ALGOL: Biocascading phytosterols from marine micro and macro algae, a feasibility study for biocircular economy

Project: Research

Project Details

Description

Micro and macro algae are a rich source of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates, but also of secondary metabolites like phytosterols. Phytosterols have important health effects such as prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Global phytosterol market size was estimated at USD 709.7 million in 2019 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 8.7% until 2027. Growing adoption of healthy lifestyle has bolstered demand for nutraceutical products. This is expected to be a major factor driving demand for phytosterols.
Residues from algae are found in algae farming and processing, are found as beachings and are pruning residues from underwater Giant Kelp forests. Large amounts of brown seaweed beaches in the province of Zeeland and are discarded as waste. Pruning residues from Giant Kelp Forests harvests for the Namibian coast provide large amounts of biomass. ALGOL project considers all these biomass residues as raw material for added value creation.
The ALGOL feasibility project will develop and evaluate green technologies for phytosterol extraction from algae biomass in a biocascading approach. Fucosterol is chosen because of its high added value, whereas lipids, protein and carbohydrates are lower in value and will hence be evaluated in follow-up projects. ALGOL will develop subcritical water, supercritical CO2 with modifiers and ethanol extraction technologies and compare these with conventional petroleum-based extractions and asses its technical, economic and environmental feasibility. Prototype nutraceutical/cosmeceutical products will be developed to demonstrate possible applications with fucosterol.
A network of Dutch and African partners will supply micro and macro algae biomass, evaluate developed technologies and will prototype products with it, which are relevant to their own business interests. ALGOL project will create added value by taking a biocascading approach where first high-interest components are processed into high added value products as nutraceutical or cosmeceutical.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/05/2131/12/22