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Reference Number EP/L50581X/1
Title Light capture and processing technology for enhanced biofuel production by microalgae
Status Completed
Energy Categories RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 50%;
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Bio-Energy, Production of other biomass-derived fuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr GA Turnbull
No email address given
Physics and Astronomy
University of St Andrews
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 31 March 2014
End Date 30 May 2015
Duration 14 months
Total Grant Value £76,285
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Scotland
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr GA Turnbull , Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Professor I Samuel , Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract Algae hold great promise for the large scale production of carbon-neutral biofuels that avoid many of the problems of terrestrial biofuels (such as Palm Oil) in that they require only about 10% of the space of terrestrial crops and can use waste water for growth and their nutrients. Current production systems are, however, uneconomic against both fossil and first generation biofuels and require significant step wise improvements to redress this. There are opportunities for improvements in the cost effectiveness of both upstream production and downstream processing of algae to close the gap between algal biofuel and fossil fuels but these will require radically different approaches from those currently employed. This feasibility study project will be a collaboration between Xanthella, a biotechnology SME based in Oban who produce compact, efficient algal photo bioreactors, and a team of physicists at the University of St Andrews who are experts in optical materials and photophysics. The project aims to deliver a step change in the performance-cost ratio of algal photo bioreactors (PBRs) operating under solar illumination for the production of carbon neutral biofuels. This will be achieved through the development of an innovative solar light collection component for use in Xanthella's internally-lit photobioreactor designs
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 16/12/13