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With the aim of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, a French company is developing a CO2 capture device for industrial sites. The process is carried out using micro-algae which, by photosynthesis, feed on factory fumes. The micro-algae will then be transformed into raw material for the agri-food market.
The carbon dioxide released en masse by industries and vehicles running on fossil fuels threatens to literally kill us slowly, warn for decades the scientists who analyze climate change.
With the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the start-up CarbonWorkscreated in 2021 on the initiative of the Fermentalg company and the Suez group, specializes in the capture and recovery of CO2 by cultivating microalgae. The company has developed a new standard of photo bioreactor capable of capturing several thousand tons of CO2 directly at the source of factory fumes, explains Guillaume Charpy, president of CarbonWorks:
” Micro-algae are directly fed by the CO2 that industries reject, and under the action of the photosynthesis phenomenon, these micro-organisms will break down the CO2 into two parts, the carbon that they assimilate and the oxygen that they release into the atmosphere. They multiply very quickly to form a biomass.
Technically, we collect the CO2 using a pipe placed upstream of the factory fumes loaded with carbon dioxide which we purify as much as possible. The next step consists in extracting from the biomass formed by the micro-algae which have reached maturity, molecules of interest for industrialists.adds Guillaume Charpy. For example, we produce fungicides from the toxins that are secreted by certain varieties of micro-algae, lipids and Omega 3, food colorings or even high value-added ingredients for animal feed. The production of one tonne of biomass thus recovers 2 tonnes of CO2. Our objective with our industrial photo bioreactors is to recycle 10,000 tons of CO2 per hectare and per year. »
CarbonWorks has already raised 11 million euros to build and commission from 2023 a photo bioreactor semi-industrial size. This project follows the first installation of a demonstration reactor which was installed on a methanisation site in Cestas, in Gironde. This photo bioreactor will make it possible to extract components from micro-algae that can be used as a natural fungicide as a substitute for synthetic pesticides, particularly for vineyards.
The objective of this new unit is also to encourage manufacturers to switch to a circular CO2 economy, which is more respectful of our suffering environment, but which also generates profits.
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