Man on a boat is harvesting sugar kelp in the Faroe Islands.

Circle Feed

Project 2023 - 2024 Active

Proof-of-concept for seaweed-based feed

The CircleFeed project will demonstrate proof-of-concept for an innovative seaweed-based feed mix that will reduce both the total carbon footprint of feed protein production and enteric methane emission from dairy cattle. The goal is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the total supply chain related to dairy cattle by more than 30%.

Iceland has a unique access to lava filtrated cold arctic seawater and access to sustainable geothermal heat and energy. This is the inspiration behind the company Lava Seaweed ehf, which is a joint venture between Icelandic investors and the Faroese Ocean Rainforest which has long experience in ocean cultivation of kelp species in the North Atlantic and recently also the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

Seaweed-based feed to be tested in dairy cows

The CircleFeed is co-funded by Nordic Innovation as a part of the Sustainable Ocean Economy program. It has a strong Nordic based consortium spanning the full value chain with cross disciplinary research and industry partners.

The CircleFeed consortium consist of:

Lava Seaweed, Iceland, will be the Project Coordinator for CircleFeed and LS will be responsible for on the ground operations management and development of optimized land-based cultivation and processing protocols. LS will oversee administrative aspects of the project and assist in all work packages. Project management oversees the project with special attention paid to financial, logistics, information, co-ordination, quality, and conformity to the funding body rules and procedures. Lava Seaweed will manage risk and protect the intellectual property generated.

HS Orka, Iceland, will make a pilot scale land-based cultivation which will provide input and knowledge on energy supply and infrastructure for cost efficient and sustainable operation. HS Orka contributes with knowledge of geothermal energy systems and seawater plumbing infrastructure for application to on land tank cultivation of seaweeds.

Ocean Rainforest, Faroe Islands, is a leading pioneer in the emerging kelp industry, having developed scalable offshore kelp cultivation systems, an integrated supply chain, and value-added processing techniques as fermentation for animal feed ingredients. Specifically, Ocean Rainforest will be responsible for providing all ocean cultivated seaweed, collaborating with Lava Seaweed on tank cultivation and processing techniques, and conducting product and market development.

Aarhus University, Denmark, will test feed mixtures in vitro and in vivo to quantify the effects on key performance indicators and methane production in cattle when compared with conventional feed regimens and potentially identify the chemistry of bioactive ingredients by untargeted metabolomics. Aarhus University will oversee all sample testing relating to algae as feed additives and analyse up to 15 seaweed blends in vitro and 3-4 best-bet products in vivo for associated effect on methane emissions in dairy cattle.

DLG, Denmark, is a major cattle feed producer and will offer user feedback to further inform product development and market strategies, as well as product content specification and market potential, utilizing extensive knowledge of the dairy cattle and feed industry.

The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, will perform the Life Cycle Assessment in conjunction with project partners who will provide the life cycle inventory data for raw biomass production, processing and use scenarios. The focus of the Life Cycle Assessment will be to quantify the effects of introducing seaweed to cattle feed mixes, with a focus on climate effects and other relevant impact categories such as land use change and eutrophication potential.

Sjókovin, Faroe Islands, will conduct the techno-economic analysis (TEA) for the seaweed feed additive product(s) developed utilizing input data generated in all other work packages. The techno-economic analysis will inform future scale up, sustainability, and commercial feasibility. The ecological implications throughout the supply chain will be analyzed by Sjókovin, who specialises in techno-economic, socio-economic, and ecological impact assessments of seafood production, including seaweed cultivation.

Results

CircleFeed will study the feasibility to use access to borehole seawater, geothermal heat, and green energy in land-based farming of red seaweed species. This includes utilisation of the organic waste streams from the fish farming activities in the resource park and use it as a nutrient source of the seaweed farming.

With use of unique natural resources for land farming of seaweed in Iceland the aim of the Nordic CircleFeed project is to reduce the greenhouse gas emission more than 30% in improved environmental dairy cattle production.

Contacts

Emil Gejrot - Innovation Adviser

Emil Gejrot (paternity leave)

Innovation Adviser
Emil has extensive experience of innovation projects and policy analysis in the Nordic region and beyond. Before joining Nordic Innovation, he worked for a research consultancy where he focused on digital transformation, inclusion, and sustainability. He holds an MA in Transcultural Studies and has lived and worked in Sweden, Norway, the UK, and Germany.

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