Microalgae biomass as raw material for production of bio-based substances by utilizing industries’ residual resources as nutrients

Researchers: Mathias Bark, Eva Albers
This algae research project is a collaborative industrial PhD student project together with Dr. Susanne Ekendahl, Dr. Niklas Strömberg and Dr. Johan Engelbrektsson at SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in Borås. The project aims to investigate how residual resources from industries can be used as nutrition for algae and how challenges with large-scale algal cultivations can be overcome to efficiently produce algae biomass. The research is conducted in relation to specific industries to better understand their needs and how to increase their production values.
Residual resources to be studied are possible nutrient sources in residues from industries, such as flue gas containing the carbon source of CO2 and possibly in combination with other residues such as process waters, wastewaters and bio sludge, containing nitrogen and phosphorous. The effects of cultivation conditions on algal growth and composition will be studied. Important factors include type of nitrogen source, medium composition, culture pH, flue gas composition and microalgae species. In addition, challenges for scaling-up the cultivations from lab-scale to industrial scale will be central in this project.
Unique tools to be used are the flue gas simulating batch cultivation system in the lab and the outdoor cultivation facility named SP Algae Research Facility. On this field test site, there is an installed pellet burner producing flue gas, possible to use as carbon source for all constructed cultivations in this outdoor environment. Furthermore, cultivations can be operated by sensor-monitored growth systems.

Funding: SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, several funding agencies incl. Vinnova, Formas, Swedish Energy Agency and ÅForsk

Published: Mon 19 Sep 2016.