FIRST LABORATORY TESTS
Hosted by NPL, the Algaemax team is meeting today to present and assess the work done by NPL, SONIC and CRIC regarding laboratory fields during the first semester of research programme. A seminar on the different production systems currently used for microalgae cultivation is going to be offered by Fraunhofer as well.
Nowadays, the most common method for the commercial harvesting of microalgae is centrifugation – a technology which applies high centrifugal forces to separate the slightly denser microalgae “particles” from the liquid water medium. This solution has a number of limitations, such as high investment and harvesting costs as well as high energy consumption demand. Energy supply to centrifugation is around 48.8% of the total processing energy.
These costs present a huge barrier for new companies to penetrate the market and for existing producers to scale up production, and to compete in the larger lower-value products market. This situation is even more complicated for small and medium-sized companies even though the algae market is an emergent sector that can provide entrepreneurs a great opportunity to invest their money.