Bioethanol from microalgae - DEMA

The project started in December 2012 and has just concluded in May 2017. Five European countries were involved with nine organisations contributing:

Imperial College, London, UK
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Photanol, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pervatech, Rijssen, Netherlands
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
eRcane, Sainte-Clotilde, Ile de La Reunion
LNEG, Amadora, Portugal
A4f, Lisboa, Portugal
University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

The project used strains of
Synechocystis 6803 that did not initially produce any ethanol. The cells were metabolically engineered so that they produced significant levels of ethanol. At the same time strains were developed that had limited ability to survive in the natural environment.

The study optimised conditions for microalgal growth and ethanol production using a range of enclosed photobioreactors. High-value products were also extracted from the cells to increase the financial viability of the process.
The project also produced a design for a 20 hectare (49 acre) commercial scale facility using the lessons learned for the operation of a pilot plant.

A
video of the project is available.

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