Microalgae, by definition, are invisibleeye naked. They barely measure a few tens of micrometer. less than the diameter of a hair. Some are talked about because they produce toxins.
But microalgae don’t just produce toxins. Far from it, even. from about 40000 Ocean Currently identified in the world, it appears that less than a hundred make toxic substances. for men or for Biodiversity Navy. “Ahroon microalgaethey produce molecules which may be of interest – proteinsubordinate Fats, dyes, etc. »Explains Guillaume Sharpe, CEO of the startup CarbonWorks. All the more interesting because this microalgae is photosynthetic. Understand that they make these molecules from Carbon Dioxide (Ko2). As if nature gave us so many machines for recycling ko2 that we export inatmosphere.
Capture CO2 It is enriched with micro-algae
Of course, you know, this ko2, its a problem. Because it is primarily responsible for Global Warming that we are currently seeing. So all means to eliminate it, to neutralize it, look good. Including, given the urgency we find ourselves in today. In this case, carbon dioxide is captured and recovered2. What experts call a CCU – to capture and use carbon.
An alternative resource for fossil carbon
“In real life, it is a bit complicated. But the concept itself is simplecontinues Guillaume Sharpe. Industry needs carbon. Instead of recovering more carbon fossilBy extraction oilEspecially –We give him another resource. »
To grow, microalgae CarbonWorks needs carbon dioxide2. “This is CO2We will receive it directly from an industrial company.”Explains Guillaume Sharpe. How ? Simply by connecting a photobioreactor – a closed trough it is algae In question – to emissions Industrial… through a tube. “This is the easiest part, after all.”
However, we should not forget that there are two main components involved in Photosynthesis. ko2, we have just seen. But also a dose ofenergy. energy in the form of light. Light Sun When talking about the overall CCU. Here, the goal is to go up a bit. To do an intensive CCU. “So the yield is better than in nature CarbonWorks still aims to produce 5,000 tons of Biomass per hectare per year –We need to shine a light on our microalgae.”CarbonWorks CEO explains. Hence the term ” picture “ In a word photobioreactor.
Here, everything is ready. Microalgae should only absorb the carbon (C) in the carbon dioxide2 Oxygen rejection (O2) to the atmosphere. Is everything ready? Not quite yet. Because it is also necessary, a little, to feed the algae. withnitrogenThe phosphorous And the potassium. “Nothing but a classic for plants. »
Then it is time to harvest. In practice, this is done on a continuous basis, “A few days after the first vaccination”. The molecule of interest can finally be extracted. At a rate of a few hundred to a few thousand tons. » To serve the industrialist who supplied the company, if possible2 necessary for its manufacture. But any other maker can benefit from it, too. »
Double decarbonization of industry
CarbonWorks’ ambition finally doubles carbon removal industry. By capturing carbon dioxide2 which emit first. Then by providing manufacturers with issue It was obtained from biological sources first to replace the fossil raw materials used in its exploitation. All without compromising biodiversity, with low water consumption and a small footprint. Moreover, the impact on industrial land. Not on farmland. Our goal is to capture 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide2 per hectare per year. Knowing that the forest sequesters between 13 and 37 tons of carbon dioxide2 per hectare per year. And this is a field cornWhich is a good carbon dioxide trap2does not exceed 20 tons per hectare annually.Figure us Clouds Sharpay.
Currently, CarbonWorks has a file demonstrator. He resides in Cestas in the Gironde. It produces a file fungicides. Partnerships have been established – or are under discussion – to supply raw materials to sectorsAgriculture – human food, but also animal food – cosmetics, medicine and chemistry. “Through the end of 2023, we will still be moving back and forth between testing the new technology bricks on a small scale and testing on a larger scale. By 2025, we hope to be able to start the first intensive CCU prototype using microalgae.”
“At the moment, we are not yet at the industrial level.”, gets to know Guillaume Charpy. But the CEO believes in her business model. We do not aim to become specialists in fungicides or dyes. We specialize in this state-of-the-art intensive center console technology. Microalgae Specialists. These are the skills, and only these are the skills that we will put at the service of the industry. » And as is the demand in Vital raw materials The carbon dioxide resource is increasing2 He is, to say the least, puffy…
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