InteSusAl project demonstrates an innovative approach | CPI

InteSusAl project demonstrates an innovative approach

The European co-funded project InteSusAl (Demonstration of integrated and sustainable cultivation with biodiesel validation) started on 1st May 2011, and will run until 31st October 2015.

The overall objective of InteSusAl is to demonstrate an integrated approach to generate biofuels from algae in a sustainable manner on an industrial scale.

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), based on Teesside in the North East of England, is coordinating the project, and following restructuring of the project and relocation of the demonstration site to Portugal, a meeting with the six current project partners and the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission, took place on 15th May 2012 in Brussels.

The purpose of this meeting was to launch the restructured project and to define the next actions and related timeline. The InteSusAl project will optimise the whole microalgae production chain to achieve algae cultivation targets of 90 – 120 dry tonnes per hectare per annum. The unique combination of experience within the partners will allow integration of different algae growth systems to be developed. Using the glycerine by-product from biodiesel to feed the heterotrophic system will allow maximum recovery of carbon from the glycerine while producing algal oil for use in further biodiesel production. The partners expect to demonstrate a virtually closed loop system for carbon usage. Life-Cycle Analysis will be used during the design phase to guide the best overall options to maximise sustainability, as well as to compare the InteSusAl approach with other algae projects, fossil fuels and biofuels.

Algae have recently emerged as one of the most promising renewable fuel feedstocks, since very high oil yields and greenhouse gas savings, coupled to no negative effects on farming, have been reported. However, in order to maximise these benefits, further research is needed. InteSusAl is one of the three projects of the algal cluster which aim at researching and demonstrating innovative ways to produce microalgae (www​.algaeclus​ter​.eu), while respecting the environment.


For more information on the project, contact: Paola Mazzucchelli, EUREC Agency, rue d’Arlon 63 – 65, 1040 Brussels, Belgium Tel: 0032 2 546 19 31 Email: mazzucchelli.​p@​eurec.​be

InteSusAl is co-financed by the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (G.A. 268164


The InteSusAl project involves the production of algae by both heterotrophic and phototrophic routes and will demonstrate integration of these production technologies (Raceway, PhotoBioReactor and Fermentation) to achieve the algae cultivation targets of 90 – 120 dry tonnes per hectare per annum. The project will select algae species and cultivation technologies to attain algal oil with a suitable lipid profile for biodiesel production and will validate this selection through conversion of extracted oil into biodiesel to meet standard specifications. The sustainability of this demonstration, in terms of both economic and environmental implications, will be considered across the whole process; including optimum use of algal biomass resources to enable commercialisation. The results of this demonstration project will be disseminated across Europe to facilitate wider uptake. Consortium The InteSusAl consortium is composed of six partners coming from four European countries, whose complementary expertise will enable to successfully deliver the expected results: Centre for Process Innovation (CPI- UK) provide enabling technology and IP related to low cost heterotrophic algal cultivation and experience in collaborative project management. CPI are the project coordinator Necton (PT) have prior knowledge of microalgal phototrophic cultivation. The demonstration aspects of the project will be located at their premises, in the Algarve region of Portugal NIOZ (NL) provide expert knowledge on the optimum algae strain selection National Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC-UK) bring their expertise in the validation of environmental and economic sustainability DLO-FBR (NL) provide a wide ranging knowledge in the industrialisation of algae based processes and separation technology European Renewable Energy Research Centres Agency (EUREC-BE) will enable, through established mechanisms, widespread dissemination of the project results