08.04.2014

VTT project reveals that algae is a potential source for biofuels

Algae has a potential source for biofuels and biochemicals, the project led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland found. The researchers at VTT found that establishing profitable algae cultivation can also be in cool climates such as Finland.

The researchers found that the short daylight hours of winter in countries such as Finland are a problem, but algae are able to adapt to variable growing conditions.

Using algae to produce biofuels requires growing conditions where the algae produce high levels of lipids, and the profitability of commercialisation depends on trends in oil prices. The components of algae are also suitable for pigments, cosmetics components or hydrogels, and could be used in the production of nutritional supplements, particularly omega-3.

— Algae can also be used to recover nutrients, organic impurities and heavy metals from waste and waste water, says the project manager, Principal Scientist Mona Arnold from VTT.

VTT is currently launching cooperation with the oil and gas company ONGC in India and with CLEEN Ltd., the Cluster for Clean Energy and Environment in Finland, to further explore the potential of algae in a CO2 capture, best applications for algal biomass and how well algae could be grown in industrial waste water.

Source: Good News from Finland