International course, July 11- 18, 2014 (Wageningen, The Netherlands)


The waters of the world, oceans, seas, rivers, creeks, lakes and even ice, house a tremendous variety of microorganisms able to use light as the only source of energy to fuel metabolism. These unicellular organisms, microalgae and cyanobacteria, have the potential to produce a variety of products.
Among them are therapeutic proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and pigments. In addition to these high-value products, microalgae are regarded as one of the most promising resources for the production of bulk products such as food and feed lipids, food and feed proteins, base chemicals and energy sources for the industry, and possibly even biofuels.
 To make economical large-scale production of such bulk products possible, optimal design of bioreactor and cultivation strategy are essential. This process design has specific demands because sunlight, or artificial light, is used.

Target group
The course was aimed at PhD students, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, as well as professionals, that wanted to acquire a thorough understanding of microalgal metabolism and photobioreactor design. An MSc level in bioprocess technology, or alike, was recommended.

Course aim
This course provided the essential skills for designing optimal microalgae-based production processes, for both research and commercial purposes.

Course design
Through lectures, digital cases and a photobioreactor practical, the participants will learned: 1) how to describe microalgal metabolism quantitatively, 2) how to apply basic design principles and set up mass/energy balances for photobioreactors, 3) how to cultivate microalgae in fully controlled photobioreactors, and 4) how to integrate all acquired knowledge into optimal production strategies for microalgae biomass or secondary metabolites.

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