical interest

    A recent development linked to the growth of the biofuels sector has been an increase in interest in bioderived products from the global chemical industry. While bioderived chemicals currently hold a very small position, most major chemicals groups are now active in the market, seeking to hedge against rising petrochemical feedstock prices, and anticipating potential regulatory tightening along the lines of the transport fuel sector.

    Conclusion

    The outlook for the global biofuels sector is mixed in 2013. On one hand, continued growth in demand and production is likely in the US and Brazil, as well as in newer markets in Asia and Latin America. Offsetting this positive outlook is the possibility that a major prop to demand, the EU’s RED, will be adjusted in the coming years, removing key support from the first generation products that make up the majority of the region’s output.

    The requirement for renewables as part of a more sustainable energy mix will continue to drive interest in biofuels and bioderived chemicals. However, a combination of widely varying processes and products, and a key demand driver that is influenced as much by socio political as by economic factors, means that the development of the global biofuels sector may remain volatile in the years to come.

  3. Spirulina provides the body with the proper nutrients it needs so it can heal itself. The human body is perfectly capable of healing itself if it is provided with the necessary vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients it needs. Spirulina contains more bio-chelated organic iron than any other whole-food. Bio-chelated means that the iron will easily be assimilated into the body. It is rich in raw protein. Spirulina is a single celled blue green algae that contains 10 vitamins, 8 #minerals, and 18 amino acids (essential and non-essential). It contains a complete #protein of 65-71%, that is 12-15 times more protein than steak and is 5 times easier to digest than meat or soy protein. Spirulina has 58 times the iron of raw spinach and 28 times that of raw beef liver. It contains more beta-carotene than any other whole food. Beta-carotene determines how our cells communicate with one another.

    Its minerals and vitamins are naturally bio-chelated, meaning they are wrapped in amino-acids for excellent assimilation by the body. It contains over 100 synergistic nutrients and is nature’s richest and most complete source of total organic nutrition. Spirulina is a completely natural, and therefore a superior approach to nutrition. It also has many beneficial enzymes. Spirulina has a rare essential fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (#GLA) that is a key to good health. GLA found in mother’s milk helps develop healthy babies. Studies show nutritional deficiencies can block GLA production in your body, so a good dietary source of GLA can be important. Spirulina is the only source other than natural mother’s milk to have GLA. GLA is an essential fatty acid that has been shown very helpful in the relief of joint pain.
    Spirulina is a whole-food; not a concentrate, not an extract.

    #Spirulina is a balanced, natural whole food.

    The benefits of Spirulina extend beyond simply providing an increase in energy.

    Spirulina is a food supplement that helps with cholesterol, #DNA repair, cellular communication, and more.
    Spirulina supports the immune system.
    • The benefit of spirulina for the immune system is a result of these active constituents – polysaccharides, beta carotene, and phycocyanin.

    • Increases the efficiency of cellular communications

    • Helps in the repair of DNA

    • Many people taking spirulina find they have more energy

    • Heart benefits of spirulina include an improvement in the functioning of heart arteries.
    Other benefits include:

    • Improvements in colon regularity. The benefit of Spirulina extends to its capacity to help control the ‘bad’ bacteria like e.coli and the yeast overgrowth of #candida. Yet, it also encourages the good bacteria, which is important for our capacity to absorb nutrients, and make others, such as some of the B #vitamins in the #colon. #CCRES #ALGAE TEAM

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