Extracting microalgae with moringa

  Microalgae extraction

Microalgae production in East Africa

In East Africa, there is a high potential for microalgae production, due to the constant large photosynthetic activity in the large soda lakes. They have a large carbon reserve form fertilized for high production. Over 1 billion tons of high-protein product are produced annually with a turnover of 1,000 billion DKK worldwide. 

This PIVØ-Project will use a new principle for collecting the algae as biomass. Microscopic microalgae are the fastest growing “plants”. With a doubling time of 1-2 days and are expected to be the biomass of the future for food, feed and even energy recovery. With a theoratical production of 77g biomass per square meter per day, or a produce of 280-ton yearly hectare yield, an area of 30 km2 (or less than 0.1% of Denmark’s area) will be enough to cover the problematic soybean imports in Denmark as microalgae with a high protein can replace it.

Harvesting microalgae with the help of moringa seeds

The project will develop a method for sedimentation of microalgae based on a known technology for sanitary water treatment which the partners will use for algae. The technology makes use of plant powder, from, for instance, the Moringa tree (which grows in East Africa). Moringa seeds contain dimeric cationic proteins, which absorbs and neutralizes colloidal charges in turbid water, causing the colloidal particles to clump together. Tests on various plankton biomasses are required to analyze which particles are included and which are not.

To advance this solution, the project will develop it at the biochemical and process level, and through user involvement, the areas of application of such products and any need for reprocessing/refining of the products will be uncovered.

This is a PIVØ-project (Partnershipdriven innovation for emerging markets in East Africa”), supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Read more about PIVØ-projects here.


Aurelis Aps

Brandstrup Agrobusiness

Knæk and Bræk Aps 

DTU Fødevareinstituttet

PIVØ projekt - access2innovation

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