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´s BTI is part of the initiative for bioeconomy innovation ecosystem called Bioeconomy Campus. JAMK acts as a pre-commercial undertaking. The team consists of:

  • Tarja Stenman, Project Manager. Research and development of water protection methods, automatic water monitoring, waste water treatment, biogas.
  • Jyrki Kataja, Specialist. Agricultural engineering: processes of plant production, processes of dairy production, energy potentials and systems. Management experience.
  • Tiina Siimekselä, Project Manager. Automatic water monitoring, wetlands, agriculture.

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

  • Case owner quote

    Tarja Stenman





The idea

The case is an idea based on two years experiments on growing wetland algae to study the nutrients up take by algae. The experiments have shown that more controlled growing condition are necessary to get reliable results. On the other hand, growing algae in the closed system is very expensive. However, by developing closed energy and nutrient cycle it could be possible to develop cost-effective microalgae cultivation in PBR to purify water and produce eco-efficient products.

The primary idea is to develop closed energy and nutrient cycle for microalgae cultivation in the bio-refinery system that comprises an energy-effective photobioreactor (PBR) and biogas plant. PBR produces high-value products for refining and biomass for the biogas plant that in turn produces energy, nutrients and CO2 for PBR and high-value substrates and fuel for the market. Experiments have been done by tube systems (lab-scale) and by container systems (pilot scale) to isolate the nutrients and solid from the water with filtration materials. 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 targeted market segments are poultry feed, high-value substrates and fuel.

The allies

JAMK cooperates with Syke and DTI as mentors and receives also support from the Tartu Biotechnology Park and the Submariner Network. As most of the JAMK’s partners are of national origin and were so far mainly Finnish companies 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 happy to have the opportunity to work with international partners thanks to the Alliance network. Especially when it comes to cooperation for selection and growing the best microalgae groups/species in the northern conditions or cooperation for water extraction from the algae biomass.