Algae Biofuel in Wastewater Treatment — Market Potential, Current State of the Art and Future Directions
Algae Biofuel in Wastewater Treatment — Market Potential, Current State of the Art and Future Directions

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Thursday September 13th, 2012 ; 11.00 AM – 12.30 EST / 16:00 – 17:30 BST

Moderator: Conor Dennehy, Water Technology Market Research Analyst, BlueTech® Research


  • Frank Rogalla, Director of Innovation & Technology, Aqualia
  • Tryg Lundquist, Professor, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
  • Olumayowa Osundeko, Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Manchester/ United Utilities
  • Sue Kunz, Strategic Advisor, BioVantage Resources, Inc. 


Algae biofuel was one of the hot topics in renewable energy generation in the 2000’s.

The hype about algal biofuel has dampened significantly since then, (as the level of CO2 injection and nutrient supplements required to generate biofuels at a commercial scale continues to make it an unviable business proposition).

Recently, however, the algal biofuel industry concept has been reinventing itself as a low cost wastewater treatment method. We are seeing the establishment of many start-ups in the area and, with water utilities such as Aqualia and United Utilities showing a strong interest, algal wastewater treatment is becoming a hot area in the energy and resource recovery space.

Wastewater can provide the necessary nutrients to sustain algal growth and thereby generate biofuels. Similarly algal species can effectively remove nutrients from wastewater. While the relationship appears simple, it raises many questions that will ultimately determine how viable a wastewater treatment technology this is.

During this webinar our panel of international experts will provide insight and answers to the following questions:

  • What is the current state of the art of algal wastewater treatment; removal rates, biofuel yields, currently operating projects?
  • Is this a biofuel generating process using wastewater as a feedstock, or a wastewater treatment process that has the potential to generate a biofuel byproduct?
  • Is algal treatment limited to niche application due to footprint and climatic factors?
  • Will biotechnology advances such as genetic engineering facilitate the development of higher biofuel yields and lower footprints?
  • What are the current and future costs and revenue generating potential associated with algal wastewater treatment? Are large-scale algal wastewater treatment projects financially viable?
  • How does this low energy treatment method compare to other incumbent energy and resource recovery technologies such as sludge gasification, low temperature anaerobic digestion and microbial fuel cells.


Photo Credit: Lamiot. Photo licensed under Creative Commons.