Feasibility of multiple extraction 

What is the project about? 

The exploration of the feasibility of a compact, mobile refinery for the extraction of multiple components of seaweed. Can a mobile, compact refinery unit conduct the multiple extraction of seaweed? 

Why is this important? 

Most of the food we eat has a large ecofootprint, considering the water our crops needs to grow, the food that animals need to grow like soy and the land area it takes to grow that soy often resulting in deforestation. Alternative food sources with a significant smaller ecofootprint are becoming increasingly important to lower our impact om the climate. Seaweed is such an alternative source as it requires no fresh water or land to grow. 

At the moment, the seaweed sector in the Netherlands is growing towards a commercial scale where it can produce thousands of tons of seaweed each year, containing multiple functional components like proteins, alginates, mannitol and polysaccharides. Individual extraction of these components is already possible. Multiple extraction however, is not used extensively yet. Which is a shame, as multiple extraction processing has huge efficiency benefits for the sector. Imagine extracting all functional components at once, compared to moving the seaweed around from processor to processor for extraction. A significant difference! 

This is why this project focusses on exploring the feasibility of a multiple extraction process. An important step in moving towards large scale sustainable sourcing of the functional components of seaweed.

What are the objectives? 

  • Provide an insight into the feasibility and design of a large scale mobile bio-refinery unit, in both a technological and economic perspective.
  • Determine the design criteria of the refinery
  • Execute an economic evaluation
  • Develop multiple of refinery strategies.

What do we do in this project?

North Sea Farmers are the linking pin between companies, the society and NGO’s with regard to the use of the North Sea. This entailed the communication, organisation and network development. In addition, North Sea Farmers were responsible for the construction of cultivation installations on the North Sea.

What are the results so far? 

The project was completed in 2016. You can download the report below, which includes input for: the development of a mobile refining unit (MRUS), how to optimally use this unit for the processing of seaweed, different applications of various semi-finished products, how to best valorise the products in the market. 

Download REPORT (NL) 

Who else are involved? 

Hortimare (NL); Ocean Harvest Technologies (UK); Danvos (NL) North Sea Weed (NL); ECN (NL).

Finance: N.a.
Partners: 5 
Time: 10/2015 - 12/2016
Contact:  Eef Brouwers


Photos: Hortimare & Noordzeeboerderij