SBIR Phase I: On-Farm Algae Production for Livestock Feed
This SBIR Phase I project will study novel algal strains to produce large amounts of high quality animal feed using on-farm resources including spare heat, flue gas, and livestock manure. Research will focus on algal growth under cool climate and low sun conditions to achieve reliable year-round production of large amounts for livestock feed in the upper Midwest. This project seeks to investigate growing algae in raceway reactors located within green houses. The purpose of growing the algae will be to provide animal feed. The nutrients will come from diluted anaerobically-treated hog waste. Heat will be provided from coal-fired boiler and flue gases will be used to provide carbon dioxide. Flue gases will be sparged either in a tank full of feed water or through the fluid in the raceway pond itself. The work will be carried out on a farm and the algae will be harvested using a bag system. Harvested algae will be evaluated in a nearby university for its utility as animal feed. Several algal strains will be evaluated. Whole algae will be fed to animals also to test its effectiveness as feed.
The broader/commercial impact of the project will be that success in the project research could help farmers become a little less dependent on energy from fossil fuels. If the harvested algae can be utilized as such without much treatment, it will represent an operation that can perhaps be sustained even on medium sized farms. There appears to be considerable interest in such activity from farmer groups. The facility will also be used to educate high school students in the art of sustainable farming and train in plant operation. Success in meeting the objectives of this SBIR project could lead to fairly rapid commercial success. The use of aquaculture for animal feed production is anticipated to have a smaller footprint and be less energy and water intensive as opposed to terrestrial crops. The use of algae as livestock feed also carries the distinct possibility of producing meat and dairy products with a more favorable (with respect to human health) fatty acid profile.
Small Business Information at Submission:
612 Indiana Ave PO Box 517 Platte, SD 57369
Number of Employees: