Murcia set for boom in microalgae cultivation to cover European demand

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Murcia set for boom in microalgae cultivation to cover European demand
Perdita at the English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Murcia looks set to experience a boom in microalgae cultivation to cover the growing European demand, with the construction of a new plant in Cartagena.

A biofuel and plant nutrient is gaining force in the markets around the world: spirulina, a type of filamentous microalgae, is the latest superfood of the moment and more and more companies in the region of Murcia are dedicating themselves to its production in orde to cover the demand from within Spain and the other European countries.

The controlled and sustainable cultivation of microalgae can be used to produce medications, cosmetics, fuel and food for animal and human consumption, due to its high nutritional value.

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In the 1990s, Murcia constructed Spain’s first plant dedicated to the production of microalgae for the commercial production of spirulina, a green-blue powder used as a nutritional supplement and important source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. However, only in the last three years has production really taken off in a way that does not damage the environment yet is still able to provide for the ever-growing demand.

The latest company to join the business is Microalgas del Mediterráneo, which will construct a production plant with five pools in the town of El Beal, Cartagena. The water in the pools will be in continual motion to obtain spirulina. Experts hope to obtain an annual production of 5,000 kilos of spirulina, which will be used for food, cosmetics, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals and more.

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