Enabling European SMEs to remediate wastes, reduce GHG emissions and produce biofuels via microalgae cultivation

Description

The BioAlgaeSorb collaboration will benefit European SME-AGs in diverse business sectors by developing technologies for remediating and valorising industrial and agricultural/aquacultural effluents via microalgae cultivation. The resultant microalgal biomass will form a carbon neutral, environmentally sustainable raw material that is a source for commercially valuable end products, among them renewable energy. The set task is to utilise unwanted effluents as nutrient sources for photosynthetic microalgae, thereby reducing effluent discharge by SMEs and yielding high quality biomass which will be harvested and upgraded using an integrated biorefinery approach into valuable products. Leading commercial systems for microalgae cultivation will be optimised for capturing inorganic nutrients from aqueous effluents (intensive agriculture and aquaculture; municipal anaerobic digesters) and CO2 from power plants, thereby mitigating the environmental impacts of these sectors and contributing to the European Low Carbon Economy via a new source of biomass-based biofuels, and by reducing the discharge of GHG to the atmosphere. Novel physical processes will be developed to efficiently harvest, stabilise and fractionate microalgae biomass for downstream conversion into valuable products. An innovative biorefinery approach will be adopted incorporating biomass pyrolysis (liquids, gas and char) for bioenergy and biofuel production, as well as separation into lipid, protein and carbohydrate fractions. Processes will be optimised for transforming micoalgal lipids into second generation transport fuels. Biomass extracts and purified compounds (eg, omega 3 fatty acids, pigments) will also be developed for use as food and feed additives. A holistic approach will be used throughout the project, incorporating coupled process and financial models to guide the development of cost efficient microalgae-based remediation of effluents for large numbers of European SMEs.

KEY DATES
  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 01 August 2010
  • Project completed
  • 31 July 2013
microalgae cultivation agriculture aquaculture
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