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Sbir Phase I: Commercial Scale-Up Of Algal Fermentation Processes To Manufacture Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Roe, Charles L
AlgiSys, LLC
Start date
End date

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is focused on completing the research necessary to begin commercializing the production of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from algae. Algisys, LLC has partnered with Virginia Tech to further develop patent-pending technology for the production of EPA via algal fermentation, using inexpensive biodiesel-derived crude glycerol as a feedstock. This SBIR project is expected to result in the technical data necessary to initiate scale-up work on a process to convert waste glycerol into a high value nutritional oil containing EPA. Algisys plans to be the first company in the world to commercially produce EPA directly from algae.
The broader/commercial impacts of this research involve the creation of a completely new source of EPA, which is currently derived solely from the oil of select types of marine fish. Fish oil contains low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA, due to the consumption of algae by fish as part of the marine food chain. Omega-3s represent a multi-billion dollar market and are essential in the human diet for proper growth, development, and good health. Over 8,000 scientific studies and 40 years of research have shown that omega-3s have significant health benefits, and can be used to prevent/treat a variety of disorders: cardiovascular diseases, arthritis/inflammatory diseases, immune system disorders, Alzheimer?s, and macular degeneration. Algisys intends to help meet the rapidly growing demand for EPA using patent-pending technology that merits further development, and is believed to be both scalable and cost effective.

Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project number
Policy and Planning