A major new €14 million (£12.3 million) initiative – bringing together experts from across North West Europe to develop the potential of algae as a source of sustainable energy – has been announced.
A number of leading European organisations – including the NNFCC – are about to embark on a four and a half year project called Energetic Algae (EnAlgae), to address the current lack of information on macro- and microalgal productivity in North West Europe.
EnAlgae will establish a series of pilot scale seaweed farms and microalgae growth facilities in the region to provide the crucial information needed to assess the productivity of algae production.
This information will be used to better understand the economics and greenhouse gas balances of making fuel, energy and other products from algae in North West Europe. Another output will a computer-based tool to inform decision makers about how and where algae could be grown in the region.
“Algae offers significant potential for the sustainable production of energy and fuels. Much of the focus so far has been on the production of algae in more favourable climates, such as the US, but there is a distinct lack of information about how algae grow at scale in more challenging climates,” says algae lead at the NNFCC, Dr Claire Smith.
“The EnAlgae project will allow us to look seriously at the potential of algae for the UK and the NNFCC are delighted to offer our expertise in developing markets for sustainable algal bioenergy production.”
The project’s manager, Dr Robin Shields, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research at Swansea University, said “Algal bioenergy has been identified as a strategic priority by the INTERREG IVB NWE programme. The EnAlgae expert partnership has been formed to develop and implement technologies tailored to the unique socio-economic and environmental conditions of North West Europe,”
“Thanks to close transnational cooperation, EnAlgae partners and stakeholders will gain access to those sustainable technologies most suited to their local operating conditions.”
EnAlgae is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund by the North West Europe INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme and the Welsh Government’s Targeted Match Fund, together with a range of co-sponsors.
1. The EnAlgae partnership comprises:
- Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR), UK (Lead Partner)
- European Biomass Industry Association (BE)
- Ghent University (BE)
- Laborelec Ltd (GDF-SUEZ) (BE)
- Flanders Marine (BE)
- University College West Flanders (BE)
- Agency for Renewable Resources (DE)
- HTW University of Applied Sciences (DE)
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (DE)
- Centre d’Etude et de Valorisation des Algues (FR)
- National University of Ireland Dublin, University College Dublin (IE)
- National University of Ireland, Galway (IE)
- Wageningen UR (including Plant Research International) / ACRRES (NL)
- Birmingham City University (UK)
- InCrops Enterprise Hub (UK)
- National Non-Food Crops Centre (UK)
- Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK)
- Queen’s University Belfast (UK)
- The Scottish Association for Marine Science (UK)
2. EnAlgae project timeline: the project was formally approved by the INTERREG IVB NWE Programme in March 2011. It will end on June 30, 2015.
3. INTERREG IVB is “a financial instrument of the European Union’s Cohesion Policy. It funds projects which support transnational cooperation. The aim is to find innovative ways to make the most of territorial assets and tackle shared problems of Member States, regions and other authorities.” For more information visit www.nweurope.eu.
4. Welsh Government – Targeted Match Fund; The Welsh Assembly Government established the Targeted Match Fund (TMF), in June 2008, to provide a last resort source of central match funding for projects applying for support from the European Structural Fund Programmes (2007-13). Sufficient funding has been made available to ensure that the full draw down of available European funding is achieved.
5. Swansea University’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) was established in 2005, and is located in the University’s College of Science. It is a research and knowledge transfer centre, focused on developing and transferring integrated aquaculture technologies for a diverse range of commercially important aquatic plant and animal species, for both food and non-food applications. For more information visit www.aquaculturewales.com.
6. Swansea University is a world-class, research-led university situated in stunning parkland overlooking Swansea Bay on the edge of the Gower peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Founded in 1920, the University now offers around 500 undergraduate courses and 150 postgraduate courses to 15,921 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Visit www.swansea.ac.uk. Swansea University is a registered charity. No. 1138342. Mae Prifysgol Abertawe yn elusen gofrestredig. Rhif. 1138342.
7. The NNFCC is the UK’s National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials. For more details please refer to www.nnfcc.co.uk.
The National Non-Food Crops Centre
- The UK’s National Centre for biorenewable energy, fuels and materials
- The NNFCC is committed to the sustainable development of markets for biorenewable products
- We promote the benefits of biorenewable energy, fuels and materials for enhancement of the bioeconomy, environment and society
CCAP currently maintains over 2500 strains of algae and protozoa, comprising:
• a wide range of microalgal taxa, including the cyanobacteria
• small thalloid red algae
• a range of small multicellular seaweeds, including over 300 strains of Ectocarpus
• free-living non-pathogenic protozoa
• a small number of ACDP Class II, potentially pathogenic protozoa (all Acanthamoeba spp.)
Strains are primarily maintained by serial sub-culture although about 30% of the algal strains and 2% of the protozoan strains are cryopreserved. In order to maintain genetic stability most effectively, research is continuing to develop protocols to increase the number and diversity of cryopreserved strains throughout the Collection.
All cultures are freshly prepared to order, so when ordering please allow sufficient time for the cultures to be grown. For orders of one culture of each strain, 4 weeks is usually sufficient, but please allow extra time for multiple cultures of each strain, or for strains which are held at CCAP only under cryopreservation (as indicated in the strain data).