Cost efficient algal cultivation systems – A source of emission control and industrial development

Arvo Iital
BONUS MICROALGAE coordinator, Arvo Iital
Coordinator: Arvo Iital, Tallinn University of Technology
Share of the BONUS funding: EUR 474 906
Duration: 3 years, 1.2.2014-31.1.2017

Summaries of annual reports:
BONUS MICROALGAE year 2 report
BONUS MICROALGAE year 1 report


The unique properties of microalgae are recognised worldwide as a multidimensional biomass for industrialisation. Innovative university research focuses on the composition of microalgae cultivation systems to remove nutrients from wastewater, utilising the resulting algal biomass for the generation of energy efficient biogas. However, from innovation to commercialisation, the industrialisation process requires cost efficiency in the adoption of a new production technology. The production of clean water and biogas by using nutrients as inputs through a novel biotechnological process not only promises a reduction of private industrial costs but also environmental and social net benefits. The implementation of microalgae cultivation systems will have large positive impacts on the improvement of aquatic ecosystems allowing a market solution to optimal emission control on both diffuse and point pollutant sources. Allocating abatement measures by an economic incentive and simultaneously allowing industrial development in the Baltic Sea region could significantly reduce the cost of emission control and eutrophication while increasing the supply of renewable energy. This proposal offers cost efficient emission control and new policy guidelines by the industrialisation of microalgae cultivation systems taking into account the spatial distribution of nutrients arising from intensive agricultural, industrial and municipal wastewaters improving water quality in aquatic ecosystems.  

Water quality, microalgae, biotechnical industrialisation, cost efficiency, emission control

Partners: Estonia,
Denmark, Sweden

Introductory article: see page 8 of BONUS in Brief May 2014

For more information visit BONUS MICROALGAE's website
 and the BONUS projects' website.