Case study

World leading algae biofuel facility to be built in Portugal

algae biofuel productionAlgae biofuel production

InteSusAl is a major multimillion European funded project to develop one of the world’s largest algae biofuel facility in Portugal. This is part of the EU algae cluster project.


Outline & objectives

The InteSusAl project involves the production of algae by both heterotrophic and phototrophic routes, and will demonstrate integration of these production technologies (Raceway, PhotoBioReactor and Fermentation) to achieve the algae cultivation targets of 90- 120 dry tonnes per hectare per annum.

The project will select algae species and cultivation technologies to attain algal oil with a suitable lipid profile for biodiesel production and will validate this selection through conversion of extracted oil into biodiesel to meet standard specifications.

The sustainability of this demonstration, in terms of both economic and environmental implications, will be considered across the whole process; including optimum use of algal biomass

resources to enable commercialisation. The sustainability aspect of the project is the main responsibility of Narec

The results of this demonstration project will be disseminated across Europe to facilitate wider uptake.

Project Consortium:
In addition to Narec, the consortium includes:

  • Centre for Process Innovation (UK) provide enabling technology and IP related to low cost heterotrophic algal cultivation and experience in collaborative project management. CPI are the project coordinator
  • Necton (PT) have prior knowledge of microalgal phototrophic cultivation. The
  • demonstration aspects of the project will be located at their premises, in the Algarve region of Portugal
  • NIOZ (NL) provide expert knowledge on the optimum algae strain selection
  • DLO-FBR (NL) provide a wide ranging knowledge in the industrialisation of algae based processes and separation technology
  • European Renewable Energy Research Centres Agency (BE) will enable, through established mechanisms, widespread dissemination of the project results


The project aims, by 2015, to have produced a 10ha scale algae biofuel facility, which will produce fuel and high value products

Further information

Please check for information on all three projects within the Algae Cluster

InteSusAl is co-financed by the 7th  Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (G.A. 268164)

The support of the European Community is gratefully acknowledged.

Intesusal_algae biofuel project brochure

Portuguese Algae Biofuel Facility case study pdf