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Renewable energy production through microalgae cultivation: Closing material cycles

Final Report Summary - ALGAENET (Renewable energy production through microalgae cultivation: Closing material cycles)

Anaerobic digestion can be regarded as a useful technology to recover valuable products from wastes. Not only energy can be recovered in the form of biogas, but also water and nutrients. On the other hand, microalgae, due to its capacity to capture CO2, offer interesting possibilities to work towards the establishment of closed cycles for energy production.
The main goal of the present joint exchange programme is to determine the feasibility of using sunlight transformation capacity of microalgae to enhance biogas production of anaerobic digestion processes, by means of biogas CO2 capture and co-digestion of waste and microalgal biomass.
Successful development of a process for bioenergy production from microalgae requires a multidisciplinary approach, since it involves two different sub-processes: On one hand, microalgal cultivation and harvesting and on the other hand, biogas and hydrogen production process. The IRSES partners were selected to include institutions with proved experience in both areas, both in Chile and in Europe. Such selection was intended to promote conditions for transfer of knowledge between Chile and Europe in all the areas of knowledge related with this proposal.
Exchange of researchers corresponding to 235 full time equivalent months between the groups has been done. These exchanges have developed high quality research and have open plenty of future possibilities within the consortia.
Not only research but dissemination has been encourage during the project. The reserachers involved in the exchanges have presented their research in diferente platforms such as seminars, conferences. The most important dissemination done by the consortia was the 4 workshoos organized under the framework of ALGAENET.
The 1st international Workshop was held in Antofagasta on the 12th November 2012. More than 50 people from different countries (Chile, Peru, Spain) and including MsC., PhD., senior researchers and people form industry attended the workshop.
The 2nd Algaenet Workshop was held in Seville during the 3rd and 4th July 2013. 57 people registered with an average attendance of 45. There was an important industrial participation with presentation from first line companies like Abengoa or Aqualia and SMEs like Biotopic.
The 3rd Algaenet Workshop was held in Prague on the 9th September 2014. 21 people registered with an average attendance of 15. Two companies were present. Photon System International ( and ASIO ( ), which presented its research lines.
The 4th Algaenet Workshop was held in Valparaiso on the 19th November 2015. More than 60 people from different countries (Chile, Brazil, France, Spain, Czech Republic) attended.

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