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Richmond company develops algae growing pods

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 10:42 PDT, Mon April 13, 2020

A Richmond company has found a way to grow algae in a local, controlled environment.

“We designed and tested models that are out of the ordinary, because we don’t have the luxury of the space the ocean occupies. Everything needs to be efficient and super compact,” says Soheyl Mottahedeh, president and CEO of AlgaBloom.

Mottahedeh founded the company in 2014. He is a mechanical engineer and humanitarian, with experience developing renewable energy solutions for grassroots companies in several countries.

AlgaBloom grows spirulina algae using photo bioreactors, ecosystems that mimic the photosynthetic process that happens in nature. Mottahedeh says he focused on spirulina because of its credibility: NASA successfully used it as a dietary supplement for astronauts.

“Bioreactors can be any size, material or shape,” says Mottahedeh. 

AlgaBloom presented its latest technology, the AlgaCube, at this year’s GLOBE forum, North America’s largest sustainable business summit and innovation showcase. The AlgaCube is based on years of research and observation.

“The AlgaCube bioreactor was developed so that companies that burn natural gas can monetize CO2 and convert it into valuable bio-products such as spirulina,” says Mottahedeh.

Under the brand SpiruVive, the company has been growing spirulina algae free of contaminants, and selling it across Canada. Spirulina contains protein, vitamins and other nutrients.

Mottahedeh says their liquid spirulina closely mimics its naturally-occurring form and doesn’t have the bad smell or taste of powdered, imported spirulina. 

To learn more about AlgaBloom, visit their website: www.algabloom.com

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