Varicon Aqua and SCHOTT partnership press release


SCHOTT and Varicon Aqua have built a close relationship over many years of collaboration, supplying the global algae industry with highly efficient glass tubular photobioreactors. The wealth of knowledge derived from both the highly competent supplier and full system provider enables customers to decide on and develop the right photobioreactor system for their specific requirements.

The partnership between SCHOTT and Varicon Aqua is demonstrably a natural fit, combining the catalogue of experience both companies bring into play. SCHOTT manufactures technically and economically superior DURAN® borosilicate glass tubing, bends, manifolds, and couplings for photobioreactors, and Varicon Aqua are a world leader in photobioreactor design, supply and installation. All Varicon Aqua photobioreactors use SCHOTT glass tubing, providing highly functional turnkey systems to the marketplace. As part of SCHOTT and Varicon Aqua’s partnership, free technical e-books and information guides about glass tubular photobioreactors are being periodically released for customer consideration.  

“In this relatively new growth market, it is important that leading companies provide relevant technical information to current and potential photobioreactor users, that allows them to implement the best solution facing their specific requirements,” Fritz Wintersteller, Director of Business Development at SCHOTT Tubing, explains.

Joint approach allows profound decision-making

With more than 12 years of experience in the algae business, Varicon Aqua has developed photobioreactor designs at scales ranging from laboratory to fully functioning commercial production facilities. SCHOTT can look back on long-term experience in producing glass tubing for various photobioreactor solutions as well.
DURAN© tubes are able to facilitate optimum light penetration and, with their 50-year lifespan, allow for reliable and constant growth of algae species. This makes them the perfect choice for cultivation of value-added strains of algae, such as those found within the Haematococcus and Spirulina genera.
“Over the years, we have found that SCHOTT glass is the best material for constructing photobioreactors, and when combined with our design and operational know-how, it provides a great proposition to the client,” Joe McDonald, Managing Director at Varicon Aqua confirms. “Potential clients are increasingly contacting us with larger and more complex projects that require considerable integration between design, supply and implementation. This is why our relationship with SCHOTT is of the utmost importance.”
Successful cooperation

One of the results of the cooperation between the two companies’ can be found at the National Research Centre in Cairo. Varicon Aqua constructed a 4m³ pilot Phyco-Flow™ photobioreactor system – built with SCHOTT glass – that is completely process and temperature controlled, including an automated shading system. This photobioreactor is currently being used to investigate the feasibility of producing biofuels as well as food and feed from algae under Egyptian conditions. Key to this research is the profiling of suitable algae strains for a range of bulk and high value products.
DURAN® is a registered trademark of DWK Life Sciences GmbH.