Direct Ethanol from MicroAlgae
Start date: Dec 1, 2012,
End date: May 31, 2017
"The DEMA Consortium will develop, demonstrate and licence a complete economically competitive technology for the direct production of bioethanol from microalgae with low-cost scalable photobioreactors by 2016. Initial proof-of-concept results show via Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and economic balance that it is feasible to use microalgae to produce bioethanol for less than € 0.40 per litre. The catalytic conversion of solar energy, H2O and CO2 into ethanol will be carried out by a metabolically engineered strain of the cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.The DEMA Project will carry out research and development on the complete biofuel-production process at two levels. In the first level, the performance of cyanobacteria will be substantially enhanced by a series of metabolic engineering strategies to directly transform CO2, H2O and sunlight into Bioethanol at a concentration level of >1-2% (v/v). In the second level the bioethanol is continuously extracted from the culture media via a membrane technology process exploiting existing EU expertise and technology. This elegant process design enables the economic and energy efficient production of Biofuel at a dramatically reduced Capital and Operational expenditure. LCA performance is excellent and the overall approach is likely to be superior to any other alternative process design either proposed in the literature or by the US biofuels firm Algenol. We will also study exploitation of the residual biomass for other energy related applications to generate an even better total LCA.The DEMA bioethanol process will be economically, socially, and environmentally positive, providing a complement and future replacement to terrestrial biomass-derived ethanol and act as an immediately actionable means of reducing the carbon footprint of EU transport needs. The DEMA consortium will achieve a Transformational Innovation in biofuel production via low risk improvement of existing technologies at proof of concept stage."
Get Access to the 1st Network for European Cooperation