Whilst there is evidence that large-scale biofuels production from algae is possible, there are many unknowns. 

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.

Featured news

16th European Congress on Biotechnology, 13-16 July 2014, Edinburgh

The 16th European Congress of Biotechnology will break new ground without neglecting traditional areas of biotechnology. The programme will include: Plenary lectures by some of the world's top biotechnologists (see Confirmed Speakers below); Highlight events on social...

Algal Biotechnology Industry Roadmap Report Published

The UK has significant academic expertise, which could help increase industry capacity to culture and extract products from algae in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner. Last year, two stakeholder roadmapping workshops were held to gauge current and...

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Dr Michele Stanley
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Jean  Phillips 
Communication, Events & Sector Support  Administrator; Biosciences