Affinity makes algae breakthrough
Affinity Energy and Health has scored a significant coup after its Atlanta Product Development facility successfully doubled its algae culturing capacity from 20 grams per litre to 40gpl.
This was achieved through innovative operating procedures without any additional capital or operating cost increases.
Affinity said this increase in algae density has resulted in an increase in batch size and the number of batches while reducing the batch processing time by almost half.
Notably, the company says there is still potential for further density increases to 60gpl.
The combination of innovations will enable the processing plant, which operated at its full initial capacity during the September 2018 quarter, to increase its algae production capacity to more than 250 tonnes per annum.
Management says this can be achieved only with minimal capital expenditure that targets expansion of the cultivation and drying sections and debottlenecking of the harvesting section.
Affinity uses algae to produce its “FeedMe” range of fish feed products for the aquarist market and algae-based nutraceuticals.
During the September quarter, the company also successfully completed the first tests using Canadian company Radient Technologies’ microwave assisted processing, or “MAP”, to extract high quality matter from algae powders for use in future high-end nutraceuticals.
Notably, the MAP technology achieved yields in line with standard extraction technologies but with less processing time.
Planning has now commenced for a larger bulk sample to be tested either later this quarter or in the first quarter of 2019.
Separately, Affinity has identified a fully automated hydroponic method that will be installed at its proposed medical cannabis production facility in Perth.
The company said that final engineering and design will be completed this quarter while its application for an Australian Medicinal Cannabis licence continues to be processed by the Office of Drug Control.
Negotiations are also continuing with a European buyer for 50 kilograms of high quality cannabidiol oil that Affinity has access to each month.
This oil ranges in concentration from 50% to 99% and has been certified as meeting TGO 93 requirements, which specifies minimum quality requirements for medicinal cannabis and good manufacturing practice.
Affinity Executive Chairman Mal James said: “The September quarter was another busy period for Affinity, highlighted by the operational streamlining of our Atlanta Product Development Facility which has enabled us to double our culturing capacity. This is a critical outcome as we look to expand our supply into a number of key algae markets globally.”
In October, the company signed an MoU with ASX listed Skin Elements that could see its algae products and cannabis oils find their way into natural skin care products.
Under the initial 12 month MoU, Affinity will be the exclusive supplier of algae and cannabis oil formulations in either discrete or blended forms which Skin Elements will utilise to develop new and innovative product formulations.
The company also developed a breakthrough algae-based fish feed product for the aquarist market that remains “inactive” until the seal is broken.
This extends its shelf life to two years without requiring refrigeration.
Affinity also signed an MoU with the University of Sydney to support its medicinal cannabis research and development activities in Australia.
Under the agreement, the university will carry out research programs using Affinity’s unique bank of medical cannabis “cultivars”.
This work will focus on strategic stress and pain reduction in commercial livestock and the pet sector. Successful development in this sector could lead to follow-up programs in the human sector according to the company.
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