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Malnutrition - Every year over 2.6 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition. That's one every 12 seconds. The World Health Organization (WHO) cites malnutrition as the greatest single threat to the world's public health. Bangladesh has a population of 150 million citizens and is one of the most malnourished countries in the world. A recent study by the WHO showed that, in Bangladesh, more than 50% of children under the age of 5 are malnourished and in need of help.
CO2 Emissions- Every year over 1.5 million tons of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere from US breweries. That’s enough to fill 145,000,000,000 balloons (or 20 balloons for every single person on this planet!). With sea levels and global temperatures set to rise over the coming years, CO2 emissions from industrial processes need to be reduced and eradicated.
We’re doing something about all this!
We plan to capture and convert the 99% pure CO2 from the breweries’ fermentation processes and use it to grow large amounts of life-saving highly nutritious algae. These algae will be taken to Bangladesh where they'll will be sold at an affordable cost to malnourished children.
Why not give away the life-saving algae for free?
By charging a nominal fee for the algae we can accomplish two things:
1) Studies have repeatedly shown that establishing trade business with a developing nation is a successful model for sustainable economic development. Unlike free aid models, doing business enables continuation of operations and is therefore more productive in the long term. (See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123327734124831471.html)
2) The small revenue from sales of algae to Bangladesh will allow us to recuperate some of our transport costs. This will enable us to produce more algae and reach a larger number of suffering children.
Martin, our algae guy, has developed a patent-pending bio-reactor for growing algae effectively. His reactor design reduces the energy and costs associated with growing, harvesting, and drying algae. This will allow us to economically produce Spirulina algae which have been declared by the UN as the best food source for combatting malnutrition.
1,500,000 tons of CO2 is emitted every year from US breweries. This CO2 is very pure and does not contain contaminants. In fact, Spirulina algae love this pure CO2. We will collect this CO2 from the fermentation process in the breweries to stop it being released into the atmosphere. We will then use this CO2 to “feed” the Spirulina algae.
Spirulina algae is composed of ~57% protein and is very low in Cholesterol. It contains many vital micronutrients including: Vitamins A, C, E and K, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Potassium, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Copper and Manganese. This makes it the ideal food to eradicate malnutrition from places like Bangladesh.
When Daniel Higgs, our Materials Chemistry and Business Development guy, is not designing future technologies for his PhD he likes to pursue the art of business development and entrepreneurship. Daniel recently launched CUskills.com, a University of Colorado Boulder, student skills-focused search website where students can search to find a team mate for a new project, connect with potential co-authors of peer reviewed articles, or find scientific instruments on campus. Daniel is super excited about the opportunity that Algae for Aid has to promote sustainable economic development while eradicating malnutrition in developing countries like Bangladesh.
Martin Gross is our Algae Expert. He also knows all about nutrition and bio-reactors. Martin received his BS in Biology from Iowa State University in December of 2011 then completed an MS in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the same institution. Martin is currently studying for his PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering which he recently started. Martin's technology will be our major tool in producing algae economically in order to combat malnutrition in Bangladesh.
Philip Calabrese is an Entrepreneur at heart. As an undergraduate, he learned business skills working under William W. Ward, CEO of Brighter Ideas Inc and faculty member in the biochemistry department at Rutgers University. After graduating from Rutgers, he founded a math & science tutoring company, OnPoint Tutoring LLC and worked for ImClone systems as a quality control analyst. He recently founded the CU Biotechnology Club, a collaborative bio-entrepreneurial club. The club has held variety of entrepreneurial seminars on campus. Phil is currently in the 5th year of his PhD in Biochemistry and is excited to bring his entrepreneurial experience to Algae for Aid in order to help develop the company to its fullest potential.
Matthew Tryhane does our Market Research and Finance. Matt loves both science and business. He started off his career at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, where he worked for 5 years as an Associate Scientist analyzing atmospheric effects on aviation safety. He then moved into the field of Market Research working for RRC Associates as a Research Analyst for 6 years. Currently Matt is finishing off his MBA at the University of Colorado and is pumped about helping the children of Bangladesh by developing Algae for Aid as a business.
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