"A project in Congo is looking at growing spirulina as the staple diet in the Congo town of Bikoro is cassava, which supplies very little protein. Spirulina could supplement the local diet with much-needed protein as well as vitamin A and iron.
The spirulina is dried and powdered, with 10 grams sprinkled on food each day enough to satisfy most dietary requirements – adding a slightly saltier taste to a dish.
Employees from the SCK·CEN research centre are working with local entrepreneurs to help make the system a success after beginning in one village.
The Arthrospira bacteria – better known as spirulina – have been a staple part of ESA’s space research for many years because they is easy to grow and multiply rapidly. The bacteria turn carbon dioxide into oxygen and can be eaten as a delicious protein-rich supplement. They are also highly resistant to radiation found in outer space."
A low-cost photobioreactor for local proteins production
LA TRAPPE ABBEY BREWERY
"When the monks from La Trappe Abbey brewery wanted to make their beer-brewing process more sustainable, they chose the suite of techniques developed for spaceflight to renovate their factory and recycle more water. Upon its completion in 2019, the system should reduce the amount of water used to brew their beer by 80%.
The brewery produces almost a million cubic meters of waste water each year. Thanks to the new recycling techniques this water will no longer be sent to a municipal processing plant but used to irrigate the monks’ land and clean beer bottles.
The system will recover water and purify it using membranes before employing photobioreactors to add nitrogen to the water. Around 3000 species of bacteria and organisms, including plants, will be used to purify the water. The system will also reduce the brewery’s electricity use."