6th International Algae Congress – Present and potential industrial applications of microalgae

Woerden, November 2012 – Microalgae have been of major interest for producing biofuels in the last decade. Recently, development and focus was changed towards the use of microalgae in the food, feed, materials and chemical sector as well. The potential of micro algae and aquatic biomass is enormous. The developments follow each other in rapid succession.

Microalgae contain high amounts of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates, which all can be used for different markets. For biofuels only, microalgae production appears to be too costly but in a biorefinery concept where the different compounds are isolated, algal biofuels remain a feasible option. Worldwide basic research, pilot and demonstration projects are developed. The industry is working on the basic aspects to make commercial production of microalgae possible. Very interesting will be the speech of Dr. Schoondorp, professor new business development at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. She will present a new kind of business model in which money is not the only exchange unit. The art of cooperation is one of the pillars new business is based on. During the 6th International Algae Congress in Rotterdam, many developments in the field are shown by presentations of the larger projects inside and outside Europe. Mr. Olivares, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts, a consortium of over 30 institutions will inform the delegates about the ambitious projects in USA.

The GreenStars Project has the goal to develop by 2020 compounds of interest such as efficient biofuels and high added value substances with microalgae feeding on industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and nutrients contained in waste. As soon as 2016, GreenStars will have industrial prototypes based on state-of-the-art technologies that will allow building a viable economic and environmental model. Dr. Siaut, member of the Biocore project team is speaker at the Rotterdam congress.

For North West Europe, the EnAlgae four-year Strategic Initiative of 19 partners and 14 observers is developing sustainable technologies for algal biomass production, bioenergy and greenhouse gas

(GHG) mitigation. Dr. Solanki (Birmingham University), Dr. Champenois (CEVA) and Mr. de Visser (Wageningen UR) tell us about their promising projects.

Basic research questions are discussed as well as demonstration projects. The congress addresses scalability and sustainability of the process of algae production and refinery. Seven different sessions are planned with industry representatives as well as leading algae research representatives. On December 5th in the afternoon a site visit to the algae plant in Lelystad (ACRRES) is part of the programme.

The 6th internationale Algae Congress (IAC) will take place in Rotterdam, 4 and 5 December. More information can be found on the website: www.algaecongress.com