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New algae-to-biogas plant to open in Belgium

A new algal biotechnology pilot facility in Roeselare, Belgium is set to allow scientists to explore methods of treating wastewater with microalgae and new microalgal harvesting techniques.

It is one of nine pilot sites across North West Europe that will be constructed as part of the EnAlgae project.

The project's aim is to develop sustainable technologies for algal biomass production, bioenergy and greenhouse gas mitigation. It wants to stimulate the uptake of these next generation biofuel technologies and eventually create market-place products and services.

The new facility is being built at the Aquaculture Practice Centre, which was chosen by scientists from Howest University College, which is one of 19 EnAlgae partners working together across seven EU member states.

‘Our pilot facility will look specifically at how microalgal bacterial flocs can be used to treat wastewater, and then be harvested and anaerobically co-digested to biogas,’ says Howest project collaborator Sofie van der Hende. ‘It is the first facility of its kind in this region and has been made possible by the co-operation of our EnAlgae colleagues and the funds from the Flemish government and Province West-Flanders.’

The facility will be launched in March.