Algae Facility Planned for Caribbean Island

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In the Caribbean, Wageningen University & Research is building an algae pilot facility on the island of Bonaire.

The location features ideal production conditions, and the local government is looking to diversify its tourism-heavy economy, says René Wijffels, professor at Wageningen UR.

Initially, the facility will focus on algae-based products to replace soy oil, soy protein, and fishmeal. “There is significant demand for these products. Fishmeal is used as fish feed in salmon farms, for example, but is currently being produced from wild caught fish–which is clearly not very sustainable,” Wijffels says. Travel agency TUI is also participating based on its interest in biobased kerosene.

Wageningen University has partnered with the Council of International Education and Exchange for the facility, which will be an extension of Wageningen’s Algae-PARC in the Netherlands.