BC News Brisbane (Australia) reports that University of Queensland researchers are growing their highest density algae at a pilot farm in Brisbane. “We’ll see how this goes in large scale, but in the moment everything looks very positive and we’re looking forward to the next few months,” said U. of Queensland Professor Peter Schenk.
Their algae is harvested from ponds and reduced to a paste, dried, and then a valuable oil, rich in omega-3, is extracted. “We expect to get three fatty acids from the algae,” said Professor Schenk, “which are very good for your health. The remaining biomass is very high in protein, so we can use that for animal feed.”
The farm will be run off the grid and powered by natural gas, with any carbon dioxide and leftover water from processing to be recycled back into the ponds.
The project’s success has prompted two other companies to plan for their own commercial-size farms in the Gold Coast area this year. One of the farms, to be developed by Qponics, could eventually cover up to 100 hectares.
“The opportunity to refocus the agriculture industry in the Gold Coast region is a big attraction,” said Dr. Graeme Barnett, CEO of QPonics.