Installation is underway at Scotland’s first renewable powered microalgal facility

The ENBIO algal production facility at Ardnamurchan is under construction. ENBIO, funded by Zero Waste Scotland, is a partnership project conceived by Xanthella and ALIenergy to enhance the rural circular economy.

The project integrates surplus renewable energy with algal bioproduction and will see sixteen 1000L photobioreactors (Pandora PBRs™) installed at the purpose built facility on the Ardnamurchan Estate. The unique Pandora PBRs™ (developed in the ASLEE project) contain submerged LED lightsheets that will be powered by locally generated renewable electrcity.

On-site, a metal racking system has been put in place to locate the Pandora PBRs™. The two-tier structure provides a highly efficient use of space and maximises the production area. Lifting and access equipment for manipulation of the modular PBR units has been obtained. Water, drainage and power supplies are connected and ready for use. Four 700L prototype PBRs are also in place and will be used for testing and operational development. These systems will enable daily routines and maintenance procedures to be trialled and determined. The prototype PBRs will allow Xanthella and Ardnamurchan to establish standard operating practices for the running of the algal facility, as well as investigating the dewatering and downstream processing of the algae produced. An on-site field lab is to be built within the premises to provide space for inoculum culturing and analysis. The electrical power to run the algal PBRs will be 100% renewable, supplied by the local biomass CHP plant situated on the same site in a neighbouring building. It is anticipated that the algal production facility will begin operating in 2019 and will give Scotland a lead in industrial scale algal biotechnology in the UK.


Xanthella success at prestigious VIBES environmental business awards 2018

ASLEE – ENBIO partner, Xanthella Ltd, was one of 10 companies rewarded for their commitment to sustainability at this year’s VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.  The biotechnology company collected the Innovation award at the ceremony held at the Radisson Blu for the pioneering ASLEE – ENBIO approach which is a partnership project conceived by Xanthella and ALIenergy, 

Aqualution Systems Ltd, Beyond Green, Clearwater Controls Ltd, Devro (Scotland) Ltd, Hickory, Peel Tech Ltd, Scottish Leather Group Limited, Spruce Carpets Limited and The James Hutton Institute were also awarded for their environmental efforts. Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service and DSM Nutritional Products (UK) Limited received commendation at the award ceremony attended by more than 400 business figures on 14 November.  The announcement follows a rigorous judging process, where each of the 43 finalists were visited by a team of judges to assess their environmental processes.

Dr Douglas McKenzie, Chief Executive at Xanthella Ltd, said: “We are proud to have been recognised at this year’s VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards in the Innovation category. Collecting a VIBES Award is a real testament to the hard work and commitment from everyone at Xanthella, ALIenergy and our partners. The Awards are a fantastic way to bring the ground breaking ASLEE – ENBIO project to a wider audience and an excellent opportunity to find out more about other like – minded Scottish businesses working to benefit the environment and inspire others.”

The 10 businesses awarded, which represent a range of sectors and sizes, demonstrated challenging their everyday working practices to embrace the economic opportunity of sustainability with all reaping the wider associated benefits including increased resource efficiency, resilience, competitiveness as well as a positive working culture. The businesses were awarded under a range of categories including; management (large and small), circular economy, environmental product or service, hydro nation water innovation, green team, innovation, sustainable and active travel and micro business – highlighting the diverse ways businesses can implement best practice in their daily activity. The awards also demonstrated how even small changes can have a big difference, for example adopting active travel practices that reduce both reliance on cars and carbon emissions to implementing management programmes that empower staff to make more sustainable choices.

One of the biggest threats to humanity is climate change and in light of this, a Climate Adaptation Award was also introduced this year in partnership with Adaptation Scotland to reward a business that demonstrates managing climate related risks. This was awarded to The James Hutton Institute for its innovative work on the International Barley Hub, an ambitious development to create a world-leading centre to translate excellence in barley research and innovation into economic, social and environmental benefits. Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service also received commendation in this category.

Commenting, Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, said: “The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards celebrate business leadership in sustainable environmental investment, and are an excellent opportunity to recognise and reward companies for going beyond ‘business as usual’ and driving sustainable growth through innovation.

“The most successful businesses in the future will be those that are not just compliant, but which are also low carbon, low material use, low water use and low waste, and which see environmental excellence as an opportunity. This is at the core of SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity regulatory strategy.

“It is very encouraging to see the diverse range of businesses, small and large, which are taking important steps to reduce their impact on the environment and which understand how environmental excellence can also benefit their bottom line. I would like to congratulate each of this year’s winning businesses and organisations, and hope that others will be inspired to follow in their footsteps.”

