Starting from algae Dr. Mahmoud Masri, scientist at the Werner Siemens Chair for Synthetic Biotechnology at TUM, has developed a process yielding a yeast oil, which absolutely equals palm oil in terms of food technology, but has a significantly better ecological balance.
Starting from algae Dr. Mahmoud Masri, scientist at the Werner Siemens Chair for Synthetic Biotechnology at TUM, has developed a process yielding a yeast oil, which absolutely equals palm oil in terms of food technology, but has a significantly better ecological balance.
Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM
  • Sustainability, TUM in the media
  • Reading time: 2 MIN

A TV documentary on ARTE shows what algae can do for usCan algae save the world?

Algae have created the basis for our life on earth. Given the current problems, could they help us again? In her documentation, editor Jenny von Sperber visits, among others, Prof. Brück at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He conducts research on algae at the Werner Siemens Chair in Synthetic Biotechnology. The documentary presents some of his ideas.

During the formation of biomass, algae bind the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But they can do much more. Algae can enrich valuable trace elements from the water, they can produce oils and chemical intermediates, and when it comes to building up biomass, algae are ten times faster than land plants.

Scientists estimate that there are more than 150,000 species of algae. Only a few of these have been studied in detail so far. At the Werner Siemens Chair for Synthetic Biotechnology, Prof. Thomas Brück is researching what can be done with algae. The ARTE documentary presents a selection of his ideas.

The documentary is available in the ARTE media library with English subtitles, in a French language version and with Spanish and Polish subtitles:

Can algae save the world? - Documentary in the ARTE media library (duration approx. 27 min)

Algae can also serve as a feed base for oil yeasts. Their yeast oil can replace palm oil in terms of food technology and economics, but has a significantly better ecological balance. This idea is presented in the ARD documentary "The climate rescuers - do we still have a chance?"

The documentary is available in the ARD media library (in German):

The climate rescuers – do we still have a chance? - Documentation in the ARD media library (duration approx. 44 min.)

Munich TV provides another report on the subject of yeast oil. In this case, stale bread is converted into yeast oil. The report is available online here:

How stale bread becomes a palm oil substitute - report in the Munich TV media center (German; duration approx. 13 min.)

The availability of content in media libraries may be limited.

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center Dr. Andreas Battenberg
battenberg(at)zv.tum.de

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