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First harvest innovative Algae Project

A harvest of several pounds was the first positive result of a project in Friesland, Northern province of the Netherlands,  for algae to grow on the basis of the residual of a biogas installation. The first phase of this innovative project of which Solarix is one of the partners, began last autumn with the construction of several ponds for the cultivation of algae in the yard of the dairy farm Kelstein Hallum (town Ferwerderadiel).
The now harvested Chlorella vulgaris algae grown using the residual heat from the biogas plant and the associated generators. In the coming months, several tests are planned for the exploitation of other waste streams of the installation, such as CO2 and the fermented material (digestate). The first objective of the project is to process the cultured algae into bio-oil (eg biodiesel).

The last two years the interest in algae as a source of oil is increasing strongly. Algae offer great advantages in this respect compared with agricultural crops such as rapeseed, oil palm and jatropha. Algae do not compete with food uses. It also explains the algae growing on fertile agricultural land is not seized. Furthermore, algae much more oil per hectare than the most profitable vegetable crop (oil palm). From algae to several other valuable products are extracted, such as dyes, proteins and sugars.

By combining the cultivation of algae with a biogas plant there are major environmental benefits to be gained. During their growth algae settle roughly twice their body weight to CO2. An algae farm could therefore help to reduce the emissions of this greenhouse gas. With the increase in the number of biogas plants in the Netherlands is also the size of the residual digestate increases. A cubic meter digestate contains sufficient nutrients for the cultivation of algae around 500 kg. Growing algae on digestate therefore has the potential to create added value from this residue in a sustainable way .

The project is an initiative of the owners of dairy Kelstein, family Zijlstra. There is still a term of three years. The aim is annually the largest portion of the digestate from the plant on a farm economically and environmentally responsible manner possible.
Partly because of the great social importance, the town Ferwerderadiel the project. The implementation is financially supported by SenterNovem, the Ministry of LNV, Rabobank and Samenwerkingsverband Northern Holland. Additional support is obtained from LTO and the Province of Friesland.
In the preparation and implementation of the project are a number of enterprises involved under which dairy Kelstein, AF & F, Crassus Advice4you, North Broad BioEnergy, DLV Plant and Davinci Finance.

Note to Editors
Kelstein is a leading family in the agricultural sector and research partner for plant and algae production. Its activities focus on milk production, dairy farming, renewable energy and algae cultivation and processing. The innovative and modern services and products of the company bring added value for the entire agribusiness.

More information:
Dhr. Douwe Zijlstra
Dairy Kelstein
Kelnersweg 8
9074 LJ Hallum (town Ferwerderadiel).
Tel: 0518-431378

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