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Cultivating geothermal and spirulina creates 100 jobs in Tuscany, Italy

Green algae spirulina (source: Joydeep, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 15 Oct 2018

A fantastic local collaboration that uses geothermal energy to produce spirulina algae, a micro-algae with multiple industrial and food potentials - soon to be included in the menu of the NASA astronauts has created around 100 jobs locally in Tuscany/ Italy.

Among the many examples offered during a recently held conference on Perspectives and impact of the green economy, organized in Pisa within the International Robotics Festival, is a project that cultivates geothermal energy and spirulina, having created around 100 jobs in Tuscany/ Italy.

The project in Chiusdino is a successful experimentation demonstrating the winning combination between geothermal and spirulina algae, a micro-algae with multiple industrial and food potentials – soon to be included in the menu of the NASA astronauts.

The microalgae produce about half of the atmospheric oxygen that we breathe, they represent a food source rich in protein (in spirulina they are 66%, when they average 43% in meat), they can also be grown in salt water and do not need pesticides; moreover 2 kg of CO 2 are fixed for every kg of biomass produced . All elements that make spirulina a formidable ally in the fight against climate change, and in a world where mouths to feed continue to increase.

The cost of the CO2 needed to feed the crops and that of their thermoregulation are the main costs of producing spirulina algae, so here we have to combine it with geothermal cultivation – able to supply both elements in an economic and sustainable way, through CO2 supply coming from geothermal plants, hot and cold water – it represents a winning combination from an environmental, social and economic point of view.

As illustrated by Marco Paci, Head of Geothermal Laboratories of Enel Green Power and Niccolò Bassi (F & M srl, a spin-off company of the University of Florence), at the event, it showcases “the idea to realize a real supply chain led by CoSviG, which has the potential to reach 100 employees and avoid the release into the atmosphere of over 20 thousand tons / year of CO2 . More than 20 areas have been identified that are suitable for the production of spirulina near geothermal power plants in the region.

Source: Greenreport