The CO2 microalgae biorefinery: high value products and biofuels using halophilic microalgae in the “D-Factory”

Harvey, P, Bailey, D, Ben-Amotz, A, Verdelho, V, Harris, G, Rooke, D, Hoekstra, H, Goacher, P, Crespi, J, Reinhardt, G, Martinelli, L, Schroeder, DC, Pipe, R, Igl-Schmid, N, Kokossis, A and Perrson, K 2014 The CO2 microalgae biorefinery: high value products and biofuels using halophilic microalgae in the “D-Factory”. New Biotechnology, 31. 14-15.

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Fuel-only algal systems are not economically feasible because yields are too low and costs too high for producing microalgal biomass compared to using agricultural residues e.g. straw. Biorefineries which integrate biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power and chemicals from biomass, offer a solution. The CO2 microalgae biorefinery (D-Factory) is a 10 million Euro FP7-funded project which will cultivate the microalga Dunaliella in highly saline non-potable waters in photobioreactors and open raceways and apply biorefinery concepts and European innovations in biomass processing technologies to develop a basket of compounds from Dunaliella biomass, including the high value nutraceutical, β-carotene, and glycerol. Glycerol now finds markets both as a green chemical intermediate and as a biofuel in CHP applications as a result of novel combustion technology. Driving down costs by recovering the entire biomass of Dunaliella cells from saline cultivation water poses one of the many challenges for the D-Factory because Dunaliella cells are both motile, and do not possess an external cell wall, making them highly susceptible to cell rupture. Controlling expression of desired metabolic pathways to deliver the desired portfolio of compounds flexibly and sustainably to meet market demand is another. The first prototype D-Factory in Europe will be operational in 48 months, and will serve as a robust manifestation of the business case for global investment in algae biorefineries and in large-scale production of microalgae.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Chemistry
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Ocean Biology
Depositing User: Mrs Maggie Thomas
Date made live: 14 Dec 2015 12:00
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 16:43

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