Open demonstration with one of the world largest algae production facilities under tropical outdoor environment

[Japan, Malaysia] Chitose Group, a family of biotechnology companies, designed and supervised the largest microalgae cultivation facility which is suitable to the tropical climate and established in the project jointly organized by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC)  in Sarawak, Malaysia.

The operation of the facility will be demonstrated on a ceremony arranged by SBC and MC on August 27th, 2019.

On 2012 October, SBC, a state research institute of Sarawak, Malaysia, and MC started a joint project aiming for collecting and utilizing local microalgal strains. As a technical adviser for MC, in 2013, CHITOSE GROUP has joined in this project in order to manage and support the project through providing technical consultation and supervision to local SBC researchers both on and off sites.

The facility CHITOSE GROUP designed and supervised is, unlike traditional pond/raceway types, a three-dimensional cultivation facility that is optimised for efficient cultivation of microalgae under tropical environment and is applicable to future scaling; the structure not only allows for the maximum utilization of sunlight, but for also scaling up using economical and locally procurable building materials.

The construction was completed in November 2018. Since then, commissioning of the facility and the preliminary demonstration of the continuous cultivation were performed, and the technical feasibility for the commercialization of this technology was confirmed. In addition, microalgal biomass cultivated and harvested from this facility has been successfully applied to the local commercial production of shrimp as feed and water conditioner.

In order to improve the sustainability of our society, the dependence on fossil resources needs to be minimized and that on recyclable biomass needs to be increased. As such, establishing the sustainable and economic mass-production of biomass is quite essential. In this context, nations in tropical region mostly under the equator are gathering attentions as future biomass suppliers with the moderate and stable temperature and abundant sunlight best for primary production.

Further, due to its high productivity, minimum requirement of fresh water use, and wide applicability to different products compared to traditional agricultural crops, the production of microalgal biomass is emerging and highly expected to be applied in various commercial applications among the nations as the biggest candidate for the replacement of fossil resources.

CHITOSE GROUP devotes sustained efforts to develop microalgae industry through advancement of scale-up technologies, improvement of cultivation efficiency, and lowering production cost, and thus, the sustainable society in the future.


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