The project will demonstrate an integrated approach to generate biofuels from algae in a sustainable manner, on an industrial scale. The project will make optimum use of glycerol, a waste material arising from biodiesel production. It will integrate prior high quality research which has been undertaken at national and international levels: both with public support and with private finance. The demonstration and associated demonstration activities to be undertaken in this work will help to enable increased security of energy supply for European Transport needs and greater penetration of Renewable Energy Resources (RES) as part of the drive to meet the European Commissions (EC) 20:20:20 objectives.
The project will optimise the production of algae by both heterotrophic and phototrophic routes and will demonstrate integration of these production technologies (Raceway, PBR and Fermentation) to achieve the algae cultivation targets of 90-120 dry tonnes per hectare by annum. Accordingly, strain selection will be governed by the growth rate, oil yield and lipid composition achieved under local conditions.
The project will select algae species and cultivation technologies to attain an algal oil with a suitable lipid profile for biodiesel production and will validate this selection through conversion of the extracted oil into biodiesel to meet standard specifications.
The sustainability of this demonstration, in terms of both economic and environmental (closed carbon loop) implications will be considered across the whole process; including optimum use of algal biomass resources to enable commercialisation.
This project will closely address the requirements of Topic ENERGY.2010.3.4-1, aligning it to the wider European requirements recognised by the EC; to increase security of energy supply, specifically for transport use that can be readily integrated into existing vehicles and infrastructures from indigenous sources and, to help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.