EU project targets cheaper microalgae cultivation through molecular magnets


In the European Union, a government-funded consortium is working to develop new cultivation and extraction techniques for microalgae, including the use of molecular magnets.

The technology in question uses superparamnetic nanoparticles to immobolize algal cells on a thin layer, optimizing water and nutrient use, Antonia Molino, manager of the project for the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, tells Nutra Ingredients.

The consortium, dubbed VALUEMAG, is comprised of eleven research centers from nine countries and is backed by a €5 million (USD5.9 million) grant from the European Commission under the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. The consortium aims to reduce the cost of cultivation from €6.oo per kilogram to €.30 per kilogram.

Microalgae can be used in food production, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics.