An automated, modular system for organic waste utilization using heterotrophic alga Galdieria sulphuraria: Design considerations and sustainability

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  • Maximilian Julius Pahmeyer
  • Shahida Anusha Siddiqui
  • Daniel Pleissner
  • Janusz Gołaszewski
  • Volker Heinz
  • Sergiy Smetana

Large amounts of food are wasted and valuable contents are not utilized completely. Methods to process such wastes into biomass of defined composition automatically and in decentralized locations are lacking. Thus, this study presents a modular design for residue utilization and continuous production of the heterotrophic alga Galdieria sulphuraria. A life cycle and economic assessment are carried out on the hypothetical design to define whether the proposed system can be ecologically and economically viable. Producing one kg of dried biomass would cost 4.38 € and be associated with 3.8 kg CO2 eq emitted, 69.9 MJ of non-renewable energy use, and 0.09 m2 of land occupation. Sustainability is comparable to conventional protein sources, with further improvement foreseen through avoidance of drying. These results demonstrate how circular bioeconomy potentials of residues could be realized using heterotrophic G. sulphuraria. It highlights key issues of developing an environmentally and economically sustainable concept.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126800
JournalBioresource Technology
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Food waste, Galdieria sulphuraria, Microalgae, Modular technology, Waste processing
  • Biology