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
University of Adelaide researchers are using nanotechnology and the fossils of diatoms to develop a novel chemical-free and resistance-free way of protecting stored grain...
Solazyme, Inc. has announced results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013. “2013 was a year of great progress for Solazyme as we readied our first...
Valensa International and Contract Biotics have announced that Contract Biotics has started construction of an additional six acres of algae production units at the compa...
Algae is being discussed at the heart of EXPO Milano 2015, the international event that has existed since 1851, spawning world shaping themes and icons, such as the Eiffe...
Yereth Rosen reports in the Anchorage Daily News that scientists at North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute have found extremely high levels o...
Santa Fe Community College has been awarded a $50,000, SEED Infrastructure Grant from the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), for commercial ...
Although the use of whole microalgae in animal diets has long been studied, the 
de-fatted biomass of microalgal species, derived from biofuel production research, has on...
By sending algae into space, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist and his team will be able to study some of the key mechanisms that control plant growth and...
In Phys.Org, Yu Yonehara notes the breakthrough research from the Tokyo Institute of Technology on the connection between early marine algae and the development of terres...
Four years after the first optimistic calculations, the experimental cultivation of algae at Wageningen University in the Netherlands appears to be meeting expectations. ...
A University of New South Wales (UNSW)-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird qua...
The Guardian reports that Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Canada-based Solarvest has created an inventive system utilizing a specific algal strain to grow and produce EPA ...
Algae Industry Magazine is pleased to announce a new Algae 101 series by our popular blogger, Mark Edwards, Professor, Arizona State University. The Algae Solutions to Na...
Kyae Mone Win reports in the Myanmar Times that spirulina has been harvested from Twin Daung lake in Sagaing’s Bu Ta Lin township for over a decade, but climate change an...
Following a request from the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was recently asked t...
Using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are driving the life-and-death d...
Expanding from its initial work in algal biofuels, General Atomic’s (GA’s) Advanced Biological Processes team has focused on the rising need for food globally, specifical...
Portuguese cement facility, Secil, and microalgae biotechnology company, A4F, also based in Portugal, have formed AlgaFarm, a joint venture to develop the use of cement f...