Project leader: Prof. Dr. techn. Heike Frühwirth

Funding: Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation

Duration: 2019 – 2022


  • Dr. Baptiste Leroy: University of Mons (UM), Belgium
  • Dr. Thornthan Sawangwan: Ramkhamhaeng University (RU), Thailand
  • Muhamet Doertkardes: EnerGaia Co. Ltd. Thailand

Project description

Sustainably produced foods, rich in bioactive compounds and vitamins, attract a lot of attention. A well-known and widespread representative, is the cyanobacterium Arthrospira platensis (brand name Spirulina). The cultivation of A. platensis requires a large amount of media water, which has to be replaced several times during the yearly production, resulting large amounts of Arthrospira wastewater, with a large accumulation of unused nutrients and chemicals.

In an international consortium this challenge is addressed in developing a biological purification step for the algae purge water, with the aim of recycling it. In the current approach waste water containing metabolites are fed to an extremophilic yeast which has the ability to convert the short-chain sugars into valuable lipids. These lipids have the potential to serve as valuable foods. Therefore, the project has two main goals:

  • Reduction of water consumption
  • The production of biomass as an additional product stream with the potential to be a valuable food product

More information about the project "Water management for micro algae cultivation facilities"