Seaweed is big news in agriculture.

Scientific journals and articles continue to be published celebrating its potential importance in agroecology and in improving efficiencies in Anaerobic Digestion.  This was highlighted in 2019 when Ekogea won ‘World’s Best On-Farm Biogas Plant‘ award using BioComplex W additive at the annual ADBA World Biogas Association awards at Birmingham NEC.

Ekogea’s BioComplex is derived from Ascophyllum Nodosum, or Norwegian Kelp.  This is a naturally occuring brown seaweed native to the cooler waters of the North Atlantic, notably the Outer Hebrides from where we source our own raw materials.  We’re not alone in using Ascophyllum Nodosum to generate our products, but we do have several points of difference to any other product on the market: 

AD plant

Unique Extraction Process

Our biological extraction process isolates, extracts, and stabilises two important target compounds (below) which are either destroyed in other marine algae extraction processes or these compounds remain within the stubborn cell walls of the seaweed and remain largely undigestable when consumed.

Polyuronic Acids

Polyuronic acids in Ekogea’s BioComplex prebiotic additive provides huge ion exchange capacity.  In AD,  ion-exchange helps decrease sludge granulation time by up to 3 months.  Ion exchange is also useful for improving aerobic processes in the treatment of wastewaters with nitrogen compounds and provides immediate odour reduction in the substrate helping convert toxic ammonia (NH3) to harmless ammonium (NH4), for example, and chelation helps convert harmful hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) to elemental sulphur.

A function of ion exchange, temperature-independent physical gelation is a known property of Ascophyllum Nodosum marine algae.  Studies of this application in wastewater treatment show improved build up of contaminant-degrading microbial cultures.  Gelation creates a benign matrix for rapid, as well as prolonged, delivery of bioactive compounds.


These are unique food (short-chain sugars) for microbes, rarely found in nature.  Research into marine algae show A. Nodosum to be a particularly valuable source of structurally diverse bioactive oligosaccharine compounds and trace elements supporting its prebiotic effect  and growth of health-beneficial bacteria.

Test The Difference for Yourself

We’re very proud of our extraction process and the resulting benefits provided by our range of BioComplex products on a wider range of our customers processes and agricultural applications (from wastewater treatment and biogas production, to ‘organic’ fertilisers and animal health).  We invite you to perform the following simple tests to highlight our points of difference.

Test 1

If you can get your hands on one of the other A. nodosum products in the market, try them on odour reduction, the simplest and fastest test.  They simply do not work.  

Test 2

Feel the physical difference between their’s and our’s.  Our BioComplex has a particular ‘slimey’ feel because we have opened the cell walls and extracted the beneficial compounds from the cell walls.  Our “competitors’ ” products are more like tea / coloured water. 

Test 3

Dilute BioComplex and an alternative kelp product in water, the difference is immediately obvious.  

In simple terms, the unique process by which BioComplex is created allows for greater nutrient value from the raw seaweed to be ingested by the microbes in the anaerobic digestor, vastly improving the efficiency of the process. 

For more information, please contact Ian Sawle, our Director of AD, directly on or call our office on 01752 424949.