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First algae refining pilot plant

High-quality resources like proteins, oils and carbohydrates • 08 Sep 2014

A push of the button today by Jos Keurentjes, TNO's Chief Scientific Officer, and VALORIE, an algae refining mobile pilot plant, got up and running in Lelystad. VALORIE is able to refine specific ingredients from algae in quantities that make it attractive for customers to gear themselves up towards production processes.

TNO is world leader in extracting valuable ingredients from whole algae, rather than a part of the algae, on such a scale. The key is innovative technology that enables the very tough cell wall of the algae to be broken down non-destructively so that ingredients like proteins, oils and carbohydrates can be extracted in an energy-effective manner. The technology behind VALORIE has been tested in the laboratory, passing with flying colours.

Industry is showing considerable interest

TNO and its partner Algae Food and Fuel have scaled up to a pilot plant and made the process suitable for industrial pilots. The very tangible interest being shown in VALORIE is evident from the more than 120 interested guests, mainly from industry, that witnessed the 'opening'.

Algae as attractive alternative

All over the world companies are constantly looking for alternatives to the resources they process. These alternatives have to be not only more sustainable and less scarce but also, and moreover, be able to boost the availability and flexibility of the resources. Algae contain valuable ingredients, grow very quickly and can be cultivated on unfertile soil. Algae are farming crop of the future and can supply resources for the production of food and feed, chemicals for paint or coatings and pharmaceutical products like creams.

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