BIOFAT is a microalgae-to-biofuel FP7 demonstration project that integrates the entire value chain of algae process from optimized growth, starch and oil accumulation, to downstream processing (biorefinery) including biofuel production . The BIOFAT approach integrates and scales up complementary technologies and skills from each partner into a global multidisciplinary project.
Partners include: A4F, S.A (Portugal); Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences of the University of Florence (Italy). Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory of Ben Gurion University (Israel); Fotosintetica & Microbiologica S.r.l. (Italy); Evodos (The Netherlands); Algosource Technologies (France); A&A Fratelli Parodi S.p.a.,(Italy); Abengoa Bioenergia Nuevas Tecnologias (Spain); IN S.r.l. (Italy); and Hart Energy (US).
The BIOFAT consortium is characterized by a unique mix of skills that represent the actual state of the art in terms of knowledge and expertise in the field of microalgae production and applications, including biofuels. All partners have consolidated know-how in these fields, as they have worked on these topics for nearly two decades. The scientific and technological challenges will include:
- Strain selection and cultivation, in accordance with environmental conditions and sustainability criteria;
- Optimization of the culture conditions, adoption of strategies to limit contaminations and abiotic stresses , allowing high oil/starch accumulation:
- Technology integration and optimization, combining photo-bioreactors (Green Wall Panels and tubular reactors) and raceway ponds, as well as automated harvesting;
- Minimizing investment and operational costs for successfully up-scaling (from one-half hectare to 10 hectares) the technologies from algae cultivation to biomass processing and biofuel production, for competitive and sustainable algal biomass production.
- Development of the algo-refinery concept valorising different co-products from the algae biomass fractions.