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.

The microPharos PBR from Xanthella: like a shake flask but much, much better.

Xanthella have announced the launch of an upgraded version of their easy-to-use and highly flexible lab-scale photobioreactor system, the microPharos PBRTM. This system is ideal to conduct lab-scale research experiments on a very wide range of photosynthetic organisms including microalgae, cyanobacteria and higher plant cell cultures (eg Arabidopsis). The starter system consists of a Zeus II ControllerTM  that measures and maintains the culture conditions according to user-defined specifications and the two airlift 1 litre tanks lit by LED light tiles. It also includes all the equipment necessary for temperature, pH and gas control. Too often experiments are done without controlling all three of these parameters making it difficult to have confidence in the results. The different components of the photobioreactors are very easy to assemble thanks to a clever magnetic design. The amount of light provided to the culture is easy to accurately measure since the sides of the tanks are flat producing a simple light path of 5cm. The culture parameters that can be regulated in the starter system are:

– pH, using pH probe and CO2 injection;
– Temperature, between 18 to 40°C (standard version – a low temperature option is also available);
– Light intensity from 20 to 1500 µmol photon/s/m2;
– Light/dark cycles, tracking and flashing light.

The starter systems cost £5,900 plus VAT and with free shipping within Europe, making the microPharos PBRTM  the most cost-effective system for laboratory scale research. The system can also be easily upgraded to add more PBRs or change the types and wavelengths of the LED light sources as an example.

Don’t hesitate to contact Xanthella for more information or a demonstration, at the following address:


Revolutionary 3D printing with Algae

3D printed products made from algal biopolymers could herald a new era for design and manufacturing.

Two Dutch designers, Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros, have created a polymer made of algae that can be used to produce 3D printed objects. The algal bioplastic is made of locally grown algae, e.g. Spirulina, which is dried and processed in either their AlgaeLab at the Luma Foundation in Arles, France or their design studio in Zaandam, the Netherlands.  The designers believe that the local algae polymer could be used to make everything from shampoo bottles to tableware or rubbish bins, eventually replacing fossil oil-based plastics entirely. Their ambition is to provide all restaurants and catered events with tableware from the AlgaeLab. Algal filaments for 3D printing are also being produced by sustainability-focused enterprise, ALGIX 3D. Their ALGA filament, which is suitable for many 3D printing applications is produced in the Solaplast bioplastic production facility located in Meridian, Mississippi, along with a number of other bio-based resins and materials.

There are many environmental benefits to algal based biopolymers.  Cultivation of algae removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, resulting in a material which is potentially not just carbon neutral but carbon “negative”. Using the algal biopolymers in manufacturing means everyday items can become mitigators of CO2 and help combat climate change.

Combining the low carbon benefits with the 3D printing process, which has the potential to put production into the hands of the consumer, could revolutionise manufacturing industries. Most manufacturing processes are priced on the materials used which often includes vast proportions of waste, even with maximised efficiency. As 3D printing can eliminate waste one 3D printed item can be produced at the same cost as one in 10,000.

Klarenbeek and Dros would like to see “3D bakeries” where everyday products are produced on demand from organic based polymers. This potential 3D production industry would not be a large centralised company but locally situated manufacturers using materials produced and available in the vicinity.
In conjunction with Ecovative, Klarenbeek has already marketed a fungus-based (mycelium) material and products,, which can be grown at home to produce a variety of household objects including tables, lamps and planters for the garden, as well as packaging and insulation.
Some of the 3D printed algal items produced in the AlgaeLab have been on display at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam as part of an exhibition called Change the System. Further work is ongoing to develop algal “glass” which could be used to produce replicas for the museum.

Click the links to discover more about using algae in 3D printing and other designer ideas.