AlgaePARC research programme

Developing cost-effective and sustainable microalgae production methods outdoors.

This will be achieved by:
  • increasing microalgae productivity,
  • decreasing energy requirements and nutrient costs,
  • improving energy balance of cultivation, eventually resulting in a positive energy balance.

Background

Microalgae production is currently for niche markets

Microalgae are a promising and sustainable source of raw materials in the bio-based economy. Currently, commercial algae production is mainly aimed at high-value products for niche markets.

Improving microalgae production for bulk products

To produce microalgae at a large scale for application in bulk products, technology has to be improved. Production scale has to increase, while decreasing production costs. In addition, energy balance has to become positive in closed algae culturing systems.   

Methods

Comparing and optimising various algae cultivation systems

Performance, productivity and associated costs of different algae cultivation systems will be compared at pilot scale outdoors. In addition, the algae culturing process will be optimised by:

  • Changing algae densities
  • Changing the degree of mixing, i.e. changing the culture and gas flow in the algae culturing system
  • Selection of algae strains most suitable for outdoor mass production
  • Improving/adaptating of reactor design