Montana State University (MSU) researchers have developed a patented process to meter in bicarbonate to double the rate of Astaxanthin production in commercial algal systems.


  • Increased Production of Algae and Astaxanthin: The researchers have demonstrated that a timely addition of bicarbonate can significantly increase the rate of Astaxanthin produced by Haematococcus pluvialis in an experimental system.
  • Potentially Double Production of Astaxanthin: The experimental results indicate commercial algal systems could potentially double the rate of Astaxanthin produced.
  • Low Cost and Non-toxic Solution: The MSU process uses NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate, baking soda), a low cost, readily available, non-toxic chemical.
  • Diverse Applications: Bicarbonate triggering can also be applied to the production of lipids as well as other carotenoids produced in algal systems.

Diagram of Astaxanthin production


  • Licensing of patented technology for enhancing growth of high value products from algal production system
  • The research is ongoing at MSU and the engineering team is available for collaboration.


Nick Zelver