Swedish Algae Factory, start-up supported by InnoEnergy, has received close to nearly €1.7m from the EU LIFE programme.


Image: Algae production at Swedish Algae Factory. Photo: Courtesy of Swedish Algae Factory

The grant will be used to scale up the material extraction from algae that can increase the efficiency of solar cells.

Swedish Algae Factory’s innovation increases the efficiency of solar panels by using the shell from the silicon alloy.

The shell of this microscopic and nanoporous silicon algae has been naturally designed through million of years to trap light so efficiently that the algae can survive on harnessed sunlight at the bottom of dark Nordic sea. This makes the algae shell material perfect for use in increasing the efficiency of solar panels.

Thanks to the grant from LIFE, the production will now be scaled up to tonnes and will allow to further test the possibilities of enhancing efficiency with customers.

Swedish Algae Factory CEO Sofie Allert said: “Getting the grant from EU LIFE programme is a quality-stamp with regards to the impact of our business. We are looking forward to scaling up our activities with the help of this grant.”

A production with further environmental benefits

In the production of silicon alloys a series of natural environmental benefits arise. Swedish Algae Factory grows the silicon algae on nutritious water from a nearby fish farm. As they grow, they capture carbon dioxide, nitrogen and phosphorous.

The culture is therefore a perfect combination of a trap of greenhouse gases and waste water treatment. The algae is also used to produce organic biomass that can provide a sustainable alternative to fish feed.

A future in colour, sunscreen and skin care

The material will soon start to be tested in other exciting applications. The material has indeed shown potential to be used as a natural UV filter in colour, plastic and sunscreens, as well as an absorbent and moisture-control ingredient in skin care and cosmetics.

Source: Company Press Release