The processes enabling algae to capture carbon dioxide can result in products that can be used in the fields of biocontrol, human nutrition and animal health as well as for air quality improvement.
Set to be launched in the first half of 2021, the two players intend to encourage investors to support the JV during the first year of operation so as to enable a global roll-out of the technology.
Suez and Fermentalg began collaborating in 2015, as part of the Paris Agreement, with the partners trying to address challenges related to industrial emissions.
They have developed innovative microalgae based technologies to catch CO2 – Carbon Sink - and fine particles – Combin’Air - in cities or industrial sites. In September 2020, the companies piloted a microalgae-based air purification system at a school in the Paris region.
The companies now aim to develop a new algae photobioreactor that will build on the technology they used over the past five years in both industrial and urban environments.
The partners said work will now be carried out on improving microalgae strain selection, developing new lighting technologies and identifying organic products with high added value, targeting soil preservation, human and animal health, that will validate the ecological and economic advantages of the model.
"By leveraging our unique global expertise in technology to serve sustainable development, our joint venture will now be positioned as one of the leading players in air quality and the fight against climate change. In the first year, we plan to open up our capital to other financial partners to accelerate the global rollout of our solutions," commented Philippe Lavielle, CEO of Fermentalg.
Based in Libourne, France, that company's primary markets are the human nutrition and animal feed sectors as well as the health industry. It selects microalgae capable of synthesizing products of high interest: oils rich in fatty acids (omega-3), natural pigments (phycocyanin, astaxanthin) and proteins for use in feed and food.