Each of the 2018 VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards winners is now eligible to enter the next European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) which is open to winners and runners up of RSA Accredited award schemes. VIBES is the only Scottish based RSA Accredited award scheme.

Sponsoring the awards this year was: Adaptation Scotland, Chivas Brothers Pernod Ricard, Climate-KIC through ECCI, Energy Saving Trust, Farne Salmon and Trout, Glenmorangie, Greenvale AP, Mabbett, NetRegs, Scottish Government, ScottishPower, University of Stirling Management School, Vegware and Wave.

For more information on VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards please visit

VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards is a strategic partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Government, Scottish Water, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Zero Waste Scotland, and Energy Saving Trust.

The Awards are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bright Green Business, Quality Scotland and Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The Awards are accredited by the RSA Environment Awards Accreditation Scheme (

The full list of VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards 2018 winners are as follows:

  • Circular Economy – Sponsored by Chivas Brothers Pernod Riccard:
    Spruce Carpets Limited (Winner)
  • Hydro Nation Water Innovation – Sponsored by Scottish Government:
    Aqualution Systems Ltd (Winner)
  • Sustainable and Active Travel – Sponsored by Energy Saving Trust:
    Beyond Green (Winner)
  • Climate Change Adaptation – Sponsored by Adaptation Scotland:
    Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service (Commendation)
    The James Hutton Institute (Winner)
  • Management SME (under 250 employees) – Sponsored by Stirling University Management School:
    Hickory (Winner)
  • Management Large (over 250 employees) – Sponsored by Glenmorangie:
    DSM Nutritional Products (UK) Limited (Commended)
    Scottish Leather Group Limited (Winner)
  • Environmental Product or Service – Sponsored by NetRegs:
    Clearwater Controls Ltd (Winner)
  • Green Team – Sponsored by Wave:
    Devro (Scotland) Ltd (Winner)
  • Innovation – Sponsored by ScottishPower:
    Xanthella (Winner)
  • Micro Business – Sponsored by Climate KIC through ECCI:
    Peel Tech Ltd (Winner)

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, promotes Circular Economy approach in Scotland

At the recent Circular Economy Hotspot event, hosted by Zero Waste Scotland and Circular Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon announced the latest Scottish businesses receiving support from the Circular Economy Investment Fund.
After giving a keynote address promoting the opportunities and moral imperative of the circular economy approach in Scotland, the First Minister took time to speak to some of the exhibitors, including ENBIO partner representative Dr Douglas McKenzie, Chief Executive of Xanthella.

Dr McKenzie discussed the ASLEE-ENBIO model and how algal production can provide an integrated circular economy system using whisky industry co-products and surplus renewable energy. The combination can simultaneously reduce the cost of algal production and improve the return on renewable asset investment. The majority of algae currently used in Scotland is imported and the ASLEE-ENBIO approach offers the opportunity to displace the imports, reduce carbon costs and provide a new income in some of Scotland’s most fragile economies.

Ms Sturgeon was shown Xanthella’s lab scale microPharos photobioreactors which are used to develop culturing protocols for the 1000l Pandora industrial scale reactors, 16 of which are currently being installed at the Ardnamurchan Estate as part of the ENBIO project funded by Zero Waste Scotland.

Innovation acknowledged as ASLEE-ENBIO shortlisted in Scottish Green Awards

ALIenergy and Xanthella with the ASLEE-ENBIO project have been selected as finalists for Best Innovation category after being nominated for the Scottish Green Awards. The awards are organised by Scottish Renewables to acknowledge and recognise organisations, people and communities doing exceptional work in the field of renewables. Winners will be announced on 6th December at the award dinner in Edinburgh where more than 1200 industry professionals will gather to celebrate the outstanding achievements of all the entrants. 

Join us on Twitter @Asleeproject16 #sgea or Facebook for results.

ASLEE-ENBIO is the Innovation winner at Scottish Resources Awards 2018

ASLEE-ENBIO achieved a top accolade at the recent Scottish Resources Awards 2018, as winner in the Innovation category.  Representatives of the project partners ALIenergy (Dr Carole Shellcock and Dr Lynda Mitchel) and Xanthella  (Dr Douglas McKenzie) attended the prestigious award ceremony at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and were delighted to receive the winning trophy.  The Scottish Resources Awards recognises the exceptional achievements of Scottish companies striving to promote sustainable practices, reduce environmental impacts and create new business opportunities.

