Progressi nella coltivazione algale sostenibile

Four years after the first optimistic calculations, the experimental cultivation of algae appears to be meeting expectations. Production costs have been more than halved, while the profit made on some crop components already exceeds production costs. According to René Wijffels, Professor of Bioprocess Engineering at Wageningen University, the sustainable production of raw materials for food and animal feed, chemicals, materials and biofuels is well on its way to be economically feasible by 2025. This conclusion is based on experiments at the Wageningen research facility AlgaePARC.

Whereas the production cost of a kilogram of dried algae totals about 6 euros using the raceway system, it is now just 2.26 euros using the flat panel system. Using the same system – although scaled up to a surface area of 100 hectares – on the Canary Islands, production costs have been reduced to just 1.37 euros per kilogram. ‘Applying scientific research will allow the design to be further refined by 2025’, says Professor Wijffels. ‘The cost in sunny Mediterranean countries could then be reduced to 0.75 euros per kilogram’.

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