Algae are a large group of simple aquatic organisms that have long been grown and harvested for many different uses.
They can be found in a variety of food and beauty products on the supermarket shelves, but exciting scientific developments in recent years have also revealed their bioenergy potential. As fossil fuel resources continue to decline around the globe, it is vital that new sources of fuel are identified and developed.
The EnAlgae project has received funding to develop algal bioenergy technologies at nine pilot facilities and to advance the emerging marketplace in North West Europe.
An INTERREG IVB North West Strategic Initiative
EnAlgae is a four-year Strategic Initiative of the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme. It brings together 19 partners and 14 observers across 7 EU Member States with the aim of developing sustainable technologies for algal biomass production.
Click to find out more about EnAlgae
Download the programme here
EnAlgae Final Report Card
Our final report card has been published and is now available for download.
Get your copy here.
Panning for Green Gold: Developing the algal bioeconomy
Our documentary is finished and ready for you to view and enjoy.
It charts the work which has been undertaken by EnAlgae over the life of the project, places it in the context of what else is happening across the world and offers a glimpse of where the technologies developed by EnAlgae could develop further in the future.
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Dr Peter Schiener
What’s your role within the EnAlgae project?
I will be looking at identifying products from different kelp species to maximise the commercial value of these cultivated seaweeds. This also involves looking at the biogas potential of any left over seaweed residue after extraction.
What were you doing before you joined the project?
I have a strong fermentation background and learned the tricks of the trade in the pharmaceutical industry, where I have optimised bacterial and cell culture based fermentation system and transferred them to industrial scale. I studied Chemical Engineering with a focus on anaerobic digestion during the final year of my degree course. This was followed by working for a Biotech start-up company commercialising a new type of anaerobic digester for treating industrial wastes. More recently I did my PhD in Marine Sciences at SAMS in Scotland, where I was also involved in the BioMara project, characterising the chemical profiles of different kelp species and assessing the bioethanol potential of those seaweeds.
Why are you interested in EnAlgae?
The EnAlgae project enables me to directly apply my skills to chemically characterise seaweed biomass and develop an anaerobic process for the generation of biogas. In addition, this project also allows me to learn more about seaweed cultivation, an area I believe has a substantial growth potential.
What are you working on at the moment?
As I have just started my position literally yesterday the focus will be on identifying potential valuable products from seaweed biomass, develop suitable extraction methods and establish an anaerobic process at the Marine Lab at Portaferry.
Tell us something else about yourself!
Like Karen Mooney I also enjoy cooking. I use coastal forages to look for new things and am trying to involve seaweed more in my diet. I have started making cheese last year and want to follow up on it - involving seaweed. I make use of my fermentation background and brew beer whenever possible.
Away from the kitchen you will most likely meet me on my bicycle, exploring the countryside!