Results & Deliverables

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Techno-economic and sustainability assessment

Economic challenges as well as critical success factors have been identified for future seaweed-to-fuel technologies assuming industry scales. The techno-economic assessment, evaluated the technical and economic feasibility of industrial scale production of biofuels from seaweed based on the MacroFuels concept and found that biomass production and the equipment that is required for the automated harvesting results in biomass costs that are, although significantly lower than to date, still one to two orders of magnitude too high for competitive fuel applications only. 

Costly biomass production for fuel use only

MacroFuels test seaweed farm in Scotland (© MacroFuels)

Chance lies in cascading biorefinery

If the seaweed-to-biofuel value chain was integrated in a cascading biorefinery concept, in which other compounds are extracted for high value products (i.e. food, feed, cosmetics, pharma- and nutraceuticals, biomaterials etc.) the economic feasibility of seaweed as biomass for biofuels might shift to the positive side. MacroFuels will discuss this with relevant projects that look into seaweed biorefineries during the final project phase and consider results for exploitation and follow-up actions.

1500 liter fermentor at WFBR (© WFBR)

Hydrolysis concepts can make a difference

The techno-economic assessment clearly showed that enzyme hydrolysis is favorable to acid hydrolysis in cost terms due to the large quantities of chemicals required for acid hydrolysis.

Environmental, social and business aspects

Other elements of the sustainability assessment incl. environmental, social and business aspects are underway and will be published in public reports between July and November 2019.

Geothermal field in Iceland, a source for thermophile enzymes (c) Matís

 Publications & Presentations

Find out more about our progress in sustainability assessments by browsing our publications and presentations

This website is part of the MacroFuels  project. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654010

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