SBIR Phase I: Development of a Two-Stage Culture Process for Production of Omega 3 Rich Algae from Biodiesel Waste Glycerol for Use as an Aquaculture Fish Feed Supplement

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Pullman, WA 99163
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project develops a two-stage culture process of heterotrophic microalgae with a high cell density of more than 100 g/L to produce omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, from the crude glycerol produced as a by-product by the biodiesel industry. The overall objective for this Phase I research is to scale-up and optimize this process and assess its economic viability and feasibility for future research, development, and commercial sales. The research objectives are to: (1) refine the culture medium components for scale-up; (2) evaluate KLa as a parameter for scale-up of the lab-scale DHA production process; and (3) assess the economic viability and overall feasibility of the process. The broader impact will be to solve the problem of waste glycerol treatment in the biodiesel industry while providing an essential fish feed supplement that could help reduce the reliance of aquaculture on fish oil and fishmeal. This reduced cost algal culture process could help to completely substitute fish oil supplementation with omega-3 enriched algae supplementation; thereby resulting in enhanced marketability of the healthier fish product while also aiding in protecting our depleted marine fisheries from further degradation.