Sustainable polymers from algae sugars and hydrocarbons

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The 4-year SPLASH project will develop a new biobased industrial platform using microalgae as a renewable raw material for the sustainable production and recovery of hydrocarbons and (exo)polysaccharides from the species Botryococcus braunii and their further conversion to renewable polymers. The project comprises 20 partners of which 40% SME and several large corporates plus universities and research institutes. Two bioproduction platforms will be explored: (i) green alga Botryococcus braunii on its own and (ii) the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, to which the unique hydrocarbon and polysaccharides producing genes from Botryococcus will be transferred. SPLASH will deliver knowledge, tools and technologies needed for the establishment of a new industry sector: Industrial Biotechnology with algae and/or algal genes for the manufacture of polyesters and polyolefins. The building blocks for these polymers will be derived from the sugars (polyesters) and hydrocarbons (polyolefins) exuded by the algae: adipic acid from galactose, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid from glucose, 1,4-pentanediol from rhamnose and fucose, ethylene from ‘green naphtha’ and propylene from ‘green naphtha’. The conversion of ethylene and propylene to polyolefins is common technology, and will not be included in the project. The sugar-derived building blocks will be converted to new condensation polymers, such as e.g. poly (ethylene 2,5-furandioate) (PEF). End-use applications include food packaging materials and fibres for yarns, ropes and nets. The project encompasses: (1) development of Botryococcus as an industrial production platform, (2) systems biology analysis, (3) development of processes for production, in situ extraction and isolation, (4) product development. More detailed information including project partners and coordination can be found at SPLASH receives funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under the grant agreement No. 311 956.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventCongress : Marine Biotechnology in the European Research Area: Brussel, Belgium -
Duration: 11 Mar 201312 Mar 2013


ConferenceCongress : Marine Biotechnology in the European Research Area: Brussel, Belgium

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainable polymers from algae sugars and hydrocarbons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Projects

    Splash AF-EU-13003 (BO-21.04-001-005)

    Sijtsma, L.


    Project: EZproject

    Cite this

    Sijtsma, L., & Barbosa, M. J. (2013). Sustainable polymers from algae sugars and hydrocarbons. Abstract from Congress : Marine Biotechnology in the European Research Area: Brussel, Belgium, .