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Climate change: What are the regions doing?

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The 2015 edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine focuses on climate change and what cities and regions are doing.

co-operation and acts as

co-operation and acts as a secretariat for the association formed by the participating companies”, Mette Skovbjerg says. Visitors from the entire world flock to the area to study the environmental perspectives and resource efficiency. Just last week a group of 19 mayors from China’s Guandong province passed by to study the industrial symbiosis. “It’s a lot like in nature, where nothing goes to waste. It’s a way of thinking, like the circular economy model”, says Mette Skovbjerg. The huge white-smoking pipes can be seen from afar and heavy trucks with trailers fill the roads like busy ants. Photo: EUobserver Photo: Symbiosis Center Denmark A huge network of large green steam pipelines connecting the industries in Kalundborg is the only visible sign of the symbiosis. 28 ––––– EUobserver Magazine 2015

The algae reactor in Kalundborg Green algae feed on CO2 and convert it into protein. Researchers are testing their potential for industrial use. By Lisbeth Kirk The world is under increasing pressure to perform, with climate change and the demands of an ever-growing population putting a stranglehold on natural resources. Yet, nature may also offer some solutions. For example, the green algae that feed on CO2 and then convert it into protein. And there is certainly something awe-inspiring about the reactor hall, full of beautiful green colours in multiple shades. The panels revolve in the sunlight, to ensure that the algae are exposed to the light in precisely the most optimal way for growth. Temperatures are vital and are monitored by the researchers, who also keep a keen eye on the pH values, which can either accelerate or stop the entire process. The latest experiment at Symbiosis Center Denmark is all about exploring the industrial potential of these micro-organisms. “We are at a crossroads with this research”, says PHD student Patrick Uldall Noerregaard from DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Resources at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). He studies the processes at the Algae Reactor in Kalundborg, a project funded by the the EU’s 7th Framework Programme. The reactor looks like an oversized greenhouse from the outside and is certainly full of green stuff inside. The algae float in bubbling CO2-infused water, encapsulated in 10-metre-tall glass panels which are kept under close scrutiny by the researchers. “We have nick-named it the Algae Cathedral”, says Peer Olander Noergaard, press officer of Symbiosis Center Denmark. The algae plant experiments are also about purifying waste water from the nearby Novozymes biotech industry, which produces enzymes that are used, for instance, in the textile or food industries. The algae uses up CO2 in combination with the light and produces valuable biomass in the process, which can be used to manufacture high-value products. Some algae, for instance, have a high Omega 3 fatty acid content, similar to the food that fish eat when living in the wild. Therefore, feeding fish with these algae makes the fish taste better when cooked. Mette Skovbjerg, head of Symbiosis Center Denmark and press officer Peer Olander Noergaard. Photo: Euobserver EUobserver Magazine 2015 ––––– 29

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