Cellulac Acquires Aer Sustainable Energy (Aer-Bio)

Cellulac Acquires Aer Sustainable Energy (Aer-Bio)

Cellulac Acquired Aer-Bio

10 fold saving in enzymes, 4 fold increase in algae oils within 2 hours reducing the process costs of Omega-3, animal feed and biofuels


Dublin, Ireland, 18th May 2015: Cellulac, the industrial biochemicals company, today announces the acquisition of Aer Sustainable Energy Limited, also known as Aer-Bio, effective 18th May 2015. The acquisition adds to the production capabilities in the bioplastic ingredients and biochemical sectors by adding foods, cosmetics, nutraceutical products and aviation biofuel to the core institutional knowledge of the Cellulac technology platform.




The combination of the Cellulac SoniqueFlo technology – an environmentally-benign, low cost production of chemicals from bio-based dairy and agriculture feedstocks – and Aer-Bios’ accelerated enzyme-expression protocols, have delivered a revolutionary ‘wet extraction’ process for the extraction of oils, proteins and other value-added products from algae. Using a pilot scale SoniqueFlo rig, with the capability of processing up to 10 tonnes per hour, the results showed a 10 fold reduction in enzyme use and 4 fold increase in lipid/oils extraction from algae over a 2 hour period.


Gerard Brandon, CEO of Cellulac, commented;


“This is a major breakthrough because of the elimination of biomass drying steps that substantially reduce production costs of oil based products from Algae along with the removal of hazardous solvents for oil recovery. Aer-Bios’ contribution has been invaluable to Cellulac within our SPLASH (biopolymer) and FUEL4ME (biofuel) EU grant supported algae projects as the results show. We have industrial scale capability and are currently only limited by the supply constraints of Algae raw materials to process.”

Dr Alan Hernon Ph.D., CEO of Aer-Bio Limited;

“We are excited to have joined one of Europe’s fastest growing bio-based industry companies and believe that joining the Cellulac group offers our combined technologies greater opportunity to reach a wider global bio-economy audience.”

Background on Aer-Bio


AER BIO, Aer Sustainable Energy Limited, trading as Aer-Bio, is an Irish industrial biotechnology company. The company has developed an enzyme-based process delivering a revolutionary ‘wet’ extraction method for manufacturing bio-based oils, proteins and other valuable products from Algae. Products that can be extracted and refined using these methods include functional food products such as Omega-3 oils, personal care ingredients, industrial oils and aviation biofuels. Shareholders include Irelandia Investments, Tedcastle Oil, AIB-Seed Fund and Enterprise Ireland.


SoniqueFlo Test Rig – 10 tonnes per hour


SoniqueFlo Test Rig

SoniqueFlo Industry Scale Rig – 120 tonnes per hour



This SoniqueFlo unit has built in 50% redundancy for continuous processing while one side is being cleaned or maintained.


Products Algae End Use Markets
  • Algae oils can be a substitute for vegetable oil feedstocks (e.g. Palm, Soybean)
  • Refined glycerine produced for biodiesel may also be used in the pharmaceutical and consumer product industries (cosmetics, skin, beauty care, Omega-3)
  • Specialty oils and fatty acids for dietary supplements and other consumer care applications
  • Substitution of agricultural sourced feedstocks for conversion of carbohydrates (sugars) to bio-ethanol (e.g., corn, wheat, sugar cane and sugar beets)
  • Production of bio-based polyolefin plastics as biodegradable replacement of fossil fuel feedstocks
  • There is a high protein content in algae biomass for the animal food market, replacing agricultural-based protein sources (e.g., soybean meal)
  • Production of renewable fuel for substitution of diesel, ethanol and aviation fuels for commercial, industry and aviation sector
  • Feedstock source for biomass power generation as a substitute for fossil fuels
  • Conversion of residual biomass following oil extraction to renewable distillates
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5 year, €35m Pharmafilter Partnership with Cellulac

