The French biotechnology start-up inalve, specialized in the production of ingredients based on natural marine microalgae for animal feed, has raised €1.6 million to fund a pilot plant that will produce protein-rich flour for aquafeed.
inalve has developed an innovative process to produce microalgae in a biofilm system. Microalgae grow surrounded by a matrix of self-produced polymers that are adhered to a surface. These microalgae biofilms have higher concentrations of microalgae than conventional systems because the radiation received by soil surface unit is higher. The company says that this system is more profitable, competitive and environmental-friendly than conventional photobiorreactor systems. Microalgae, afterwards, are transformed into protein-rich flour.
The company states that microalgae production in biofilms reduces energy and water consumption by 90 and 70 percent, respectively, compared to conventional production systems. In addition, microalgae contributes to reducing the greenhouse effect, because for every kilo of biomass produced, 2 kg of atmospheric CO2 are absorbed.
The pilot plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of 10 ton of microalgae and is funded by R2V, Turenne Capital, Region Sud Investissement, ACG Management, Angels for Greentech and Angelor.