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09:00 am - 11:00 AM

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Valorization of greenhouse effluents with microalgae: Sustainable aquafeeds and biostimulants from drain water.

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Every drop counts...

…in soilless crop production because the intensive use of fresh water and the release of nutrient-rich effluents (drain water) negatively impacts the environment. AlgaCycle will re-use these effluents to produce microalgae. The resulting microalgal biomass will be fractionated into water extracts and residual debris. These fractions will be used as biostimulants in agriculture or feeds in aquaculture.

AlgaCycle re-uses drain water

from soilless crop production

An area of ~1500 ha is used for greenhouses with soilless systems, producing mostly vegetables, ornamentals and more recently, berries. The growth of this sector is limited by water availability and the release of drainage water and solid residues (e.g. plastics and organic waste) becomes an environmental problem. Drain water is a valuable resource because it contains high contents of nitrates and phosphorus. However, nowadays drain waters are discharged unused and can cause eutrophication and rising nutrient levels in the ground waters used for human consumption. (…)

1,500 ha

Soilless greenhouse productions in PT

55 %

More freshwater needed by 2050

10 %

Of the population face 50 mg/L nitrates in drinking-water

AlgaCycle produces

algal biomass

(…) The released drain water per hectare soilless crop production contains sufficient nutrients and freshwater to produce 2700 Kg of microalgal biomass per year. This biomass can be used to produce biostimulants for plants and sustainable feeds for aquaculture.

2,700 Kg

Algal biomass per year can be produced from 1 ha soilless production

10 %

Of algal biomass can be used in aquafeeds to substitute fish or soy-based ingredients

Three outputs from microalgae


Algae extracts are promising biostimulants for plants, enhancing growth and quality of fruits.


Algae biomass can replace substitute unsustainable soy and fish-based ingredients in feeds for fish.​​

Clean Water

By producing algae in drain water, nutrients are removed and clean fresh water remains and may be re-used.


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The ALGACYCLE project, designated as PT-INNOVATION-0023, is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants.