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More about TransAlgae

The project includes six activities:

  1. Forming a network
  2. Cultivation of algae
  3. Harvesting of algae
  4. Extraction of algae
  5. Transformation of algae
  6. System analyses


1. Network in Botnia-Atlantica region
The project partners are the first building blocks of an algae network in the Botnia-Atlantica region. A goal is to extend the network during the project and also to involve more women working with algae.

2. Cultivation
Cultivation systems with focus on adaptation to Nordic climate will be developed. Both micro- and macroalgae will be used for cultivation in fresh, waste and sea water. The different systems will be evaluated in waste water efficiency, energy and economic sustainability and biomass production.

3. Harvesting
Existing harvesting methods such as centrifugation, filtration and chemical flocculation will be used for harvesting of algae. The macro algae contain a lot of minerals from the sea water, which may need to be removed before extraction.

4. Extraction
Extraction of lipids from freshwater micro algae has been developed in lab scale at SLU which will be tested in larger scale. For macro algae, a first step extraction of high value molecules such as sulphated polysaccharides and proteins will be performed.

5. Transformation
In this project, biogas production and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) will be performed. The biogas potential for each substrate and for co-digested samples will be carried out. The samples with highest biogas potential will be tested in a pilot scale. Pre-treatment of samples will also be tested.

HTL has been shown to be a feasible technique to treat large amounts of biomass for production of a bio-oil that can be use further as a biofuel. The bio-oil is produced at a temperature of 250 to 370 °C and a pressure of 5 to 25 MPa with a residence time of 5 to 60 minutes. At this stage, HTL technology development is in the lab scale and the experiments on algae will hence be performed in lab scale.

6. System Analysis
In the project both a techno-economic study and also an energetic balance study will be performed during the entire season. The purpose is to have a sustainable algae cultivation system at a larger scale.