Microalgae are a promising feedstock for sustainable supply of commodities and specialties for food and non-food products. Despite this potential the implementation is still limited which is mainly due to unfavourable economics. Major bottlenecks are the lack of available biomass at acceptable costs and the absence of appropriate biorefinery technologies. The 4-year MIRACLES project aims to resolve these hurdles by development of integrated, multiple-product biorefinery for valuable specialties from algae for application in food, aquafeeds and non-food products. The focus is on development and integration of mild cell disruption and environmentally friendly extraction and fractionation processes including functionality testing and product formulation based on established industrial strains. The project will also develop new technologies for optimization and monitoring of valuable products in the algal biomass during cultivation and innovative photobioreactor and harvesting technology that will enable substantial cost reduction. A new technology will be developed for CO2 concentration from the air for algal growth and new industrial algae strains for extreme locations will be selected via bioprospecting to expand the resource base for the algae industry and enable cultivation in areas less suitable for agriculture such as deserts. The work is supported by market assessment, integral biorefinery designs, techno-economic and sustainability assessment, and the creation of business plans for full valorisation of algal biomass. Integrated value chains will be demonstrated to deliver proof-of-concept and demonstrate economic feasibility. MIRACLES is an industry driven R&D and innovation project with a multidisciplinary approach aimed at generating robust business cases through technology development. The consortium has 26 partners with 11 prominent research organisations. Strong industrial leadership is guaranteed through the participation of 12 SMEs and 3 NMI/end users.
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570 01 Thermi Thessaloniki