The Canary Islands are studying microalgae that are powered by carbon dioxide from a thermal power plant to produce biomass

he Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC), Of the Department of Universities, Science and Innovation of the Government of the Canary Islands and Endesa, this Wednesday presented an innovative project aimed at Exploring the potential of microalgae As carbon dioxide collectors from combustion gases in thermal power plants. In addition, the performance in cultivating these marine plant organisms for use in biotechnology will be studied.

Initiative with her Seeking to improve the environmental footprint The economic feasibility of the process of producing microalgae that feeds on the carbon dioxide produced by the factory, which in turn leads to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in industrial activity.

The demonstration took place at the microalgae pilot plant located at the Endesa thermal power plant in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria. The space contains a laboratory unit for monitoring crops and analyzing the biochemical composition of the biomass, two greenhouses with different microalgae cultivation systems and a processing unit where the raw materials are processed using drying and/or spraying to obtain the biomass in the form of a paste or fine powder.

An innovative project in the Canary Islands to grow microalgae that filters gas emissions and begins converting carbon dioxide from plants into high-value biomass, and only plants that were previously It will be isolated in seawater in Pozo IzquierdoOn the coast of Gran Canaria, which grows spontaneously and naturally.

“This demonstration project promoted by ITC in collaboration with Endesa demonstrates the important role played by knowledge centers as a tool for diversification towards green economies, opening the way to new productive sectors for which the Canary Islands have competitive advantages for their development,” said the Vice-President. -Minister of Research.

What are microalgae?

Microalgae are single-celled aquatic organisms that require sunlight as an energy source and carbon dioxide as a food source, thus generating oxygen during the metabolic process of photosynthesis. Its cultivation requires saving up to 2 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of biomass produced. Having microalgae capture carbon dioxide from combustion gases from the industrial process means avoiding emissions into the atmosphere as well as making the farming process cheaper.

“It is a unique project in response to the need to capture carbon dioxide At Endesa, we gladly give up the land and gases from the plant and facilities. Our gas emissions already come with a certain filtering process and the only thing pending is the CO2 capture process, which is exactly what we will do with our participation in this project!, explained Luis Varela, Head of the Biotechnology Department at the ITC. .

Based on the results obtained, the possibility of directing this residual gas from the plant to the Technological and Industrial Development Zone for Blue Biotechnology and Aquaculture in Pozo Izquierdo will be studied and provide companies producing aquatic species, both plant and animal, with a supply of carbon dioxide that supports economic viability. Environmental and contributes to the development of local plant aquaculture.

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