NewsBits…September 30, 2021

Team Awarded $2.9 Million to Explore Seaweed as Feed Alternative

University of Vermont A  multi-institutional research team led by the University of Vermont’s Sabrina Greenwood has been awarded $2.9 million to explore the potential animal health, environmental and economic benefits of seaweed as a feed alternative for organic dairy cows. The grant is one of USDA’s newly funded Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative projects to help improve yields, milk quality and profitability for organic farmers and producers. “We are looking to holistically characterize the opportunities for organic seaweed to provide not only a more sustainable feed option, but one that could boost milk productivity and animal health without compromising natural resources,” said Ms. Greenwood.
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BGG World Announces World’s Largest Astaxanthin Farm

B GG World (BGG) and its subsidiary Algae Health Sciences (AHS) have announced the completion of a major capacity expansion of their state-of-the-art, 100% glass tube photobioreactor microalgae farm in Irvine, California. According to the company, this farm is now the largest Astaxanthin farm in the world. The expansion doubles BGG’s Astaxanthin production capacity and will allow for fulfillment of customers’ demands for the next 3–5 years, after which adjacent land (which BGG has first-right-of-refusal to acquire) will be utilized for future expansions. BGG employs a staff of approximately 450, has six production sites including international branches in North America, Japan, China and Switzerland and manages sales in more over 100 countries.
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URBIOFIN goes from Waste to Bioproducts Through a Biorefinery

T he URBIOFIN innovation project is coming to its final course of implementation, following a 5-year journey. The project intends to demonstrate the techno-economic and environmental viability of an integrated biorefinery for the transformation of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste into new marketable bioproducts, chemical building blocks, biopolymers and additives. Laboratory scale tests, as well as several pilot and demo scale trials have been performed and results are indicating achievement of the objectives. The project has been funded by the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the EU Horizon 2020 programme, and coordinated by Perseo Biotechnology S.L.
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Carbon-capturing Robotic Seaweed Farms

A new prototype of a small, solar-powered robotic vessel recently started sailing in the Pacific Ocean, pulling an underwater rack filled with seaweed. The startup developing the technology, called Phykos, says each platform holding the fast-growing kelp may be able to capture as much CO₂ as 250 trees. The company thinks that it could be a viable way to quickly sequester carbon by sinking the seaweed to the ocean floor. The startup’s founders started working on the technology after exploring how they might best be able to help address climate change. “We looked at the breadth of solutions out there, and then we took a first principles approach, and filtered down from that,” says co-founder, Nico Julian.
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Valbiotis Strikes Agreement with ADECAL-Technopole and IFREMER

V albiotis, a French research and development company, has announced the consolidation of its development of innovative natural health solutions by integrating the exploration of microalgae produced in New Caledonia, through an exclusive agreement with ADECAL-Technopole and IFREMER. This collaborative intends to develop a bank of high-potential strains selected by ADECAL-Technopole and IFREMER as part of the “AMICAL” joint research project. Valbiotis will demonstrate the health benefits of these microalgae strains at its preclinical platform in Riom, France. Once this scientific validation has been achieved, production will be scheduled in New Caledonia for the industrial scale-up.
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