5 year, €35m Pharmafilter Partnership with Cellulac

5 Year, €35m Pharmafilter Offtake Agreement for Bioplastic Ingredients

Partnership delivers 2nd generation bioplastics supply chain solution for hospitals


Dundalk, Ireland and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 30th March 2015: Cellulac, the industrial biochemicals company, and Pharmafilter, a provider of integrated waste management infrastructure for dealing with complex waste, are delighted to announce a commercial partnership to deliver the first vertically integrated, supply chain solution for energy and wastewater recovery in hospitals.


main-tanks-corner52bda811c4a7f.jpgCellulac’s environmentally-benign, low-cost production bioplastic process uses 2nd generation dairy and agriculture feedstocks. Through this commercial partnership, cellulac will produce up to 90% of the core ingredients for disposable single-use items and personal hygiene products compatible with the Pharmafilter recovery system in hospitals. This partnership is a template for collaboration, development, and implementation of end-to-end solutions for advances in technology for the bio-economy.


Gerard Brandon, CEO of Cellulac

The Pharmafilter alliance with Cellulac is a classic definition of the bio-economy. Producing, at volume, our low-cost, thermostable and high strength bioplastics for a technology partner would be a significant development alone. However, it becomes transformative when combined with Pharmafilter’s hospital recovery system which is capable of recapturing energy and cleaning wastewater in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Our partnership creates a low cost, vertically integrated supply chain solution that has a low carbon footprint and is environmentally friendly, positioning both cellulac and Pharmafilter as lynchpins in a circular bio-based economy.

Eduardo Van Den Berg Founder and CEO of


Our innovative solution solves waste, wastewater and safety problem for hospitals by removing complex waste, sewage and wastewater streams emanating from hospitals. Central to this solution is the requirement to secure a sustainable low cost and low carbon, high energy, end-of-life solution for single use bioplastics. cellulac’s innovative production and operational cost base opens the door for Pharmafilter to meet those targets and we look forward to rolling out the products over the next few years.


About Pharmafilter BV


Pharmafilter represents a change that positively enhances the work environment, patient safety, and care. It is an environmentally friendly way of dealing with the complex waste, sewage and wastewater streams emanating from hospitals that would normally be contaminated with high concentrations of pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, painkillers, toxic substances, heart medicines and contrast media. Through urine and feces, these substances are discharged to the wastewater system and despite excellent biological treatment in wastewater treatment plants, eventually discharged into surface water.


Logistically and historically, waste in hospitals is removed and separated into various categories. This activity requires both significant staffing hours, physical infrastructure and recording of waste types. This process requires the use of sorting rooms, internal, external storage and transporting waste through public corridors and lifts. The core benefits are:


  1. The on-site plant produces its own electricity and recovers the water to the quality that can be reused in the hospital. It reduces mixed waste (including hazardous) by 50% of the volume including 90% of organic waste representing another cost benefit.
  2. It is a thoroughly integrated waste management system that delivers significant improvement in the handling, removal, and treatment of waste streams arising in hospitals, at every user interface. These include solid waste in the form of bioplastic bedpans, urinals, kitchen refuse, general waste and health care risk waste.
  3. Pharmafilter system greatly simplifies the methods by which waste is handled and decontaminated and, therefore, reduces overall costs.

Pharmafilter Process


Starting inside the hospitals individual shredding units (“Tonto”) are installed in service or utility rooms convenient to areas of waste output.




  1. All waste generated in the department and ward from healthcare risk waste, food, sharps, materials contaminated with blood, soiled, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, biodegradable bedpans and urine collection units are shredded in the Tonto unit.
  2. Waste now exits the hospital through waste disposal pipes that are now redirected to the Pharmafilter on-site unit rather than the external sewer.
  3. Here the Pharmafilter unit automatically decontaminates and separates all constituents of this mixed waste stream; sewage, organics and water resulting in outputs free of viruses, pathogens harmful bacteria, pharmaceuticals and other trace contaminants.
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