Preliminary Techno-Economic Analysis of Astaxanthin Production using Haematococcus pluvialis

Author : Ferrer, Valhorman
Major Adviser : Bataller, Butch G.
Committee Members : Sanchez, Denise Ester S.; Alcantara, Jerico Z.
Year : 2021
Month : August
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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One promising application of microalgal research is toward the production of the
highly-demanded carotenoid astaxanthin. The substance is naturally manufactured, at the highest concentration, by the green algae Haematococcus pluvialis in response to stressful environments. Many research has elucidated the vast application of this compound in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, aquaculture, and cosmetics. A report showed that the astaxanthin market is expected to reach 841.3 million USD within six years. The current industrial methods are quite expensive because of the challenges involved in the cultivation and extraction. This study explores the recent advances in improving economic methods of produce astaxanthin from H. pluvialis. Optimizations of the two-stage process, wherein cell growth and proliferation focus at the first stage (green stage), then astaxanthin accumulation (red stage) next, is the most conducted research. A deviation from this strategy is the simultaneous growth cultivation strategy. Simple theoretical process is designed based on recent improvements. A combined twin-layer attached cultivation system, cyst germination extraction pretreatment, and SUPRAS-NLC extraction was created and its financial feasibility was determined using return on investment (ROI) and payback period measure. Using a 1000 m² twin-layer cultivation area as basis, the process is estimated to produce 398,736 packs of soft gel 10mg astaxanthin capsules. At a market price of 315 Php/pack, the process was estimated to return 109% of investment in one year.

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