Reststromen uit staalindustrie tbv Azolla teelt (KB-13-004-009)

Project: EZproject

Project Details


  • Intro
  • The worldwide increasing demand for food, feed, energy and industrial products increasingly threatens natural ecosystems and global climate. Together policy makers, industries and the scientific community are challenged to seek solutions to mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions, to increase biomass production worldwide and reduce the environmental effects of industrial production. Here we propose a means to mitigate industrial environmental pressure by connecting major waste streams, including CO2 and heat emissions, with aquatic-agricultural farming based on the fresh water fern Azolla which ranks among the fastest growing plants on Earth. Industrial waste streams will be used to further boost productivity per ha using aquatic systems not currently employed for agriculture, whilst simultaneously mitigating pollutions.



  • Projectdoelstelling end 2015


  • Protocols store and disseminate all Azolla species, 1 start-up
  • Whole chain concepts for Azolla Farming Systems
  • Biorefinery concepts, including pilot factories
  • At least two whole chain pilots running by the end of 2015


  • Werkwijze
    • 2013-2015: Growth analysis and protein composition under various conditions (WUR)
    • 2013- 2015: lipid and polyphenol composition under various environmental conditions (UU)
    • 2013-2015: biorefinery concepts for integral extraction of lipids, proteins, polyphenols and carbohydrates
    • 2014: design and installation pilot plant(s), this in close coorperation with business partners


  • Projectresultaat (beschrijvend)

In 2013 the following results were obtained by our consortium. These experiments will be continued throughout 2014/2015.

  • 1. First trials to store and disseminate all Azolla species; an invention disclosure form describing the method has already been submitted to Utrecht Holdings B.V. To optimize Azolla productivity, it is important that production sites rapidly reach standing crop sizes required for continued harvest.
  • 2. Productivity varies between 600-1000 kg DW per ha week continously throughout the year under various environemtal conditions.
  • 3. Crude protein content varied between 25-30% of the dry matter, and the amino acid (AA) composition and concentration (g AA g protein-1) are such that it fully fulfils the requirement of e.g. Tilapia, hens or pigs.
  • 4. Protocols for lipid and polyphenol extraction have been developed. First results indicate relatively high lipid concentrations compared to land plants and varied between 8-12 % of
  • the dry weight. First results also show relatively high concentrations of polyphenolics (20%). Both the lipids and polyphenolics have a wide array of applications in the industry (food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, renewable chemicals industry and biofuel industry). Demand by the industry and prospects of Azolla as a resource for industrial application will be further investigated.
  • 5. First steps towards the construction of a Azolla biorefinery plant have been made. Preliminary experiments, mainly focussing on protein extraction, have been carried out on the extraction of Azolla with an Ionic liquid in a microwave reactor, which were successful. First results show a high recovery percentage of proteins originally present. This will be tested further and expanded to lipids and if possible to polyphenolics.
Effective start/end date1/01/1131/12/15


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