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lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

BBD proposes a pilot biorefinery to produce DHA from mussels cooking water

Bio&Tech Bioeconomic Development (BBD), it is worth noting the name of this young Galician company committed to the boosting of the bioeconomy in the region to solve the environmental problems and improve social welfare and employment. In this post, I will introduce one of the projects they are working on: the development of a biorefinery at pilot scale for the integral valorization of the water produced during the mussels cooking. I also will take advantage to provide a brief general overview of the company. Let us start with it.

The company

The main working area of BBD is biotechnology, whose technological innovations applies in the fields of bioenergy, agriculture, fishing and aquaculture. The general approach of the company is based on two pillars: the use of the historical thought to enrich the future and the application of the new knowledge through new technologies, methods and systems to overcome the current challenges of the society. The Galician people take roots in the sea, the fields and the forests of the region. BBD looks for the sustainable development through a holistic and integrating vision of those roots to solve environmental and socioeconomic problems.

Figure courtesy of BBD

The promoter of this venture is Vicente Vázquez, a professional with a wide background on the pharmaceutical, aquaculture and agricultural sectors, and great expertise in projects of productive bioeconomy and waste valorization. In April 2015, he establishes the company with the aim of developing two own projects: “Microbial production of DHA-omega3 from water of mussels cooking” and “Vilas Verdes” (a bioeconomic model of rural development). During 2016, at the time as it advances in its own projects, it collaborates in activities of technical consultancy for the fishing oleobiochemical sector. Moreover, it participates in the call of young technological company NEOTEC of CDTI (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology) with the company project “Entrepreneurial Development of the Circular Economy” being selected in the first stage among 500 participants.

The project “Vilas Verdes” is in a period of protection of intellectual property rights and it is being supported by the cooperation of entities from Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Its purpose is to transform forestry and livestock wastes from the Northwest of Spain and the North of Portugal into bioenergy and high quality food contributing to the economic development of rural zones and the environmental protection.

If you are interested in contacting BBD, you can use the following e-mail address:

Microbial production of DHA-omega3 from water of mussels cooking

The Galician fishing industry generates effluents with high organic load that can be used to industrially produce DHA (a polyunsaturated fatty acid of the Omega-3 series that is essential for the health), as well as other products of nutraceutical interest. BBD has developed a project proposal underpinned on its own scientific know-how and that of its partners and collaborators to reutilize the mussels cooking water through a pilot plant that demonstrates the project and leads to the construction of a biorefinery. This project, based on concepts of the circular economy and the blue biotechnology, is proprietary. Below, you can find a summary tab of industrial scale-up of BBD.

Location of the pilot plant
Vilagarcía de Arousa or Vilanova de Arousa (Galicia, Spain)
Mussels cooking water whose content varies seasonally depending on the physiologic state of the mollusc.
The soluble form is characterized by:
- Production = 5 m3/hour.
- Temperature = 90-100ºC.
- Physical-chemical characteristics: salinity = 18 g/l; COD = 19,000-26,000 g/l.
- Biochemical characteristics: glycogen = 2-4 g/l; soluble proteins = 2-4 g/l; soluble amino acids = 4.5 g/l (2.4 g/l of taurine).
- Other non-soluble products: high protein content.
DHA, biological proteins and other byproducts of interest to the food and nutraceutical sectors.
Process technologies
Conditioning (physical-chemical pretreatment) and concentration of effluents, enzymatic treatments, biotechnological treatments, growing of heterotrophic microalgae producers of DHA and biological proteins.
Expected capacities of processing and production
The first semi-industrial stage considers a consumption of 120,000 litres per week of concentrated mussels cooking water which will be deployed as of the fourth year with a capacity of 126 ton/year of DHA (35%).
To accomplish this objective, a conditioning pilot plant in a mollusc cooker and a productive pilot plant of 76,000 litres will be built.
Partners and collaborators
- Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Tarragona
Current state of the project
The project is seeking external funding with the intention of starting as soon as possible.

Acknowledgements: I would like to express my appreciation to Vicente Vázquez for his kind cooperation in the preparation of this post. 

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