Algae based products
It begins here…
Step 1: The lab
First stop for our algae is the lab. Committed to clean unadulterated inoculum, we take the time in our labs to ensure all our cells are fresh and free from impurities.
Here our algae live a protected, sheltered existence in highly filtered seawater and artificial light, and are fed a rich diet of nutrients to help them take their first steps in cell division.
Just as in the ocean, our algae lie in a ‘dormant’ state in our laboratory until we provide the stimulus for them to begin to bloom exponentially.
Step 2: Transition
Next, we begin the transition to the great outdoors.
From our photo-bioreactor columns to our greenhouse ponds, we are stepping up sunlight and stepping down nutrients, rapidly returning the cells to the vast, outdoor natural environment in which they thrive and grow at rates which leave most organisms in their wake.
Step 3: Maximum growth
Once the culture reaches our outdoor ponds, our cells are at the peak of their growth cycle, ready to embrace 100% natural sunlight and native nutrients from the fresh seawater.
From a single cell to billions, the algae have reached their optimal ‘bloom state.’ Nature has been unlocked.
Step 4: Harvesting and packaging
To harvest our algae, we first concentrate our cells. A vast portion of the water is removed through our simple harvesting system, reducing energy use in the subsequent steps of desalting, centrifuging and drying.
The rich paste is then dried in low temperatures to keep the high-quality protein and nutrients intact. Since drying accounts for a large proportion of our power use, we recapture that energy, while condensing fresh distilled water from the steam.
Our algae is then packaged and ready to be shipped to our customers across the world.
There are many ways to grow algae. There are photobioreactors, fermentation systems, non-photosynthetic outdoor cultivation systems. Algae are grown in tubes, flat-panel reactors and flexible bags. In some systems they are fed sugar or CO2 or nutrients. They are grown in artificial seawater or fresh water. Species are often Genetically Modified and grown at unnaturally high densities. What characterises these systems: they are not natural. They are expensive, slow growing and not very scalable.
SuSeWi’s patented system is fundamentally different.
We replicated the natural conditions that makes algae the fastest-growing and diverse organism on the planet. Ours is a natural growing system that uses only sun, sea and ambient CO2. We induce and sustain exponential growth, with cell densities like in the oceans.
We work only with algae that are local to our locations and are adapted and acclimatised to the local environment. Our system is flexible: we can grow many different kinds of algae, for many different solutions. We have successfully grown 60 different species in our system: diatoms, chlorophytes, red algae and coccolithophorids. These organisms can produce pigments, lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, alternative plastics or speciality products.
Our science is advanced
The engineering is simple
Our system is scalable
Our Sustainability Impact
The SuSeWi production system is sustainable: it uses seawater, sunlight, atmospheric CO2 and small amounts of energy to make feed in the desert. Only local algae are cultivated. The production process captures carbon and produces oxygen and fresh water.
SuSeWi’s product is believed to be the most environmentally friendly protein in the world:
- For each ton of algae we make we capture 2.8 tons of CO2 – more than any other food
- We de-acidify the seawater to pre-industrial levels
- Using algae-sourced protein instead of sunflower, fishmeal and other traditional protein contributes to climate targets and food and water security
- For each ton of algae biomass we save 3 tons of wild fish from being turned into fishmeal and fish oil
At full scale, we save 140,000 tonnes of carbon emission relative to commodity substitute products (like soya and sunflower seeds) annually. We also save 9 million tonnes of fresh water a year and avoid the use of 6,000 hectares of arable land (relative to Morocco sunflower production). Because we use only seawater the production system is drought proof. Our product is a source of climate change resistant and climate change friendly proteins and nutrients.