Microalgae Process Design: from cells to photobioreactors

The waters of the world, oceans, seas, rivers, creeks, lakes and even ice, house a tremendous variety of microorganisms able to use light as the only source of energy to fuel metabolism. These unicellular organisms, microalgae and cyanobacteria, have the potential to produce a variety of products.

Organised by Graduate School VLAG and BioSolar Cells

Fri 10 July 2015 until Fri 17 July 2015

Among them are therapeutic proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and pigments. In addition to these high-value products, microalgae are regarded as one of the most promising resources for the production of bulk products such as food and feed lipids, food and feed proteins, base chemicals and energy sources for the industry, and possibly even biofuels.

To make economical large-scale production of such bulk products possible, optimal design of bioreactor and cultivation strategy are essential. This process design has specific demands because sunlight, or artificial

Target group

The course is aimed at PhD students, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, as well as professionals, that would like to acquire a thorough understanding of microalgal metabolism and photobioreactor design. An MSc level in bioprocess technology, or alike, is recommended.

Course contents

Course aim

This course provides the essential skills for designing optimal microalgae-based production processes, for both research and commercial purposes.

Course design

Through lectures, digital cases and a photobioreactor practical, the participants will learn: 1) how to describe microalgal metabolism quantitatively, 2) how to apply basic design principles and set up mass/energy balances for photobioreactors, 3) how to cultivate microalgae in fully controlled photobioreactors, and 4) how to integrate all acquired knowledge into optimal production strategies for microalgae biomass or secondary metabolites.

The daily programme is divided in approximately 5.5 hours of lectures and digital cases, and 2.5 hours of practical work. On Saturday and Sunday, 1.5 hours will be spent on practical work (microalgae do not stop growing in the weekends...). Saturday will also feature an excursion to AlgaePARC (, followed by a barbecue.


Course coordinators

  • Dr. Packo Lamers, Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen UR
  • Mrs. Chantal Doeswijk, Graduate School VLAG

Other faculty

  • Prof. Olaf Kruse, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • Dr. Mark Michiels, Proviron, Belgium
  • Prof René Wijffels, Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen UR
  • Dr Marcel Janssen, Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen UR
  • Dr Arjen Rinzema, Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen UR

General information

Date & duration

8 days, 10 - 17 July 2015.

Study load

The study load of this course is 2.3 ECTS credits.


The course will be conducted in English.

Location & accommodation

Lectures and practicals will be given at Wageningen University. A number of hotel rooms have been blocked at the hotel Hof van Wageningen for course participants, but only until 28 May 2015. Accommodation costs are € 72 (single room; incl. breakfast, excl. tax) per night. There are possibilities to share a room. The price when sharing a room is€ 46 per person per night. Hotel reservation is handled by hotel Hof van Wageningen. Participants have to book their own hotel room by sending an email:
Please mention booking code MPD-2015.

Contact information

More information concerning the course content can be obtained from Dr. Packo Lamers (
For organisational matters please contact Mrs. Chantal Doeswijk, phone: +31-317-485143 (

Registration & course fee

To be able to fill in the registration form, you need a "VLAG-events account".
To create this account, please click here: create account.
If you already have a "VLAG-events account" you can directly go to the course registration form.

The number of participants to the course is limited.
The final registration date is 9 June 2014.
Applicants will receive a confirmation of their registration within one week and will be informed about their acceptance to the course 1 May 2015 at the latest. When accepted to the course they will receive instructions for payment and further course details. To secure their place in the course the applicants have to arrange payment of their course fee within 30 days after invoicing.

The course fee (which includes materials, coffee/tea during breaks, lunches one dinner and one BBQ but does not cover accommodation) depends on the participant's affiliation:

Industry / For-Profit€ 2750University staff / Non-Profit / Postdoc   € 1500PhD candidates€ 900

VLAG participants are requested to contact Chantal Doeswijk to arrange their participation.

Cancellations may be made free of charge until 9 June 2015. After this date the charge will be 25 % of the fee paid or due. Substitutions may be made at any time.