Established in 2014, Biogenic Minerals (Icecal ehf.) is an Icelandic company dedicated to the recycling of discarded quahog shells and calcareous algae into a sustainable source of calcium. With a team boasting many decades of experience in the valorization of ocean resources, we have set our mission as the supply of affordably priced sustainable calcium for customers with an ecologically friendly approach and interest in wellness.
Why Calcareous Algae?
Calcareous marine algae (Lithothamnion sp.) is a type of seaweed (marine plant), which grows in abundance off the coasts of Iceland. The algae is rich in minerals, mainly calcium, and is, thus, a good, natural and sustainable source of calcium. We, therefore, decided to use the algae as a calcium source for one of our products. The algae calcium is a good choice for those who prefer a plant-based, natural and sustainable product.
Why the Ocean Quahog?
Since 1988 the ocean quahog (Arctica Islandica) has been fished with limited success off the coast of Iceland. The prevailing problem with the ocean quahog is the low meat yield. Only 8% to 12% of a typical catch is meat, hence the ocean quahog has not made a mark in Iceland’s seafood industry.
Furthermore, up until now the majority of a quahog catch, the shell which makes up as much of 70% of the weight, has simply been discarded. Icecal ehf. sees the potential for the shells in providing high-quality calcium. For the record, 99% of the ocean quahog shell is pure calcium carbonate.
We believe the shell to be the most valuable part of the ocean quahog catch, and we aim to add value to the rural clam fishing industry by utilizing previously discarded shells in our calcium production process. The potential for millions of tons of calcium lies in the North Atlantic alone, and at Icecal ehf., we have the knowledge and experience to convert this waste material into a usable calcium source.
Our research and contacts with the local fishing industry in Iceland has allowed us to arrive at a low-cost and sustainable method of producing high-quality calcium carbonate powder for fortified food manufacturers, the agriculture industry, and pet food manufacturers.
Solar Impulse Foundation
In 2021 Biogenic Minerals (then Icecal) got accepted into the Solar Impulse Foundation and received the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label.
The Solar Impulse Foundation is an environmental non-profit organization founded in 2003 by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.
It was announced in 2016 that the foundation would identify 1000 solutions to receive the Efficient Solutions Label. To qualify for the label, solutions must be related to one of five sustainable development goals from the United Nations: water, clean energy, industry, cities, and responsible consumption and production.
Since 2018, the foundation has evaluated and selected a broad range of more than 1000 innovations designed to combat climate change in a financially profitable way. All labeled solutions underwent a rigorous evaluation by a team of more than 400 independent industry experts before obtaining the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label.