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 Efthalia Arvaniti
What’s your role within the EnAlgae project?
For the EnAlgae project, I work as project manager and as a report card editor.
At the moment, I am analysing the drivers and obstacles affecting commercial algae cultivation for energy production (both micro and macro), and I am paving the way forward by developing an algae road-map for NW Europe. Parallel to this, I am designing and editing the EnAlgae report card 2015. Part of my work previously for EnAlgae was to landscape energy and environmental policies of the NW European region that cover algae cultivation and algal product development, while I also designed and edited the EnAlgae report card 2014.
What were you doing before you joined the project?
Before joining the NNFCC and the EnAlgae project, I was living in Denmark doing a PhD. I have a background in chemical engineering, chemistry and biotechnology (PhD), environmental technologies (MSc) and chemistry (BSc) and for more than 5 years I was doing hands-on research in developing processes for refining biomass residues and food wastes and production of biofuels and chemicals.
Why are you interested in EnAlgae?
Having a background in biorefineries, environmental technologies and chemistry I am fascinated with this examining the potential of producing bioenergy from algae. I am particularly interested in assisting novel biobased technologies reach the market, studying what it takes, and how I can help them make a change. Macro- and micro-algae cultivation is in an early stage of development and so the work of EnAlgae has the chance to be very impactful, but except this I am truly taken by the opportunities arising from recycling waste streams like various wastewater streams or industrial-CO2 for algae production.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m investigating what it takes to bring two cultivation technologies (one for macro and one for micro) closer to the market. For this, I am analysing economical, technological, environmental and policy and regulatory factors impacting the development of the two cultivation technologies. Cultivation methods for macro- and micro-algae are in fact so different, in terms of scales, stakeholders, or facilities etc. Consequently, for developing each of these technologies further, the whole system surrounding the technology will have to change accordingly to fit-for-purpose. And this is where we come: we observe, we intervene and wish to make a change.
Tell us something else about yourself!
I was born downtown in Athens and have been an expat for more than 10 years having lived in five countries by now. In my free time, if I am not strolling around Europe to meet one of my favourites, I will be probably attending a bizarre live performance. As a person, I am naturally curious and I find joy in simple things. I enjoy and appreciate the company of people with very diverse personalities and backgrounds, and I am good at building networks, bringing people together and creating a positive atmosphere.