In Mexico, greenhouses and other primary production and processing activities need to cope with increasing demands regarding sustainability of their processes and especially water management. In numerous greenhouse production practices in Mexico much of the water used is being discharges, without purification treatment, contributing to the overall water scarcity. Moreover, the residues of the fertilizers in the discharge water give rise to large problems with regard to the water quality. Frequent re-use of water in the greenhouses is impossible, given that re-use will increase the salt content already present in the water. Microalgae cultivation can help to solve this problem; they can grow on water to be discharges and make use of the remaining nutrients thereby cleaning the water and producing a valuable product for e.g. animal feed at the same time.
In AlgaeLinkags a new, integrated and sustainable agrifood chain will be developed, using discharge water from the Mexican greenhouse horticulture as a nutrient source for microalgae production. After harvest and processing, this algal biomass will be studied as a healthy chicken feed to produce omega-3 enriched eggs. Future implementation of this agrifood chain will reduce the problems related to nutrient rich discharge water and water quality in Mexico, and at the same time create a healthy and sustainable feed (ingredient) for enriched, healthy eggs. Once proven successful and economically feasible the sustainable approach used in this project can be replicated in Mexico, the Netherlands and the rest of the world.
These targets fit in the A3 objective to maximize re-use of organic waste- and side streams for application as food or animal feed products in 2030
This project started before the implementation of MMIP.
However, AlgaeLinkages is appropriate for the MMIP “Hergebruik van zij-en reststromen” as it has a strong focus on utilization of a liquid, nutrient rich waste stream from greenhouses and converting it into highly valuable algal biomass, rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, as ingredients for animal feed.
2020: Calculations of feeding experiments are finalized
2020: A start in process integration and cost estimation was made
2020: Results were communicated to a scientific as well as a broad audience
Planning 2021: Process integration completed, write report / publication
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