Spirulina is widely acknowledged as a “wonder food” with highly concentrated levels of proteins and nutrients. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, dried Spirulina has a protein content of 59-65% (raw beef has around 20%). Spirulina is also a complete source of amino acids and Omega-3, with a high concentration of essential minerals and vitamins. It enjoys a growing global market as health foodies across the globe are finding ways to incorporate it into their diet. However, it doesn’t come cheap and is often considered a luxurious dietary supplement but entrepreneurs in this space, like EnerGaia press ahead with process and system innovations that will increase Spirulina production efficiency.
Conventional production of Spirulina on a commercial scale is widely done in large, shallow, open-air ponds. It grows in solutions of specific minerals with the correct chemical balance and a pH of about 8-11, with a minimum of 20˚C to grow substantially and a good amount of sunlight. While these open air systems of production do have their benefits EnerGaia has redesigned how Spirulina is produced – they have developed a proprietary algae production bioreactor design, a system that maximizes production with minimal resources reduces potential for contamination and allows effective production virtually anywhere.
- The key to the EnerGaia system is efficient production design. They work with a unique system that allows the Spirulina to grow rapidly and remain free from contamination from other bacteria. They use partner rooftops as an excellent venue for growing the algae because of the high temperatures and constant sunlight. Unlike other commercial Spirulina producers who cultivate algae in open ponds, the EnerGaia closed system presents numerous advantages – quality control, substantially less water usage, air-filtration that removes airborne contaminants, etc.
- Efficient Water Usage: The EnerGaia’s bio-reactors can produce one kilogram of Spirulina from a mere 15 liters of water and because of their patent-pending closed-circuit technology, the majority of this water is re-used to produce more Spirulina. This closed system also reduces the potential for other strains of algae to enter and grow.
- The system also relies on the injection of forced air for aeration and mixing, so they are able to utilize CO2 emissions from industrial sites (of especially their partners) thereby reducing the carbon footprint of these partners. The technology allows them to adapt their systems to whatever land or unused space is available. From rooftops in the middle of urban centers to any plots of unused land partners may have.
- Energaia was incorporated in 2009, they specialize in producing nutritious, fresh and sustainable spirulina (converting the rooftops of Bangkok, Thailand into urban farms).
- Founded by Saumil Shah a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA USA. He holds both a Bachelors and Masters in Aerospace Engineering.
- They work towards achieving a positive impact in reducing environmental footprint, and improving food security.