Microalgae pilot facilities

Six of the EnAlgae pilot facilities are dedicated to looking at how microalgae might be better grown, harvested and converted into bioenergy. This page tells you about the reseach at each site.

Swansea University (United Kingdom) has several microalgal photobioreactors on-site and works with local aquaculture and heavy industry to identify potential sites for its mobile technologies. It has recently invested in a new type of reactor that will be housed in the University’s greenhouse and will allow scientists to further explore ways to grow, harvest and process microalgal biomass.

Hochschule Für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes (Germany) works in the field of closed loop aquatic production. Its facilities include several recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) for marine fish and crustacean that are coupled with photobioreactors for the production of microalgae. The technology maintains clear seawater which nutrients can be dissolved in; this water can then be used for photoautotrophic co-production. 

Ghent University, Campus Kortrijk (Belgium) has built a mobile pilot installation; a heated open pond with microalgal bacterial flocs (MaB-flocs) and flue gas injection. It will operate on three different company sites, treating parts of real waste water streams. Biomass will be harvested by sieving and then tested for its biogas potential.

Wageningen UR / ACRRES (Netherlands) has built two open pond system that connect to an anaerobic digesters feeding flue gas, minerals and warmth to the algae system. It has also built two open LED light assisted pre-culture basins. These facilities are providing vital data about how algae grows under different conditions.
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (United Kingdom) has upgraded a large-scale microalgae facility at the Boots company site in Nottingham. It consists of a photobioreactor system which is directly coupled to the emission stack of a gas turbine power station. The aim of the facility is to provide data on cultivation and maintenance of microalgae.
InCrops Enterprise Hub (United Kingdom) is building a pilot facility to investigate how by-products of water purification can be used to grow algae. The information collected will be shared across the partnership to develop understanding of the financial and environmental aspects of growing algae in North West Europe.

Click here to find out about our macroalgae (seaweed) sites.