The market size for algae based products is small, low tens of billion dollars, but potentially it could be in many trillions of dollars as the number of products that can be produced from algae is virtually unlimited, due to the large variety of species whose composition can be influenced by changing the cultivation conditions. With only a few commercial algae-based products available, this resource is largely untapped, as explained by Oilgae at the link below.
There are hundreds of companies, government entities and scientists actively working around the world to make biofuels and other products from algae. In the United States alone, there are more than 50 research institutions and over a 100 companies working on algae technologies across the value chain. These companies and institutions are working in all aspects of the algae product life-cycle from identifying and optimizing specific strains of algae, to developing growth systems and refining technologies, to farming large quantities of algae and producing fuel. See more at the below link:
There are a number of prominent venture capitalists, foundations, private equity firms and strategic partners (lately, large oil and energy companies) investing in the algae technologies. It is a huge market, and smart investors with a long-term view see the potential for algae-based energy solutions to drive significant returns on their investment. In the United States, several billion dollars has been invested by the federal government and private investors in the algae industry.
The market of potential microalgae products is wide including:
Food – Food in all its variety is a vast area but the basics of carbohydrates, proteins, oils, essential ingredients can all be obtained from microalgae with very high productivity and excellent cleanliness plus, very importantly without the negatives like pesticides, hormones and antibiotics of traditional food. These basics can be recombined to produce food people are used to. See a report on food and feed from algae by the European Union.
Protein powders – Plant protein mostly does not have all the essential amino acids in each of them, so most humans get their proteins from secondary sources of meat and fish with all the heavy metals and pathogens thrown in. Protein extracted from microalgae has all essential amino acids without the negatives. It is certainly the way forward.
Edible oils – The King of edible oil – Oil Palm – is soon to be dethroned. Microalgae can produce a large number of different oils and now at a lower cost than oil palm with at least 20 times the productivity per hectare per year. Malaysia has to transition to microalgae, just as it transitioned from rubber to oil palm. “Nothing is constant except change” Algae, A Good Source of Edible Oil – Unilever
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