Volta Greentech wants to set up a large red algae production facility in western Sweden.
Swedish startup Volta Greentech, which focuses on reducing methane emissions from livestock by up to 80 percent, has completed a financing round worth € 1.7 million to expand its pilot production and prepare to build a large plant. Participants included investor Claas Dinkelspil, founder of Internet bank Norder, and Peter Carlson, chief executive of Northvolt, a battery manufacturer.
Natural Feed Additive
Volta Greentech, a branch of the Royal Technical University, wants to grow large quantities of Asparagopsis, scientifically firing the red algae that grow in the sea. So far this has not worked. At a pilot plant in Lysekil on the Swedish west coast, the company is using algae to produce a feed additive that significantly reduces methane emissions. Red algae contain large amounts of bioactive compounds that block the enzyme needed by methane-producing bacteria in the cattle rumen. In this way, emissions are reduced in a natural way.
“For the past 10 months, we’ve focused on improving red algae growth. We think we’ve now found a really effective cultivation technique,” said Frederick Kerman, CEO of the company. It is a closed system that ensures continuous production regardless of environmental factors such as water quality and weather. Staff are still working on final processes such as drying and packing the algae, for example in the form of pellets.
Demand for dairy retailers
Ultimately, dairies and retailers will have to pay for the feed, according to Kerman’s vision. He is sure that it will work. There is huge consumer pressure to reduce Sweden’s greenhouse gas emissions. He has already passed a test at a Swedish cattle ranch. The company is now trying to ramp up production at the pilot plant so it can run more tests on up to 1,000 animals. The large-scale system, which should have a capacity of 20 times, will be built according to the construction plan itself, so that negative surprises are likely to be excluded. (BTE)