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Euro team mining cyanobacteria for bioethanol

September 19, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

The Fish Site reports that a team of European scientists is on a mission to prove that cyanobacteria can be used to produce bioethanol as a biofuel for less than €0.40 a litre.

The EU-funded project DEMA (‘Direct Ethanol from MicroAlgae’) is seeking to improve biofuel production at two levels. First, the team will introduce the capacity to produce ethanol through metabolic engineering – by altering the chemical reactions that occur within its cells so that they can produce bioethanol effectively. The bioethanol will then be secreted by the algae and filtered from the medium through a membrane.

The project brings together nine partners from both academia and industry from six EU countries. It is coordinated by the University of Limerick in Ireland and has received almost EUR 5 million from the EU under the energy strand of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project started work in December 2012 and completes its work in May 2017.

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