2. BEAD MILL 1. SLURRY INTAKE

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TNO TIM E
AUT UMN 2014
2. BEAD MILL
Here the cell walls of all the algae
are mechanically pulverised
to release the cell contents for
further processing.
1. SLURRY INTAKE
Here the algae begin their journey through the
pilot plant. The algae are harvested and
concentrated by the algae grower beforehand.
The tank has a capacity of 350 litres.
3. CENTRIFUGE
Here the cells that were pulverised in the bead mill
are separated into three fractions: oil, solids and
water containing the dissolved ingredients like
proteins. The oil is collected immediately (and possibly
refined) while the other fractions go to other tanks
(4, 5) for further processing.
4. CAPTURE OF SOLIDS
Capture of non-dissolvable
solids. After drying,
­extractions of this solid
fraction may provide
­attractive compounds for
industrial applications.
TNO T IM E
AUT UMN 2014
VALORI(E)SATION
OF ALGAE
5. CAPTURE OF WATER FRACTION
This fraction contains high-quality proteins that
can be used in foods.
6. FILTRATION
The proteins in the water fraction
are further purified and then
dried.
There is increasing interest being shown in
algae. They contain many ingredients: oils (as
an energy source or for consumption), proteins
and many other properties such as colouring
agents and anti-oxidants. Algae cultivation has
been done on a rather small scale to date and
mainly geared to one product: dried algae
powder. However, by designing smarter algae
processing, it is possible to extract from one
species of algae several ingredients and
provide a wide range of algae ingredients to
end users. Product diversification allows the
grower to spread his risk and achieve more
scale and continuity.
But how does that work? This is something
the pilot plant VALORIE (Versatile ALgae Onsite
Raw Ingredient Extractor), contained in a
20-foot sea container, aims to reveal. In
addition to demonstrating the technological
possibilities, this pilot plant will be used to
determine the economic impact of the
proposed processes, in terms of both yield and
fixed and operational costs.
VALORIE, which was officially opened on 8
September, was co-developed by algae grower
and technology company Algae Food & Fuel
and TNO, the supplier of scientific and process
technology expertise. The container can be put
on site at algae-growing companies, allowing
the growers to explore the various processing
options and create a business case. According
to researcher Corjan van den Berg (in the
background), algae cultivation of half a hectare
is enough to deploy VALORIE. The applied
technology is such that all types of algae can
be processed, process technologist Peter
Geerdink (in the foreground) points out. Thanks
to the modular structure, and depending on the
company’s requirements, sub-systems can
easily be added.
VALORIE has first been deployed at Algae
Food & Fuel in Lelystad, but will then be
deployed at other companies at home and
abroad.
INFO: [email protected],
[email protected]
PHOTO: Pieter Magielsen, NFP Photography
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