History

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Satellite view of Lake Erie
Satellite view of Lake Erie

Algal Scientific was first conceived in July 2008 as our Chief Science Officer completed his PhD research relating to toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes. He formed a team with deep experience in the wastewater industry to devise a technology and business plan that could solve this problem. Drawing upon principles of bio-mimicry, our team realized that the best prevention of algal blooms in nature may be to create controlled blooms near the most concentrated points of nutrient discharge, where the algae that is generated can be an asset rather than a liability.

That team went on to become “Algal Scientific”, winning First Place in the inaugural 2009 DTE Clean Energy Prize competition, winning other awards at the University of Michigan, and finishing as a finalist in the biomass category for the MIT Clean Energy Prize. During 2012 we won the top award in the Great Lakes Entrepreneurs’ Quest, followed by the $500,000 Grand Prize in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.

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Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center

We invested the awards from these competitions and grants to initially set up our biotech laboratory facilities at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center (a former Pfizer research facility in Plymouth, Michigan), expand our team and fund research.

With additional investment from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, the First Step Fund, Ann Arbor Spark, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and private investors, we conducted water technology research and field pilots a wide variety of process water sources.

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Mobile Hypertrophic treatment system

 

We built a trailerable mobile pilot plant that is used for testing and demonstrating our Hypertrophic™ Water Treatment technology.  With the addition of external reactor tanks, it is capable of treating up to 1,000 gallons per day.  It is fully automated and once commissioned, can be remotely monitored and controlled.  It has traveled the country from pilots in southern Ohio, to Idaho, back to Missouri, and on to California.

 

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Initial research into algal species selection

Our research into the value of our algal products led us to expand our focus to the development of ProGlucan™, a family of algae products produced from Euglena gracilis grown in a sterile fermentation process.

 

 

 

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7,000 liter production fermenter

We use food grade nutrients in a proprietary recipe that includes essential vitamins and minerals. We have developed a patent pending process with high conversion rates of inputs, high growth rates, and the highest known production densities. These combine to produce algae biomass with high concentrations of beta glucan at significantly lower costs than most other sources of beta-1,3-glucan.

Our ProGlucan products are pre-biotics for animal nutrition.  Outside the US, we sell the dried Euglena as ProGlucan.  In the US, we complex zinc to the polysaccharide within Euglena to create ProGlucan ZPC, a zinc polysaccharide complex.  Both products have been extensively studied at leading universities, commercial livestock operations, and international research centers.

For humans, we sell PureAlgal Euglena gracilis and PureAlgal Beta Glucan 95% for functional foods and dietary supplements.

In early 2014 we added significant investors representing interests in the US, Europe and Asia.  We moved into a larger facility supporting full commercial scale production of ProGlucan and PureAlgal branded ingredients.  In contrast to many fermentation processes that are used to produce biological products in batch runs of only a few hundred hours, our process is continuous and has had non-stop sterile runs lasting from 1,000 to over 3,000 hours.

 

In January 2015, we moved our headquarters again in order to gain more expansion space. Our 30,000 square foot facility has more than doubled our research laboratory space and will support production volumes of over 2,000 metric tons of ProGlucan and PureAlgal per year.  Our team has gone through ISO-9001 training and we are now ISO-9001 compliant.  Our new facility is expected to go through its initial audit in early 2017 to be ISO-9001 Registered.

In addition to the team located in Plymouth (a suburb between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan), members of our ProGlucan sales and marketing staff are based in St. Louis to better serve our Midwest customers, and have a presence in Ecuador to support their shrimp industry.