The Technology Strategy Board is seeking expert opinion from industry to ascertain the need for an open access algal pilot scale facility in the UK. The Algal Bioenergy Special Interest Group (ABSIG) is collating industry views on behalf of the Technology Strategy Board through a 10 minute survey.
As these forms of biomass are developed as sources of biofuel we need to ensure not only environmental security, but also their long-term sustainability economically, socially and environmentally.
Impact assessments of the short- and long-term effects of macro- and micro-algal cultivation are essential in determining sustainable limits and ensuring that ecosystem structure, function and biodiversity are maintained and conserved. In addition, we need to determine the best routes for UK businesses to exploit the use of algae which may not only be bioenergy but fine chemicals or water cleanup.
For this reason the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Technology Strategy Board (TSB) are jointly funding this network with the high-level science goal of understanding the opportunities and risks to the quality of freshwater and marine environments of using algal biomass as a source of renewable energy and chemicals.
This Special Interest Group runs networking events and produces reports on the research challenges for algae as well as a future technology roadmap.