Centre Algatech

Institute of Michrobiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

EU HORIZON 2020 - project "Sustainable Algae Biorefinery for Agriculture and Aquaculture"


Total Subsidity (in thousands )

Project Description


2016 - 2020

Sustainable Algae Biorefinery for Agriculture and Aquaculture

prof. RNDr. Jiří Masojídek, CSc.

Laboratory of Algal Biotechnology

€ 549 750,00

SABANA aims at developing a large-scale integrated microalgae-based biorefinery for the production of biostimulants, biopesticides and feed additives, in addition to biofertilizers and aquafeed, using only marine water and nutrients from wastewaters (sewage, centrate and pig manure). The objective is to achieve a zero-waste process at a demonstration scales up to 5 ha sustainable both environmentally and economically. A Demonstration Centre of this biorefinery will be operated to demonstrate the technology, assess the operating characteristics of the system, evaluate environment impacts and collaborate with potential customers for use.
SABANA project includes (i) the utilization of microalgae-bacteria consortia and in co-culture with other algae to control grazing species, (ii) the implementation of efficient thin-layer cascade and raceway, (iii) the scale-up of reactors to ensure stable operation, (iv) to use marine water to increase the sustainability of the process; (v) to recover nutrients from wastewaters, (vi) to develop harvesting processes taking into account the remaining water, (vii) to establish processes for mild/energy efficient extraction of bioproducts, (viii) to process residual biomass to produce biofertilizers and aquafeed in zero-waste schemes, (ix) using robust and sustainable technology.

“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727874 ”.



Project progress

The Algatech team characterised about 15 selected strains of microalgae (Chlorella, Scenedesmus, Nostoc, Tolypothryx, etc.) which are potential producers of bioactive compounds – biostimulants and antimicrobial and antifungal compounds. In laboratory experiments the cultivation regime was evaluated correlating photosynthetic activity analysed by chlorophyll fluorescence and oxygen production (mostly suitable temperature and irradiance intensity). The cultivation regimes were verified by regular growth tests aimed to biomass production. Then, several strains were tested in pilot units – thin-layer cascades and raceway ponds – in batch and semi-batch regime to produce a bulk of biomass for bioactivity analyses. In outdoor experiments in Třeboň and Almería we aimed to select fast and non-invasive techniques and marker variables which can be used for monitoring photosynthetic performance in-situ in large scale units to estimate culture growth. During annual project meeting in October 2018 three strains of Chlorella, Scenedesmus and Nostoc with both biostimulating and antimicrobial activity were evaluated as most suitable for further cultivation tests in pilot scale using centrate from municipal wastewaters as nutrient source. These strains will be used in DEMO plants which is being built in Almeria, Spain.First periodic report was approved by EC in December 2018. April 2019