Click here for details of the winners in all categories.


ENBIO to be showcased at international Circular Economy Hotspot event in Glasgow

ENBIO photobioreactor and LED light technology will be showcased at the forthcoming Circular Economy Hotspot event hosted by Zero Waste Scotland

The major international event is taking place over 3 days from Tuesday 30th October to Thursday 1st November at various venues in Glasgow and will demonstrate Scotland’s progressive approach to the development of a circular economy. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, will give a keynote address in the prestigious programme of talks, exhibitions and business discovery tours. The discovery tours will allow delegates to visit and hear from successful Scottish businesses in specific sectors of the circular economy. Discussion of the ENBIO project will be part of the Bioeconomy Business Discovery Tour on day 3 of the event. 

Follow the event @ASLEEproject16 and see updates on #CEHotspotScot


Xanthella at Scottish Resources Conference – 4th October 2018

Dr Douglas McKenzie, CE of ENBIO partner Xanthella, has been invited to speak at the Scottish Resources Conference in Edinburgh on 4th October.  Dr McKenzie will be part of an expert panel in the Circular Economy Scottish Business Innovations interactive workshops taking place on the second day of the conference.

Circular Economy Scottish Business Innovations
The Circular Economy movement is gaining global momentum; hear from leading innovative Scottish businesses who are transforming business models and modifying supply chains to reshape waste management and recycling approaches.
Facilitator: Doug Morwood, CEO, Whole Earth Futures
Dr Douglas McKenzie, Chief Executive, Xanthella
Saskia Goere, Founder, Sofa for Life
Scott Kennedy, Co-Founder of Revive-Eco Ltd.

The conference is Scotland’s largest event for those involved in sustainability, and resource and waste management.  This year’s conference focuses on the range of people, practices and policies which are fundamentally changing the ways resources are managed in Scotland. The event, hosted by Sally Magnusson, is taking place on the 3rd and 4th October at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and includes a ministerial keynote address from Roseanna Cunningham MSP.

Click here for full programme details.

Follow the official Twitter event page @SRConf, #scotres18 to get the latest speaker updates and join the debates.

ASLEE – ENBIO selected as a Finalist in the Scottish Resources Awards 2018

The ASLEE-ENBIO project has been selected as a finalist in the Innovation category of the Scottish Resources Awards 2018.

The awards are part of the Scottish Resources 2-day Conference which is Scotland’s largest event for the promotion of sustainable resource management and circular economy.  Selection as a finalist is an excellent opportunity to showcase the ASLEE-ENBIO project and gain recognition for the innovative approach to boosting the local energy economy.

Representatives from ALIenergy and Xanthella will be attending the prestigious award ceremony on Thursday 4th October at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Click here for more details and a list of finalists in all categories.

Geothermal energy to power algal production


Algaennovation, the Israel – based algal production company, have recently signed a contract with Icelandic ON Power to use electricity generated from geothermal energy for the production of microalgae. The cultivation facility has been developed at the Geothermal Park in Hellisheidi and will utilise the locally abundant geothermal energy to enable carbon negative production of the algae. Once fully operational next year, Algaennovation are intending to produce feeds rich in Omega-3 oils and protein for the aquaculture market….read full details


Scene appointed to produce ENBIO Business Model

ENBIO partner ALIenergy is pleased to announce the appointment of local energy specialists, Scene Connect Ltd, to develop a business modelling tool for the project. The business model will form an integral part of the economic and viability assessment of the algal production system created in the ASLEE-ENBIO projects.

Scene’s core mandate is to address the gap between energy generation and citizens, bringing power and capability closer to home. Their work covers the renewable energy and ‘energy access’ sectors. Scene has offices in Edinburgh, London and Odisha (India) and projects ongoing in countries around the world. To find out more about their ongoing work and past projects, take a look at their projects timeline.

Within ENBIO, Scene will focus on producing a user-friendly spreadsheet tool that can assess the viability of using surplus local renewable energy generation for algal bio-production.

Commenting on their appointment, Lynda Mitchell, manager at ALIenergy said: “We are very pleased to welcome the team from Scene to ENBIO and look forward to working with them over the coming months

Alex Schlicke added: “Scene is delighted to be appointed to produce the business modelling tool and look forward to working with the ENBIO team in this exciting project”

Representatives from Scene, ALIenergy and Xanthella gathered for an inception meeting for the business model development at Malin House, Dunstaffnage, on 31st July.