Microalgae are a promising source of biofuel and high value chemicals and nutraceuticals. However, there are major technological challenges limiting the extent to which microalgae can be used in this way.
This project will explore suitable algal feedstock for input to a novel integrated biorefinery capable of overcoming these challenges and of cleaning waste water, recovering essential nutrients, and providing high value algal-derived chemicals and materials. The “enabling technology” of this biorefinery has the potential to play a central role in an integrated microalgae-based waste water treatment system capable of: removing phosphate contamination from waste water to improve the quality of natural waters; producing viable quantities of high value lipids (as, for example, feedstock for biodiesel production); producing biochar for soil amendment and carbon sequestration; recycling fertilizer phosphate.
This project will investigate the value potential of algae grown in the context of waste water treatment in the UK.