Dec 2012 - Jun 2017

Direct bioethanol from microalgae

The DEMA consortium aimed to develop and demonstrate a complete economically competitive technology for the direct production of bioethanol from microalgae with low-cost scalable photobioreactors by 2016. The DEMA Project carried out research and development on the complete biofuel-production process at two levels. In the first level, the performance of cyanobacteria were substantially enhanced by a series of metabolic engineering strategies to directly transform CO2, H2O, and sunlight into Bioethanol. In the second level, the bioethanol was continuously extracted from the culture media via a membrane technology process exploiting existing EU expertise and technologies. 

Microalgae species: Synechocystis sp., Synechococcus sp.




6.4 M€


54 months


University of Limerick (Coordinator), Ireland

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

University of Cambridge, UK

Imperial College of London, UK

Portuguese National Institution for Energy and Geology, Portugal

Tereos Océan Indien- eRcane, France

Photanol BV, Netherlands

Pervatech BV, Netherlands

A4F Role

A4F was responsible for the production of the modified bioethanol-producing Synechocystis strain in photobioreactors, at a pilot scale, and for the development of the Masterplan for the Demo Plant.