SINGAPORE— Bühler Group deploys its world’s first Stellar Gemini system based on nanosecond pulsed electric fields at Singapore-ETH Centre’s (SEC) Urban Microalgae Protein project laboratory in Singapore for more efficient microalgae processing.
The Urban Microalgae Protein project aims to develop a sustainable, urban single-cell protein production platform and microalgae-based food concepts with taste and nutrition profiles that meet consumer preferences.
“The Stellar technology will enable us to deliver industry relevant results to improve the eco-efficiency and productivity of microalgae supply-chains by establishing a pulsed electric field (PEF)-based biorefinery as part of the Urban Microalgae Protein project” says Dr Iris Haberkorn, project lead and senior scientist at SEC.
The first of its kind, Stellar technology uses nanosecond Pulsed Electric Field processing to grow single-cell cultures, like microalgae at a faster rate, without biologically altering them.
“The installed Stellar Gemini system enables application development and initial scale-up to pilot scale on a flexible and easy-to-use platform. Operators have access to Bühler’s extensive know-how while having full flexibility for independent application development, ensuring maximum efficiency in process development.” says Dr. Leandro Buchmann, Project Manager Bioprocessing at Bühler AG.
The Stellar technology has been shown to increase process efficiency by up to 30%, is able to process different organisms / strains from lab to an industrially relevant pilot scale, and is a natural physical process in addition to or as an alternative to feedstock optimization.
The Stellar technology has been shown to increase process efficiency by up to 30%, is able to process different organisms / strains from lab to an industrially relevant pilot scale, and is a natural physical process that can complement or act as an alternative to feedstock optimization.
As single cell production systems such as microalgae require little arable land, they could help in securing the supply of food and establishing resilient, sustainable agri-food systems.
The Stellar Gemini system is a strategic element in achieving this ambition as it improves microalgae cultivation and thus can enable microalgae to become a viable source of macro- and micronutrients in future.
The deployment of the Stellar technology system is a result of the strong longstanding collaboration between the Bühler Group and ETH Zurich, which supports the SEC Microalgae project with know-how, experience, and expertise.
“We are proud that the scientific fundamentals developed at the ETH Zurich Sustainable Food Processing Laboratory led to the development of a first industrial prototype system within only two years through the tremendous effort of a great team at Bühler, enabling us to deliver industry-relevant results in the project,” said Prof. Alexander Mathys, lead Principal Investigator of the Urban Microalgae Protein project.
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