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Autichem Ltd specialises in designing and manufacturing new equipment and processes for the pharmaceutical, fine chemical and energy sectors.

Based at Thornton Science Park, David Morris, Autichem Ltd’s Director, collaborated with Dr ‘Mayo’ Olumayowa, on the Carbon Capture by DART Reactor project through Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington. .

They focused on algae’s capability for capturing CO2 through photosynthesis. By developing the DART algae bioreactor, they captured over 91% of carbon emissions, 59% more than by the conventional gas sparging method. This patented invention overcomes one of the major challenges to biological carbon capture. The process uses waste water as a feedstock and they found that 88% of nitrogen and 93% of phosphorus in the effluent were removed by the algae within six days of cultivation. In addition, oxygen consumed by algae in the waste water effluent was reduced by 94%.

David said: “It’s been brilliant. My researcher, Mayo, and I work really well together.” 

Mayo added: “David has always said you should listen to the process and design a product accordingly, rather than planning to do something and sticking to it. The first result was a ‘wow’ for me. It was very encouraging to see the results.”

Originally a Warrington-based SME, interested in low carbon technologies, Autichem Ltd was eligible for support from the Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington project. Shortly after signing up, Autichem Ltd relocated to Thornton Science Park for the on-site facilities and connection with academics.

The main benefit for David was being able to see how a product realises its potential from an initial idea.

He said: “It looks nothing like I imagined, but that’s what research and development is all about.

“I have really enjoyed the project. A lot of money and time has gone into it and, having achieved something pioneering, we now need the opportunity to take it further!”

Autichem Ltd is currently applying for additional research funding and actively seeking partners with emission problems.