Algae are considered as a highly sustainable source of biomass as well as valuable ingredients. With high biomass production rates fuel and non-fuel products can be generated. Non-fuel products, such as proteins, oils or pigments, can be applied in health foods or nutraceuticals. Currently, most of the algae is produced in Asia, where it is harvested, dried and shipped to Europe. The complete process including transport is unnecessarily energy- and cost intensive. To make the cultivation of algae economically attractive for Europe, an innovative algae processing is required.

The general objective of the international iAlgaePro project is the development of an innovative algae processing including membrane based harvesting, Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) technology and innovative extraction/separation techniques. The use of these technologies enables a higher cultivation efficiency and improved process conditions. Within the project, the application of PEF will be studied in the upstream and downstream processing. The upstream processing focuses on the cell isolation and cultivation.

It is known, that PEF can induce stress responses in cells accelerating growth and production of secondary metabolites. In this project, the possibility of PEF to increase vitality and improve growth rate of algae will be elaborated. In downstream processing, PEF will be used as a disruption technique in order to facilitate extraction of compounds, such as colorants, bioactive compounds or enzymes. The complete innovative algae process will be developed by the consortium consisting of 4 associations and 20 companies including 14 SMEs within 2 years starting November 2014.

For more information look at iAlgaePro on the FEI-Website or contact