AlgaEnergy has not altered the natural photosynthetic process that microalgae have undertaken for billions of years. Rather, it has developed technologies, knowledge and protocols to optimize this natural phenomenon, so that it can take place in a controlled environment and in a much more intensive way. To this end, all the variables of microalgae culture process – specific of each species – are controlled. There are several stages in the production protocols developed by AlgaEnergy.
The origin of the whole process is carried out in the laboratory, where strains and inoculum are generated and maintained in small volumes. The objective is the generation of young cells from the strains that have been selected depending on the application. The aim is to have high-quality culture volumes, with optimum cell density and sufficient volume to start cultures on an industrial scale.
The next step is the intensive and controlled culture of microalgae, which is developed in photobioreactors. These systems allow the passage of light so that photosynthesis can occur and microalgae can grow in a culture media optimized for each strain. Our protocols control all critical parameters, such as pH, temperature, nutrients, dissolved oxygen and, of course, the CO2 injected into the crop, in order to ensure maximum production rates.
The last step is the harvesting of the generated microalgae biomass. Once the crop is ready, part of it is concentrated, the cells of microalgae are removed, and the water and nutrients are put back in the system. Given microalgae´s high productivity, harvesting can even be done on a daily basis — an extraordinary advantage compared to the productivity of any other plant raw material. The resulting biomass is stabilized and can be subjected to further processes to produce the final product, depending on the sector.
These are just a few examples of the potential of microalgae valorization in different sectors. Click on a compound to discover some of the sectors.