Algiecel led power and microalgae based decarbonization project secures €2.4m in funding

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Dilok Klaisataporn
© GettyImages/Dilok Klaisataporn

Related tags fermentation microalgae omega 3 CO2 emissions Novozymes

Danish algae-based carbon capture and utilization startup, Algiecel, and its partners, have secured €2.4m (US$2.62m) for a power- and microalgae-based decarbonization project, under Denmark’s Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP).

The purpose of the project, which also involves Novozymes, DTU Chemical Engineering, Knowledge Hub Zealand, and Power to Climate Change (P2CC), is to demonstrate that even relatively small amounts of CO2 from industrial sites can feasibly be converted to and utilized as valuable downstream B2B bio-based products.

Algiecel, which was founded in 2021 by Henrik Busch-Larsen, the co-founder of protein innovator, Unibio, aims to transform CO2 emissions into feasible business opportunities. Its container-based, high yield photobioreactors use microalgae organisms to capture CO2 for transformation into high value commodity products such as omega-3 oils and protein to be used in food and feed products. 

The startup is promoting a revenue-sharing business model, with containers deployed next to a point of industrial CO2 emission such as biogas plants.

Busch-Larsen said: “Receiving such a significant grant from EUDP and having such well-renowned partners included in the project is a very important stamp of approval for our technology and business offering.”

He told us the project is set to run for three years, with it expected to get underway this autumn.

“Most of the project partners were engaged very early on, and we have developed a close relationship with frequent status meetings leading up to the application being submitted.”

In terms of the roles of each of the collaborators, Novozymes will supply CO2 and power, securing a site next to its Kalundborg fermentation facility and building the interconnecting infrastructure.

“Knowledge Hub Zealand is the project manager, DTU Chemical Engineering is to develop a full techno-economic feasibility model, while P2CC will supply the technology to test if we can supply energy grid system services.

“The algae-based biomass produced would then go out to potential clients for application testing,” said the Algiecel CEO.

‘Strategic sustainability bet’

Flemming Funch, VP for engineering, sourcing and facility services at Novozymes, commented on the project:

“Partnering up with Algiecel to demonstrate the CO2 removal technology is one of our strategic sustainability bets. Potentially this can enable Novozymes to capture CO2 from our processes that would otherwise be hard to capture.

“This [work] is part of Novozymes’ ambitious journey to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and become CO2-neutral by 2050.

“Novozymes’ Kalundborg site is a good location for demonstrating CO2 capture by algae processes, having nutrient and CO2 streams available.”

Since its establishment in 2007 EUDP has supported more than 1,200 innovative projects with about DKK 6.2 billion in financing.

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