Our core area of expertise in biotechnology is the development of technologies for the industrial-scale production of algae. Algae production is a slowly developing field in the biotechnological industry.
The industrial-scale culturing of fungi (pharmaceutical industry, yeast production) and bacteria (recombinant proteins, probiotic foods, special substances) are common in the biotechnological industry, an efficient technology for large-scale culturing of algae is yet to be elaborated, however. Assimilating carbon dioxide in the presence of (sun)light, algae produce essential substances (vitamins, poly-unsaturated fatty acids) that other organisms cannot synthesise. Furthermore, they are able to produce single-cell oils (SCO), a form of pure renewable energy.
The fact that algae – similarly to yeasts and bacteria – are suitable for large-scale biomass production could lead to a breakthrough in the biotechnological industry. Our further aim is to join in space microbiology research, as the adapted utilization of oxygen producing single-cell microalgae may contribute to expand the period of time astronauts are able to spend in space.
Our goal is to introduce a new industrial branch in plant biotechnology to enhance agricultural production by the screening and controlled, industrial-scale culturing of new algal strains capable of producing bioactive compounds.
József Kutasi, PhD – head of research
„My aim in research was to answer as many questions as possible and to track as many indications as possible about the practical exploitation of eicosa-pentaenoic acid and docosa-hexaenoic acid producing algal cultures. Accordingly, I have intensely studied the antimicrobial properties of fatty acid fractions, which could open new paths in the research on the physiological roles of poly-unsaturated fatty acids. As the chemical synthesis of poly-unsaturated fatty acids is, at present, not possible, the identification of new and active agents is of great value and importance. During scale-up studies, dry algal biomass was produced in air-lift photobioreactors (Chemap fermentor) to obtain poly-unsaturated fatty acids. The obtained fatty acids were identified and the (cholesterol-level reducing) eicosa-pentaenoic and docosa-hexaenoic acids were isolated. This was the topic of my PhD dissertation and the subject of four scientific publications (three in Hungarian, one in English.”
- Egyedi igényeknek megfelelő fotobioreaktor készítés