JAMK: closed energy and nutrient cycle in the microalgae cultivation

ALLIANCE helped to address the challenges in microalgae biomass production using liquid from biogas production.

The company

JAMK Institute of Bioeconomy (BTI) is part of the initiative for bioeconomy innovation ecosystem called Tarvaala Bioeconomy Campus. JAMK acts as a pre-commercial undertaking. The team has seven years of experience in automatic monitoring of water quality and flow rate and strong and long experience of energy efficiency and business models especially in agriculture.

The idea is a comprehensive biorefinery where energy and nutrients are recycled in the most cost-effective way. We are very happy to cooperate with international partners in the ALLIANCE” -

  • Case owner quote

    Tarja Stenman

    project manager, JAMK




The idea

The idea has been based on two years of experiments studying the nutrients uptake of wetland algae. The field experiments showed that controlled growing conditions give more reliable results. On the other hand, growing algae in the closed systems is very expensive. Developing closed energy and nutrient cycle systems, e.g. in photobioreactors (PBR), could be the solution for cost-effective microalgae cultivation for water purification and production of eco-efficient products (especially in the biogas field).

The primary idea is to develop closed energy and nutrient cycles for microalgae cultivation in a biorefinery concept that comprises of a photobioreactor (PBR) and a biogas plant. The PBR produces high added-value products and also microbial biomass that is recycled to the biogas plant and converted into energy, nutrients and CO2 that are recycled back to the PBR and also added-value fuels and chemicals for the market. The targeted market segments are poultry feed, high-value substrates and fuels. Separation experiments have been tested up to pilot scale through filtering the soluble nutrients from the biomass.

The allies

JAMK is mentored by the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) and receives also support from the Tartu Biotechnology Park (TPB) and the Submariner Network (assistance when it comes to the “new openings in networking, cooperation and new project partnership in nutrient recycling, recycling economies & bioeconomics”). Based on the fact that most of the JAMK’s partners are Finnish e.g. in fields of biogas, bio waste treatment, new bioproducts, agriculture, renewable energy or other research institutions as University of Turku, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) before joining the ALLIANCE, JAMK is now happy to have the opportunity to work with international partners thanks to the ALLIANCE network.

JAMK especially values collaboration for selection and culturing microalgae groups and species relevant for the northern environmental conditions and cooperation for optimizing water extraction from the algae biomass.

The SUBMARINER Network is a flagship project of the EUSBSR

 The SUBMARINER Network is a flagship project of the EUSBSR