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About Us

Started as an engineering company focused on a variety of algae production applications. A repeated failures in the lab led us to

develop this simple, low cost, easily deployable algal growth system.

The first failure occurred while working with NCMA at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science in East BoothBay, Maine, to grow C. cohnii that is rich in DHA using a well known bioreactor system called SeaCAPS. It turned out to be an impossible undertaking because of repeated culture contamination.  We set out to find engineering solutions to alleviate the contamination problem.After 18 months of engineering and design development the key to economical heterotrophic algal production was born. We call our bioreactor growth system SPAGS for Sterile Plastic Algal Growth System.  Simply put, SPAGS is a sterile plastic bio-reactor that has preinstalled ports with sealed tubing ends. The entire bioreactor is gamma irradiated before use. Adequate oxygenation is important to heterotrophic species growth, especially for oil production. Traditional fermentors mechanically stir or lift the air to distribute it throughout the reactor. We needed to solve the issue of oxygen diffusion, without mechanical stirring in our system. Gentle bubbling was the solution to provide oxygen in our system. SPAGS went through over 10 revisions to arrive at a low CAPEX linearly scalable heterotrophic algal growth system. 

 

Started as heterotrophic algae production system, we overcame all possible contamination issue.  The contamination issue must be solved by design, not by operator’s carefulness. Human error has to be a given condition.  By solving the contamination problem, we realized SPAGS is the high performance single use bioreactor.  

Our technology is simple, our principle is “Don’t add solution to a problem. Try to eliminate the problem”.  We brought microbiologists, chemical engineers, ocean scientists, fermentation scientists, thermal engineers, and mechanical engineers together to develop SPAGS.  Now PhytoSmart is scaling up to grow DHA using SPAGS. DHA sourced from fish meal is diminishing because wild caught fish and krill resources are diminishing.  Algae is the only source of DHA that is abundant and available from PhytoSmart.

 

Current Covid-19 environment, quickest production of vaccine is mandated.  Now we are the only supplier of such equipment in the world that can turn it around to production in 12 weeks.  Imagine the availability of vaccine is dependent on stainless steel tanks?

For biopharma industry, that requires inside out sterility, the SPAG System comes with the containment tank over the 500 liter reactor.  It is going to be an adjustment for us to satisfy the elevated industry requirements.

We provide production plants using your local resources together with our critical technology elements.  We will be at your service.

CEO Hiro Hara