Using algae to fight climate change – find out more at Hay Festival

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One of the outputs from the Swansea University led EnAlgae project has been a partnership between the project and Tata Steel in researching how algae can be used in an industrial environment to consume carbon dioxide produced as a process by-product.

And at this year’s Hay Festival the partners aim to inform and educate festival goers about the potential of algae as a sustainable resource.

The Hay Festival runs from Thursday, May 21 until Sunday, May 31 and the project will be there with an exhibition stand for duration of the festival. The stand will be open from 10am until 6pm each day.

There will be information available on the EnAlgae project, together with a video looking at the collaboration between EnAlgae and Tata Steel, and also examples of products which contain algae.

For the past couple of years the ACCOMPLISH (Algal Carbon Capture and BiOMass – Linked Supply cHain) pilot, which is part of the EnAlgae project, has sought to establish an industrial biotechnology collaboration with particular focus  on growing algae on site at Tata Steel in Port Talbot. This has used the carbon dioxide emissions from steelmaking processes as a carbon nutrient for the algae.

“This collaboration with EnAlgae is an important example of how working closely with industry can help yield results for researchers and businesses,” said Dr Alla Silkina, who is based within the University’s College of Science.

“We have been able to use the by-product streams as nutrients at Port Talbot and demonstrate that algae can use it to grow. This could have all kinds of implications for businesses which need to think about the waste they produce and how they dispose of it.

“With a system like the one we’ve used at Tata Steel, we’ve been able to demonstrate that algae can help remediate waste gases. So not only will we reduce the environmental impact of industrial by products, but a biomass is cultured which can be used for energy production, such as biomethane, or potentially as a fish feeds.”

Tata Steel’s Technical Director, Martin Brunnock, said: “We are committed further to improve the sustainability of our processes. It is projects like this, with leading academic partners, such as Swansea University here in Wales, which are making us leaders in the field of sustainable steelmaking.”

Tata believes the ACCOMPLISH project may grow, joining a series of initiatives, which will add to the strong track record of Tata Steel in improving the environmental impact of steelmaking.

The EnAlgae project is led by Swansea University and funded by the European Union under the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme. EnAlgae unites experts and observers from seven EU member states to determine the potential benefits of algae as a future sustainable energy source.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the EnAlgae project can visit www.enalgae.eu