Microalgae Biorefinery

Microalgae are considered a biobased feedstock for a variety of applications: Food, feed, chemicals, materials and energy. The advantages of this feedstock is its flexibility in terms of products and sustainability: high areal productivity in comparison to terrestrial crops, lack of competition for land that is suitable for agriculture, and their capacity to grow on seawater. To make microalgae a source of bulk products, the cost price for production needs to be reduced, the scale of production needs to be increased significantly and the biomass value should be maximized.

Organised by Food Technology Agrobiotechnology Nutrition and Health Sciences (VLAG), Bioprocess Engineering

Mon 18 July 2016 09:48 until Wed 20 July 2016 09:48

To develop a more sustainable and economically feasible process, all biomass components (e.g. proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) should be used at minimal energy requirements and minimal costs while keeping the functionality of the different biomass components. Biorefining of microalgae is very important for the selective separation and use of the functional biomass components.

In the course Microalgae Process Design: from cells to photobioreactors (4th edition, 8 - 15 July, Wageningen) the upstream part, i.e. the biology and cultivation part is covered. In this course, 'Microalgae Biorefinery', the downstream part, i.e. the biorefinery will be in focus. The two courses will cover the entire microalgae process chain. When taking both courses we can offer a reduction in total course fee.

Target group

The course is aimed at PhD candidates, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, as well as professionals, that would like to acquire a thorough understanding of microalgal biorefinery. An MSc level in (bio)process technology, or alike, is recommended.

Course contents

Course aim

This course provides the essential skills for designing optimal microalgae-based biorefineries, from unit operations to the entire process chain, for both research and commercial applications and to be able to address the present bottlenecks in the process chain.

Course design

Through lectures, digital cases and short practicals, the participants will learn: 1) to describe different process units for each process step in the microalgae biorefinery chain; 2) to evaluate and optimize the process units by setting up mass/energy balances for each unit; 3) to integrate the different process units in a process chain and to 4) integrate the acquired knowledge into optimal process chains for different business cases with different combinations of end products.

Programme topics

  • Unit operations mass balances: harvesting, cell disruption, extraction, fractionation
  • Optimization of the process chain
  • Biorefinery Process Design
  • Analytical methods


Course coordinators

  • Prof Michel Eppink, Bioprocess Engineering - AlgaePARC, Wageningen UR
  • Dr Giuseppe Olivieri, Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen University
  • Dr Maria Barbosa, Bioprocess Engineering - AlgaePARC, Wageningen UR
  • Mrs Ingeborg van Leeuwen-Bol, Graduate School VLAG

Other faculty

  • Dr Corjan van der Berg, TNO Innovation for Life, Zeist
  • Dr Carl Safi, Food and Biobased Research - AlgaePARC, Wageningen UR
  • Dr Ben van den Broek, Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen UR
  • Dr Rouke Bosma, Bioprocess Engineering - AlgaePARC, Wageningen UR
  • Prof Gabriel Acién Fernandez, Almería University, Spain

General information

Date & duration

3 days, 18 - 20 July 2016.

Study load

The study load of this course is 0.9 ECTS credits. Participants can earn 0.5 extra ECTS credits by presenting a poster.


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 from 17-20 July for course participants. The rooms are blocked for the course until 26 May 2016. After this date accommodation is no longer guaranteed. Accommodation costs are € 75 (single room; incl. breakfast, excl. tax) per night. There are possibilities to share a room. The price when sharing a room is € 47,50 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 to:
Please mention booking code MBR-2016.

Contact information

More information concerning the course content can be obtained from Prof Michel Eppink (
For organisational matters please contact Mrs Ingeborg van Leeuwen-Bol, 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 to 26.

The final registration date is 7 June 2016.

Applicants will receive a confirmation of their registration within one week and will be informed about their acceptance to the course 9 June 2016 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 and a course dinner but does not cover accommodation) depends on the participant's affiliation:

Industry / For-Profit € 1200
University staff / Non-Profit / Postdoc € 600
PhD candidates € 400

Cancellations may be made free of charge until 7 June 2016. After this date the charge will be 25 % of the fee paid or due. Substitutions may be made at any time.

We can offer a discount in total course fee when taking the prior course on Microalgae Process Design from 8-15 July 2016. Please contact Chantal Doeswijk ( for more information.