The Horizon 2020 funded project MacroFuels was officially launched at a kick-off meeting on January 19th. Matís participates in the project, which aims to produce advanced biofuels from macro-algae.
Target biofuels are ethanol, butanol, furanics and biogas. The project aims at achieving breakthroughs in biofuel production from macroalgae by:
- Increasing biomass supply by developing a rotating crop scheme for cultivation of seaweed, using native, highly productive brown, red and green seaweeds, in combination with the use of advanced textile substrates resulting in a year round biomass yield
- Improving the pre-treatment and storage of seaweed and to yield fermentable and convertible sugars at economically relevant concentrations (10-30%)
- Increasing bio-ethanol and bio-butanol production to economically viable concentrations by developing novel fermenting organisms which metabolize all sugars at 90% efficiency
- Increasing biogas yield to convert 90% of the available carbon in residues by adapting the organisms to seaweed
- Developing thermochemical conversion of sugars to fuels from the mg. scale to the kg. scale
- Performing an integral techno-economic, sustainability and risk assessment of the entire seaweed to biofuel chain
The major tasks of Matis in the MacroFuels project will be in the development of enzymes for degradation of complex, recalcitrant marine polysaccharides, and strain improvement of fermentative biorefinery organisms for production of ethanol from alginate derived mono-uronates.