The focus in the project will be on developing a silage preserving technology and combine this with a membrane refining technology. In the end, this shall lead to plant establishments, and organize a complete macro-algae industry build on modern cultivation and prospecting methods.
The aim of the project is to find good methods for conservation, preservation and processing marine macro algae, and take it from lab experiments to scale testing. Focus has been on separation for protein molecules to substitute imported agriculture based protein for the Nordic fish farm industry. Depending of the results of the tests, a new Nordic industrial algae company should be established.
Four steps have now been conducted:
- Providing raw material
- Running lab experiments for conservation and preservation
- Running lab tests for membrane filtration
- Scale testing for conservation and preservation built on the best results from lab experiment/tests.
Alaria esculenta has been used as basic algal species in the project, but in lab experiments also compared with Porphyra umbilicalis. Both cultivated and wild growing algae has been used, but for the tests only wild grown ecotypes were used. We concluded that cultivated algae would be preferable because of equal quality, age and size. Old plants also tend to have a stiffer stipe and midrib, and hence more difficult to process.
After harvesting, the algae were pre-cut and milled to a wanted consistent both for preservation and processing. With right pH and air conditions, it can now be stored for a long time, or it could be directly hydrolyzed to split complex molecules into wanted size for further separations. The lab tests have shown us that both proteins and carbohydrates has been positively affected during the hydrolyze. The project is now entering the phase with separations.
There are six partners in the project. Eukaryo as, AKVATIK as and DUE MILJØ AS are from Norway, Codland and Matis are from Iceland and TARI Faroe Island participate from Faroe Island. Eukaryo as is project owner and has the project lead. Matis will do the basic experiments in Iceland.