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Robust Algal Growth for Aquaculture

For the RAAK-PRO project Robust Algal Growth for Aquaculture, applied research is carried out to the realization of commercially feasible and stable cultivation of high-quality microalgae to further develop land-based  aquaculture. The relationship between environmental factors, control variables and the final yield, cost-efficiency and quality of the  microalgae is researched within this project.

On the basis of real-life problems from aquaculture the research consortium formulated the following research question: what is the effect of control variables on the quantity, cost price and quality of cultivated saltwater microalgae for specific use in aquaculture? The research, which is based on this question, focuses on the effect of 5 control variables (light, temperature, medium, harvest regime and turbulance within the cultivation systems) on the quality, quantity and cost price of the cultivation of three different types of algae (Skeletonema costatum, Isochrisis galbana and Rhodomonas baltica) in three different types of production systems (photobioreactors, seacaps and open ponds). Manipulative experiments are carried out and the algae cultivation at the project partners is monitored in order to study the correlation between the control variables and the quality and quantity of the algaeproduction. Parallel to this, the productivity and cost price of the algae are modeled with a biological production model and a techno-economic model.

The project started in June 2015 and will last 4 years. HZ Delta Academy (coordinator), WUR, Research group Bioprocess Engineering (Wageningen University), Roem van Yerseke and SMEs, intermediates, consultancy firms and knowledge institutes that are involved in aquaculture work together on this project.

This research is financed by Regieorgaan SIA, part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).