Science and Environment

First algae farm to be built in Muntinlupa

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A farm focusing on research on the commercial, scientific and environmental use of green algae will soon be built in Muntinlupa City, with the help of a grant won by teacher-researchers. 

Officials of the Muntinlupa National High School (MNHS) and the city government held last Thursday a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the “Chlorella Microfarm,” which will cultivate Chlorella algae inside the school compound at the New Bilibid Prison Reservation in Barangay Poblacion.

The farm is to be the first in the country, the city government said in a statement. 

The rite was part of the fulfillment of the project called “Revitalized Algae Microfarm Project (Revamp) prepared by MNHS teachers Ma. Regaele Olarte and Jason Albaro. 

The project won $100,000 worth of grant as top prize from the Zayed Sustainability Prize, a competition run by the government of the United Arab Emirates that promotes solutions using renewable energy, besting over 2,000 entries from other countries last February.

Olarte and Albaro pledged to build a small farm that would harvest green algae or Chlorella vulgaris, which would be used for purposes of medicine, food and supplements. As a nutrient,  chlorella is known to be a height booster. 

This kind of algae, Olarte said, could be transformed into flour as well as fuel like biodiesel and bioethanol.

The process of growing algae could also help purify wastewater and reduce carbon footprint, as algae release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide at the same time, she said in an interview with The STAR last February. 

The farm could also provide livelihood opportunities, as harvested dried algae could cost up to P3,000 a kilo, she added.     

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