Research

Scotland’s AccliPhot project explores marine algae for biofuel

February 9, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Aberdeen

Scientists at Scotland’s Aberdeen University are running an international research team to
develop biofuel from marine algae.

An international research team led by the University of Aberdeen is researching microalgae from the world’s oceans and seas to make biofuels. Project coordinator Dr. Oliver Ebenhoeh, from the University of Aberdeen’s Institute of Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology, says one of the key motivations to look into marine microalgae is that current biofuels created from crops and land-based vegetation are not sustainable.

“We need to find efficient ways of supplying our energy demand in a way that doesn’t compete for valuable resources like arable land or fresh water,” he says. “Cultivating algae using water that can’t be used for irrigation, like salt water or brackish water, makes sense because it’s so vast – it’s all around us and there’s no competition to use the land to grow other things.”

His 12-partner project, hubbed at the University of Aberdeen, intends to understand the principles that guide changes to environments for algae cultivation, and then apply that at industry scale. Dubbed the AccliPhot project, Dr. Ebenhoeh’s team will try to understand more fully how plants and microalgae respond to changes in light and other conditions and use that information to make new products.

With a main focus on biofuels, the study is also looking at possibilities with antibiotics, nutritional supplements and chemical compounds used in the cosmetics industry. “If that is successful then the applications are enormous, because then you can really look into targeted pharmaceuticals or precursors for the chemical industry,” he said.

AccliPhot partners include
the University of Aberdeen (project co-ordinators); University of Verona; University of Geneva; French National Centre for Scientific Research; Pierre and Marie Curie University; The Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg; ETH Zurich; Oxford Brookes University; Cellectis ; Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station (DOMMRS); University of Nantes; and Fermentalg.

Dr. Ebenhoeh says his team will be able to tackle the research in a way no one else has because of the diverse background of the team members. “One of our unique points is our multidisciplinary approach. We have theoreticians with a background in mathematics and physics, working together with biologists and biochemists and three of our partners perform industrial research. This unique composition will help us form a tight connection between academic and industrial research. We hope to make a considerable contribution to the understanding in this field.”

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond praised the initiative, saying that Scotland is leading the way in the energy sector. “Our world class oil and gas industry, now allied to a vibrant renewables sector, is harnessing the power of our boundless wind and water resources to bring jobs and investment to our country and ensure we can power our nation on a sustainable basis. “The AccliPhot project could herald another exciting development in Scotland’s energy story with the team at the University of Aberdeen using cutting-edge techniques to support the development of a sustainable biofuel from microscopic algae.”

The project is due to run for four years and is backed by €4million funding through the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union. Further information can be found the AccliPhot website at www.accliphot.eu

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2013 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Chase Ezell writes in Earth911.com about the irony of Algenol’s biggest friction source on the way to marketing their carbon reducing algal-based ethanol being — the EPA ...
SCHOTT AG, of Mitterteich, Germany, and Algatechnologies Ltd. (Algatech), based at Israel’s Kibbutz Ketura, have signed an R&D agreement to strengthen their partnersh...
U.S. farmers and biofuels makers are watching for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final decision on the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard rules, which will set t...
James “Jamie” Levine took over the reigns at Sapphire Energy in July of this year as former President and CEO Cynthia “CJ” Warner stepped down, retaining her role as chai...
Solazyme, Inc. and Versalis, the chemical subsidiary of Eni S.p.A., one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, today announced a partnership to expand the commerci...
Iran-based Qeshm Microalgae Biorefinery Co. (QMAB) has launched a biofuel being marketed as BAYA®, produced from a species of Nannochloropsis (strain 6016) isolated from ...
William Tucker writes in fullfreedom.org about the lure the oceans have for advocates of biofuel, particularly in Scandinavia. “Two-thirds of the globe is covered with wa...
In October 2014 an unusual AlgaePARC research paper entitled Design and construction of the microalgal pilot facility AlgaePARC was published in the Journal of Algal Rese...
Most Americans get plenty of protein, primarily from animal products including meat, eggs and milk. But for many, ensuring a healthy protein intake can be challenging. In...
Phys.org reports that, in collaboration with the Berlin, Germany LED manufacturer FutureLED, scientists at the Technische Universität München have developed a unique comb...
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae because of their color, have endured for more than 2.5 billion years, providing ample time to adapt to changes in the Earth'...
Tess Riley writes in TheGuardian.com about how spirulina may be able to combat malnutrition in developing countries. Spirulina is one of the oldest life forms on Earth, c...
Allan Koay writes in thestar.com about a Universiti Malaya research project paving the way for the commercial production of paper pulp and bioethanol from seaweed. The Al...
Kevin Quon writes in Seeking Alpha about the financial plights and pivots of Solazyme, the algae industry’s most high profile recent IPO. In a year that started with a sh...
Much of the development of the algae industry in 2014 was driven by domestic and international alliances, partnerships, and mergers that brought complementary skills and ...
West Chester, Pennsylvania-based International Sustainability Group, Inc., an innovative green technology and sustainable manufacturing company, has entered the algae mar...
Fort Myers, FL-based Algenol has announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved fuels made from Algenol’s process as an advanced biofuel, meet...
In an age where customer input is as easy as a click, OriginOil has tapped directly into its intended market to R&D their next generation algae harvester -- with a de...