Interview with Symbrosia’s Alexia Akbay

I​n this installment of Women of Algae, Felicity Broennan speaks to Symbrosia founder and CEO Alexia Akbay. With a long-time passion for human and environmental health, Ms. Akbay discusses how she became interested in algae as a powerful solution to many of the world’s current crises and specifically in Asparagopsis Taxiformis for its capacity to reduce methane emissions from livestock. Starting from a personal interest in reading scientific papers, that led to the writing of a small grant to determine feasibility, she has now been running a company to establish and grow a viable seed stock for Asparagopsis Taxiformis and to scale the crop for higher impact in the feed supplement industry.

Livestock accounts for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions by emitting methane. The addition of 1 kilogram of algae to their feed reduces over 90% of their emissions. She’s hopeful that producing this feed additive can have a major positive impact on the global climate, especially in the wake of the recent IPCC report on the climate crisis.

Some of the challenges she speaks of are moving from the lab to open ponds and scaling the product. The agricultural industry and companies such as McDonalds are seeking ways to reduce their life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and thus, the use of this product is helpful and welcome.

Symbrosia also offers methane offsets as a part of their business model.

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