Single-celled green algae

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The Chlorella algae is a freshwater microalga, characterized by its green coloration due to chlorophyll. It is a single-celled organism known for its distinct hue. It possesses high nutritional and medicinal properties, requiring water and sunlight for its growth. Chlorella algae is used for various purposes: as a dietary supplement, in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, and in biofuel production. Prominent cultivators of Chlorella algae in Croatia include Fran Palokaj in the Istria region, Josipa Dutković, Tomislav Dutković and Dubravko Škare who cultivate algae in 12 ponds in Jablanovec near Zaprešić.

Name of Material in the local and Latin language
Alga klorela, Chlorella regularis
Type of Material
Organic
Commonly Found Locations
Algae can be found in various aquatic environments, with most species inhabiting seas and oceans, while others live in inland waters and moist areas. They can be cultivated in freshwater, artificial ponds, tanks, and reservoirs. In the Istria region, specifically in Kaštelir, and in Jablanovec near Zaprešić, there are farms where Chlorella algae are grown in pools.
Major Industrial Producers or Suppliers
Fran Palokaj / Adriatic Algae Biotech, Josipa Dutković, Tomislav Dutković and Dubravko Škare / World of Algae

Colour
In most cases, Chlorella is green in color, but it can vary in shades of green. It may appear slightly brownish or yellowish, depending on environmental conditions and algae development.
Hardness
Soft texture and a smooth outer cell wall. This soft texture allows Chlorella algae to easily mix with water or other liquids, making it suitable for various applications, such as in the food industry.
Melting/Boiling Point
This algae undergoes decomposition or degradation under the influence of temperature. The optimal temperature for the growth and reproduction of Chlorella usually ranges between 20°C and 35°C, depending on the species and environmental conditions. If the temperature becomes extremely high or low, it can negatively impact the growth and survival of Chlorella, potentially leading to its deterioration.
Structure
The spherical, single-celled algae have a complex internal structure. Each cell contains a cell wall, nucleus, chloroplasts for photosynthesis, and mitochondria for energy production.
Chemical Composition
This algae species comprises 51-58% protein, 14-22% lipids, 12-17% carbohydrates, 4-5% nucleic acids, and 0.4% fiber.

Industrial and Crafts Applications
Algae are widely used in industry and agriculture due to their diverse applications. They are used as natural colorants, dietary supplements, ingredients in pharmaceutical products and cosmetics, and in fertilizer production. Algae cultivators actively collaborate with local producers to integrate algae into various industries.
Historical or Cultural Uses
Throughout history, various cultures have utilized algae in their diets, traditional medicine, and as natural dyes for textiles and food.
Environmental Impact
Algae cultivation has positive environmental effects. One kilogram of algal biomass can remove two kilograms of carbon dioxide from the air. As an example, if algae cultivation continues to grow in Istria (Croatia), the region could become CO2 negative before 2050.
Innovative or Emerging Applications
Algae are utilized in various industrial sectors due to their numerous benefits. In the food industry, they are used as dietary supplements because of their high protein, vitamin, and mineral content. In the pharmaceutical industry, research focuses on their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they are also employed in cosmetics. In the Istria region, Palokaj gathers local farmers and shares his knowledge on algae cultivation through educational initiatives. By disseminating knowledge on algae cultivation and implementing modern growing technologies, he aims to introduce innovations in the Istrian industry and agriculture, thus expanding the use of algae across various sectors.

Extraction Methods
The algae are cultivated in shallow pools. They metabolize twice a day and require water and sunlight. After growing, they are harvested and filtered and can be extracted into powder, making it possible to obtain 100 tons of dry matter per hectare of land.
Processing Techniques
Algae can be collected using mechanical systems or manually, using tools such as nets or grids. After collection, the algae are filtered to remove impurities or water residues. Then, the collected algae are packaged and stored, with options for packaging them fresh or dried, depending on their intended use and further processing.
Sustainability and Environmental Considerations
Istria, thanks to its abundant sunshine, provides ideal conditions for cultivation. The abundance of uncultivated land allows for conversion into algae cultivation fields, without disrupting tourism, the primary activity in the area.
Recycling and Waste Management
The entire organism is utilized, with no waste.

Current Research and Developments
Within the framework of the 'BIO-ECOnomy Research Driven Innovation - BIOECO-R.D.I.' project, a significant collaboration has been established between the Ruđer Bošković Institute and companies Adriatic Algae Biotech (Fran Palokaj) and MarinaLab Opus. The aim of merging science and industry is to direct the capacities, technologies, and expertise of scientists from the Research Center of Excellence for Marine Bioprospecting at the Ruđer Bošković Institute (BioProCro Center) towards the development of innovative techniques and the creation of new products.
Regulations or Restrictions
Regulation of mariculture in Istria is subject to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Croatia, with consideration given to environmental preservation and the sustainability of cultivation practices.
Relevant Organizations, Associations, Producers
Fran Palokaj / Adriatic Algae Biotech, Josipa Dutković, Tomislav Dutković i Dubravko Škare / World of Algae

The algae Chlorella is a single-celled green algae that requires simple conditions for growth such as water and sunlight.

Throughout history, various cultures have used algae in their diet, traditional medicine, and as natural dyes for textiles and food. In the Istrian region, particularly in Kaštelir, there is a farm owned by Fran Palokaj, a cultivator of significant amounts of the Chlorella algae.

Istria, known for its abundance of sunny days and uncultivated land, provides ideal conditions for algae cultivation. Algae cultivation has a positive impact on the environment, with one kilogram of algae biomass capable of removing two kilograms of carbon dioxide from the air. Through collaboration with local industries and by educating farmers, Palokaj aims to enhance the use of algae in various production sectors.

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Significant producers of Chlorella algae are also located in Jablanov near Zaprešić, such as the World of Algae company led by Josip and Tomislav Dutković, and Dubravko Škare. They currently operate 12 ponds for algae cultivation, with plans to expand their business to a minimum of 40 ponds. Chlorella algae cultivation occurs in ponds, where it undergoes metabolism twice a day with the assistance of water and sunlight. Algae harvesting is typically done manually or using mechanical systems such as nets or grids. After harvesting, the algae undergo a filtration process to remove impurities or residual water.

Some species are used as natural sources of colour for textiles, paper, cosmetics, and food. They can be applied in water purification industries due to their ability to absorb toxins and nutrients. Additionally, they serve as biostimulants for soil irrigation, promoting plant health, growth, and fruit production. In Kaštelir, Palokaj collaborates with local producers in the Istria region who incorporate algae into food products such as ice cream, cakes, baked goods, and pasta.