The MIRACLES project addresses major hurdles for expansion of the algae industry by enhancing cost effectiveness of algae biomass production and processing. This has been achieved through several innovations incl. the design of innovative multiple-product biorefinery technology and development of new algae-derived products.
Some of the main breakthroughs achieved include:
- Development of a supported amine-based technology for CO2 capture from air to allow microalgae cultivation in remote areas, such as deserts.
- Optimization of microalgae production process through the development of a novel foam bed photobioreactor.
- Design of a membrane-based device for algae biomass pre-concentration and medium recycling for cost and energy saving.
- Development of molecular tools for real time monitoring of target products during cultivation.
- Bio-prospecting, screening and selection of microalgae species from extreme environments in Norway, Spain and Chile.
- Characterization and functionality evaluation of selected strains in pilot scale reactors under highly diverse climatological conditions.
- Demonstration of techno-economic viability of integral value chains
- Techno-economic and socio-economic assessments, Life Cycle Assessment and development of business plans.
Additionally, a range of new algae specialties for food, aquaculture feeds and several non-food applications (incl. cosmetics and bio-materials), have been produced. Several of these will be exhibited during the Algae Biorefineries for Europe conference, where consumer acceptance issues and marketing strategies for algae-derived products will be discussed.
Project website: www.miraclesproject.eu