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Algaltek

Algae for tomorrow

ABOUT US

 

Algaltek is a young EPFL spin-off founded in 2021 and specializing in algae production, algae bioproducts, consulting, and research and development related to algae production. We are specializing on innovation related to algae-based food products, cosmetics, and biopackaging.

In the near future, we are committed to ensure an eco-friendly production of high-quality products from algal biomass by designing algae production systems which recycle their own waste streams, valorise waste streams from other industries, and algal co-products through a biorefinery.

We also propose consulting services to optimize your algae production and provide tailored advice depending on your needs. Depending on your target compounds of interest, we offer research and development activities to optimize your algae profile, develop new bioproducts and new material from algal biomass.

“The company is currently in a research and development phase and is not yet active in algae production.”

MEET THE TEAM

 

Eya Damergi

Founder, CEO

Eya’s interest to algae started since her bachelor where she studied the anticancer properties of active biopolymers extracted from Tunisian red algae. She obtained her degree with honors and was ranked first at the Faculty of Science of Monastir, Tunisia. She pursued her master’s degree in analytical chemistry where she obtained a grant to perform an internship at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). At that time, she was working on extracting high value compounds (carotenoids) from microalgae and closing the nutrient cycle through the recycling of algae downstream effluents. She defended her master degree with honor and a PhD position was proposed to her at the hosting research group at EPFL. During her PhD at EPFL, she worked within a multidisciplinary project where valorization of algal biomass for bioproducts and production of bioenergy are the main fields of interest. She has experience in algae processing through hydrothermal processes, as well as other types of biomass. She has also published articles in peer-reviewed journals. Eya has gained experience in start-ups by following an intensive training program given by the Swiss Innovation Agency, CTI. In the industrial sector, Eya was responsible during several years for the management of a photobioreactor pilot scale facility for microalgae production.  Eya is also an active member of the Swiss Algae Association (SWALG) aiming to promote algae activities in Switzerland. Eya’s passion is gardening and cooking.

Enio Zanchetta

Founder, CTO

Enio is a civil engineer from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Specialized in ecological construction, building physics, and integration of renewable energy in the built environment, he was always driven by integrating the ecological dimension in his field of expertise. He finally decided to pursue his vision by becoming PhD student at EPFL specializing in microalgae. Enio is exploring new ways to valorize microalgae bioproducts to produce the biodegradable plastics of tomorrow. He is working on optimizing the content of specific microalgae biopolymer using cutting edge culturing strategies. This ensures a high production yield of the raw materials necessary to manufacture such plastics. He is also developing a green biorefinery approach to valorize algae co-products of interest during the extraction of the biopolymer. Enio has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and is lecturing a course on sustainable neighborhoods at EPFL. He is also an active member of the Swiss Algae Association (SWALG) aiming to promote algae activities in Switzerland. Enio is dedicated to yoga, exploring inner places and nature.

Christian Ludwig

Founder, Scientific advisor

Christian received his master’s degree and PhD from the Chemistry Department at the University of Berne. Post-Doctoral years were spent at the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources (LAWR) at UC Davis, California, and at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (Eawag). He is head of the Chemical Processes and Materials research group in the Energy and Environment Division at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) for more than 20 years and adjunct professor at EPFL in the field of Solid Waste Treatment for more than 15 years. He has been scientific chair and co-chair of many large and internationally recognized conferences in the field of waste treatment and resources management, and has co-authored/-edited several books. In 2010, driven by the vision of closing nutrient cycles for the production of biofuels, he initiated and coordinated a multimillion US$ algae research project. His research teams at EPFL and PSI use their competences in analytical chemistry and material science to support the development of resource and eco-efficient energy and waste technologies. Christian is also an active member of the Swiss Algae Association (SWALG) aiming to promote algae activities in Switzerland.

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