• Total Energies

Total, Veolia to develop CO2-based algae cultivation for next-gen biofuels

French multinational energy company Total, recently rebranded as Total Energies, and Veolia have joined forces to accelerate the development of microalgae cultivation using CO2. The two partners will pool their know-how to develop a four-year research project at the La Mède biorefinery, operated by Total Energies, with the long-term goal of producing biofuel.

Through photosynthesis, microalgae use sunlight and CO2 from the atmosphere or from industrial processes to grow. When mature, they can be transformed into next-generation biofuels with low carbon intensity.

As part of the project, a test platform will be set up to compare different innovative systems for growing microalgae and identify the most efficient ones.

Veolia will bring its expertise in the water sector to optimize management of the microalgae’s aquatic environment and the development of algal biomass as an effective solution for CO2 capture. Total Energies, in synergy with the business lines at the La Mède site, will bring its expertise in the cultivation and refining of biomass to produce advanced biofuels, and CO2 capture and utilization technologies.

“We are pleased to join forces with Veolia at our La Mède site to accelerate the assessment of microalgae cultivation systems using CO2 in the aim of producing next-generation biofuels,” said Marie-Noëlle Semeria, chief technology officer at Total Energies. “Biofuels will enable Total Energies’ clients to reduce their carbon footprint, and thus contribute to the ambition of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 together with the society.”

Philippe Seberac, technical and scientific director at Veolia, said, “This unique partnership enables Total Energies and Veolia to accelerate the production cycle of a promising alternative energy that is necessary to protect the planet. With this project, Veolia can contribute its technical expertise in optimizing and securing biological treatments to a more global context that will have a positive impact on the ecological transformation. This partnership is an excellent example of the ecological innovation capacities that Veolia wants to offer its customers in response to the climate change.”

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