Green Fuels Research wins funding for microalgae biomass sustainability project
Green Fuels Research has won funding under the U.K.’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Program for its microalgae biomass sustainability (MISTY) project. The project aims to boost yields from algae farming in the U.K. by co-culturing microalgae with bacteria, using wastewater from the brewing and dairy industries.
The key innovation lies in cultivating microalgal strains in conditions adapted to the U.K.’s weather by using two bioreactor systems, one taking advantage of natural sunlight during spring and summer and the second using organic compounds present in dairy and brewery wastewater as carbon sources in winter. MISTY will enable breweries and the dairy sector to dispose of zero-value, environmentally harmful waste streams while sustainably industrializing a high-value bioenergy resource, decarbonizing their value chains and combating climate change.
“Importantly, the MISTY process doesn’t use drinking-quality water or compete for land with food production while promising to increase the U.K.’s strategic biomass supply,” said Paul Hilditch, Green Fuels chief strategy officer. Equally important, by promoting carbon capture, MISTY aligns itself with the Green Industrial Revolution and accelerates the U.K.’s path to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Green Fuels is working with Wadworth & Co. Ltd., an independent regional family brewer and pub company, operating more than 150 pubs and brewing beer in the market town of Devizes since 1875.
“Now in the fifth generation of ownership by the Bartholomew family, Wadworth & Co. is excited to support Green Fuels in their research project, ‘MISTY,’ under the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Program,” said a spokesperson for the company. “We see this research as potentially beneficial in the longer term with the hope an industrial application would potentially bring innovative and or alternative low-cost wastewater-treatment solutions to smaller breweries while helping to combat climate change.”