Schott, Algatech sign new R&D agreement following 1-year study

By Schott AG | September 24, 2014

Schott and Algatechnologies (Algatech), a biotechnology company specializing in algae production, have signed an R&D agreement to strengthen their partnership following a successful one-year study of new glass tubes at Algatech’s algae production facility. Schott’s thin-walled Duran glass tubes significantly improved cultivation efficiency in the yields of Algatech’s AstaPure natural astaxanthin. Nikolaos Katsikis of Schott and Raz Rashelbach of Algatech will present the study’s full results at the Algae Biomass Summit, Sept. 29-Oct. 2 in San Diego.

Algatech sought to optimize cultivation of AstaPure, a premium natural antioxidant known as astaxanthin, as part of its goal to double production capacity. Schott partnered with Algatech in 2013 to produce 16 kilometers—nearly 10 miles—of thin-walled Duran glass tubes for testing in Algatech’s photobioreactor (PBR) production systems at its array in Israel.

Schott reduced the wall thickness of the special Duran tubes while maintaining their strength and stability. The thinner walls facilitate higher volume and increased sun exposure of the microalgae. The use of Duran tubes resulted in an increase in algae production efficiency and higher yields of AstaPure astaxanthin.

“From energy to medicine, cosmetics to nutraceuticals, many different industries rely on algae,” said Rashelbach, R&D manager at Algatech. “The success of the thin-walled Duran tubing has helped increase the AstaPure production efficiency on a small scale that can now be replicated on a much larger scale.”

“Further testing and development of new products in partnership with Algatech will allow us to continue finding new ways and methods to improve algae production,” added Katsikis, director, business development at Schott Tubing.

Schott and Algatech’s R&D agreement will expand their joint cooperation. A dedicated section of Algatech’s factory in the Arava Desert will serve as a beta site for advanced glass components developed by Schott for implementation in PBRs.

“The partnership with Schott is an additional step in achieving our objectives to optimize production efficiency and widen our capabilities in the development of new microalgae-based products,” said Hagai Stadler, CEO of Algatech. “Algatech's extensive know-how in algae cultivation technologies, together with Schott’s versatile glass manufacturing capabilities and knowledge, will allow both companies to develop advanced solutions for the algae industry.”


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