Context and Objectives

Microalgae are considered one of the most promising feedstock for sustainable supply of commodities for both food and non-food products. To realize this promise, biomass production and processing costs should be reduced.

The Project “PIV4Algae – Process Intensification for microalgal production and Valorisation” (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031736) funded by Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER), through COMPETE2020 – Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by national funds (PIDDAC) through FCT/MCTES, aims at the use of wastewaters in microalgal cultures, towards intensification of biomass production and further valorisation for application in aquaculture and biofuels production.

Taking into account these aims, this project relies on the optimisation of the process parameters for microalgal cultivation in tubular photobioreactors (PBRs). After determining the best operating conditions, biomass will be characterised to assess its potential for oil and carotenoids extraction. The insight provided by these experiments and by CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations will allow for the design of an improved PBR system, which will be built at pilot scale. To evaluate the potential of developed process/operation conditions for application at industrial scale, a techno-economic and sustainability assessment will be performed.

Expected results

Considering the activities previewed in this project and the biorefinery concept, obtained results will provide new insights on the process variables that maximise microalgal biomass production in large scale, towards the production of biofuels at reduced costs. Besides the importance of this project to the scientific community, the results are expected to improve process efficiency and sustainability of the industries associated to the project, by improving wastewater remediation processes and introducing the produced biomass (or biomass products) in the value chain.

Sistema 2

Project PIV4Algae (PTDC/BTA-BTA/31736/2017; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031736), funded by FEDER funds through COMPETE2020—Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by national funds (PIDDAC) through FCT/MCTES: