Ecoduna AG is a bio-technology R&D company that has invented, built out and patented a highly effective photobioreactor setup for the production of microalgae at an industrial scale. The company produces and harvests a variety of algae, including chlorella and spirulina, for use as food supplements, cosmetics ingredients, animal food and feed, biofuel, fertilizer, and even as pharmaceutical components.

Their team includes technical engineers, biologists and process management experts. Their photobioreactor technology was developed through joint R&D activities, and brought into industrial maturity at their large-scale demonstration plant in Bruck an der Leitha, Austria.

When the time came to build ecoduna’s first commercial scale vertical PBR plant, they turned to SCHOTT to deliver several hundred thousand glass tubing units that can hold more than 780,000 liters of photoactive volume. In all, the new facility will produce 100 tons of algae annually.

“The transition from plastic to glass was an important step for our company,” says Silvia Fluch, Chief Operating Officer, ecoduna. “The use of recyclable glass in our manufacturing plant perfectly fits our idea of being sustainable and protecting our environment and nature.”

Eparella, a subsidiary of ecoduna, will operate the sustainable 2.5-acre plant. It is scheduled to be built this year using 143 miles of glass tubing, enough to nearly stretch across Austria. Production will start in 2018.