The algae group contributes to the development of algal biotechnology through the valorisation of both seaweeds and microalgae. We want to contribute to the development of tools for the study of algae, a deeper understanding of algal physiology and more sustainable and efficient biorefining of algal biomass.
We have worked with a broad range of macroalgae including locally relevant brown, green and red species - investigating the influence of the environment on their chemical composition. We are interested in carbohydrates for conversion to biochemicals, recovery of specific and unique high-value substances. Emphasis has also been placed on investigating methods for preservation and storage as well as novel enzymatic tools for seaweeds.
For microalgal production, we look into specific steps like cultivation, harvesting and extraction processes of high-value products, mainly pigments. The influence of these steps in complete production scenarios is investigated on a life-cycle and economic basis, with special attention paid to feasible opportunities for integration or co-location with existing industrial or bio-processing infrastructure. We also seek to better understand the effect of different stresses or culture conditions on biochemical pathways and physiology, which will improve our fundamental understanding of algal biology and apply this knowledge to applied systems.
Ongoing centers and projects:
- Seaweeds for a Biobased Society - farming, biorefining and energy production (SEAFARM)
- Upgrading of renewable domestic raw materials to value-added bulk and fine chemicals for a biobased economy: technology development, systems integration and environmental impact assessment (BioBuF)
- Seaweed production systems with high value applications