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Gaißert is convinced: "The next development push for industrial production lies in the establishment of a true Circular Economy." In other words, the continuous reuse of products or the climate-neutral return of products to their source materials. "In nature, there is no waste and no wastage. We have to learn to apply these principles to our economies."

Learning from nature is the goal of Festo's bionics team. The researchers look for examples from nature and transfer these principles to innovative factory technology.

Algae are currently playing a decisive role at Festo. What many people don't know is that algae are small climate savers. On the one hand, they bind considerably more CO2 than land plants. On the other hand, they produce substances that can be used as raw materials for the production of medicines, food, plastics or cosmetics.

"If we succeed in cultivating algae on a large scale, we will make an immense contribution to the fight against climate change," Gaißert explains.

What sounds like dreams of the future has already been achieved by Festo researchers. Algae are grown in a specially developed bioreactor. But that's not all: optimal growth conditions prevail in the reactor, so that the algae produced there bind one hundred times more carbon dioxide than land plants. Super algae pimped, so to speak!

Gaißert also emphasises the importance for industrial production: "About one litre of crude oil is needed to produce a shampoo container. If the shampoo bottle is burnt after use, it releases an additional three kilogrammes of CO2 and thus has a negative CO2 balance. If you use bio-plastic based on algae instead, three kilogrammes of CO2 are bound, which are released again during disposal. So the cycle is in balance."

At HANNOVER MESSE 2023 Festo showed the scaling of the system and thus the preliminary stage to industrialization.

That gives us hope! So the first steps have been taken on the way to the climate-saving super-algae factory.