Industrial capacity to culture and extract products from algae in an economic and environmentally sustainable way could be increased considerably by the academic expertise which the UK has to offer.
Last year, PML participated in stakeholder roadmapping workshops, held to gauge current and future opportunities conducive to creating a sustainable and robust algal biotechnology industry in the UK - the results of which have been collated into a report. This report highlights the strengths of the UK science base, providing a snapshot of UK and global algal industries, and presenting an overview of opportunities and trends for algae–derived products and services.
PML scientists, who specialise in algal biotechnology, provided crucial knowledge and expertise in several key areas of the report. These included:
Identifying key environmental factors influencing yield and biochemical composition of algae
Developing LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) capability including carbon balance and sustainability information suitable for aquatic and marine systems
Assessing the potential for algal diseases to affect cultivated algae and wild stocks
Identifying the biosecurity issues associated with using non-native or modified algal strains
Understanding the atmospheric effects resulting from trace gas emissions from algal growth
Based on these factors and more, the roadmapping report assesses the UK’s potential for capitalizing on international markets, and suggests actions required to compete in a global marketplace. The report also presents 15 business case studies for a range of sectors, which were highlighted in the workshops as being of particular relevance and value for the UK. PML feature in these case studies with regards to its research into microalgae and the production of petroleum replacement chemicals including cosmetics.
PML continue to work on sustainable pathways to algal biomass and bioenergy production through the EnAlgae project.
To view the report please click here.