This research project involves an international consortia of R&D institutions and companies to develop a sustainable process to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce more renewable bioenergy. The project involves designing and testing of photo bioreactors for microalgae grown on waste nutrients from wastewater treatment plants, with natural light and recycled CO2 gas from flue gas or biogas. The grown microalgae will then be harvested and co-digested with waste sludge in existing anaerobic dige sters to produce bioenergy or biofuel. On combustion, the energy generated will be utilised for operation of existing infrastructure while the CO2 is recycled back to the photobioreactors.
The collaboration between Norwegian and international instituti ons will span over the period of three years. Thirteen work packages have been identified and divided between: BioWater Technology AS, Aquateam, University of Life Sciences (UMB), FREVAR KF, KanEnergi, and University of Massachusetts, USA (UMass). Sever al professors, scientists, engineers, from these leading institutions will complement each other in terms of participation and intellectual contribution to this collaborated effort to conceptualize and integrate the processes into the existing infrastruct ure. The outcome of the project will result in exchange of knowledge between key partners, development of new products and business concepts. There will be exchange of students between different institutions, participation in leading edge conferences for information dissemination. Several novelties have been outlined resulting in environmental benefits such as, higher bioenergy production and reduction of CO2 footprint of wastewater treatment plants. The exploitation of the research results will lead to the development of next generation sustainable environmental technologies, new services, new niches in existing markets, new research ideas and economic values for both project participants and nonparticipants.