MIRACLES is an industry-driven R&D and innovation project aimed at developing integrated, multiple-product biorefinery technologies for the production of specialties from microalgae for application in food, aquaculture and non-food products.
Microalgae are a promising feedstock for the sustainable supply of commodities and specialties for food and non-food products. Despite this potential, implementation to date is limited, mainly due to unfavourable economics. Major bottlenecks are the lack of available biomass at acceptable costs and the absence of appropriate biorefinery technologies.
The MIRACLES project aims to overcome these hurdles with the development of an integrated, multiple-product biorefinery for valuable specialties from algae for application in food, aquafeeds and non-food products.
The focus is on the development and integration of mild cell disruption and environmentally-friendly extraction and fractionation processes, including functionality testing and product formulation based on established industrial algal strains. The project will also develop new technologies for optimizing and monitoring valuable products in the algal biomass during cultivation. An innovative photobioreactor and an improved harvesting technology, combined with medium recycle technologies, will enable substantial cost reduction in algal biomass production.
The nova-Institute and the partners from Wageningen University, Value for Technology (bvba) and Ecotreasures (bvba) are responsible for techno-economic and sustainability assessment of integrated value chains and development of business plans.