FERMENTALG SA (FERM)
- Last Updated: 05 March 2013
Fermentalg is a young French biotech company created in January 2009 on the way to becoming the European leader in the heterotrophic/mixotrophic microalgal production field. Its R&D activities are focused on heterotrophic/mixotrophic microalgae strain screening, high value compounds extraction and algofuel production. Fermentalg formed a strong scientific partnership with the CEA, to better understand the biosynthetic pathways of high added value molecules in microalgae (lipids in particular). Fermentalg’s R&D is organized in 3 departments:
a- Strain selection and high throughput screening department: Fermentalg possesses a very diverse culture collection of more than 1,000 microalgal strains belonging to different algal classes, genera and species. Strains are either isolated by Fermentalg’s scientists or acquired from different culture collections. Strain selection is based on: its ability to grow under heterotrophic or mixotrophic mode using different substrates from waste industries; its ability to accumulate metabolites of interest and its ability to grow fast.
b- Extraction and purification department: Selected strains are characterized for their lipid content and lipid profiling and also method development for metabolite extraction and purification at industrial scale.
c- Scale up department: Selected strains are transferred to the scale up department for growth (biomass) and lipid yield optimization (media; gas transfer; velocity; illumination etc).
Role of FERM in MaCuMBA:
FERM will contribute to the work packages 3, 7 and 8. It will optimize and improve media composition using statistical approach (factorial design) to increase cell growth of microalgae and productivity of metabolites (WP3) and develop high throughput screening for microalgal strains with high lipid content (WP8) and screen for high lipid content strains (algae and fungi) WP7. Fermentalg will work also on process development of selected strains (microalgae) from WP3 and WP7 using mixotrophic/heterotrophic mode of cultivation. Different parameters will be optimized such as temperature; gas transfer and agitation.
Profile of staff engaged in the project:
- Dr. Khadidja Romari is the Chief Scientific Officer at Fermentalg. She obtained her PhD in industrial microbiology and microbial ecology from the University of Montpellier II (France). She carried out in depth studies of different aspects of algal biotechnology (Biofuels; green chemistry; Omega-3 PUFA; aquaculture). She has considerable experience in algae strain isolation and selection, mass cultivation (heterotrophic/autotrophic mode) and metabolite extraction and valorization. She has more than 15 years of experience working with cyanobacteria and microalgae from different biotopes (thermal; marine and freshwater sources).
- Dr. Julien Pagliardini obtained his PhD in industrial microbiology from the University of Toulouse (France). He is specialized in industrial fermentation with a strong background in process development