The objective of this project is to generate robust process economics for a fully-fledged biorefinery that will not just break even but moreover prove highly profitable. A biorefinery uses biomass rather than crude oil to produce energy or chemicals. The term 'biorefinery' is routinely articulated in industrial biotechnology circles, but the concept has, as yet, never been fully realised.
PML scientists will work with Rothamsted Research, and industrial partners Algenuity and Stockton, to functionalise microalgae to produce a range of products that can be separated using a low-cost continuous flow downstream processing system. PALM-UK is innovative in that it will marry the best aspects of the conventional oil refinery (100% feedstock utilisation and high throughputs) with the best aspects of industrial biotechnology (functional complexity and environmentally benign processing).
Funder: Innovate UK - BBSRC
Project start date: January 2016
Project end date: December 2018
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Dr Mike Allen
Dr Tracey Beacham