It is widely known that biofuels are produced from land-based crops such as corn and palm oil, but an EU-funded project spanning seven EU countries is now investigating the production of biofuels from algae.
Ten partners have come together as part of the BIOFAT project to show that ethanol, biodiesel and bio products can be produced from algae on a large scale.
Aquatic micro algae are fast growing micro-organisms that can be harvested every 1-10 days, allowing for a sustainable production of biofuel with a reduced environmental impact. The algae produce oils that can be converted into biodiesel and ethanol, while the biomass residue can be used for further energy production.
Under the Algae Cluster, the European Commission is supporting three large-scale, industry-led projects (BIOFAT, All-GAS and Intesusal projects) aiming to demonstrate the production of algal biofuels from strain selection, cultivation and production, oil extraction, biofuel production and testing in transport.
The BIOFAT facilities are located in Camporosso, Italy and in Pataias, Portugal.
The total cost of the BIOFAT project is €10 016 182.88 including €7 773 133.4 in EU funding.