Contributed by Peter Lowitt, based on an article available from Food Ingredients First, December 2016
Algae Natural Food and Cargill are launching the first stage of their project to grow organic microalgae in Strasbourg’s port area. This industrial symbiosis project, based on the principles of the circular economy, is one of its kind. Algae Natural Food will transform the Cargill Malt processing water and CO2 into a source of energy and nutrients for the cultivation of its organic microalgaeal development.
To grow, microalgae need four essential elements: energy (light and heat), nutrients (minerals, etc.), water and CO2. As part of the malt production process, the Cargill site in Strasbourg generates heat, water loaded with nutrients and “natural” CO2 resulting from the respiration of the barley. There is therefore a perfect industrial symbiosis between the malting activity and microalgae production.
As part of the partnership between Cargill and Algae Natural Food, a pilot plant has just been installed on the malt house site. Cargill will also provide inputs (heat, nutrients, CO2) for microalgae cultivation and technical support that will allow Algae Natural Food to take advantage of its industry experience of over 25 years. As such, this partnership represents an environmental benefit but also an economic boon for Algae Natural Food, since it will enable it to grow faster and develop new applications.