TotalEnergies and Veolia to develop CO2-based microalgae cultivation

The two partners will pool their know-how to produce next-generation biofuels

The Big Zero report

Image: FNZ

TotalEnergies and Veolia have joined forces to accelerate the development of microalgae cultivation using CO2. The two partners will pool their know-how to develop a four-year research project at the La Mède biorefinery, operated by TotalEnergies, with the long-term goal of producing biofuel.

Through photosynthesis, microalgae use sunlight and CO2 from the atmosphere or from industrial processes to grow. When mature, they can be transformed into next-generation biofuels with low carbon intensity. As part of the project, a test platform will be set up to compare different innovative systems for growing microalgae and identify the most efficient ones.

Veolia will therefore bring its expertise in:

  • the water sector to optimize management of the microalgae’s aquatic environment,
  • the development of algal biomass as an effective solution for CO2 capture.

TotalEnergies, in synergy with the business lines at the La Mède site, will bring its expertise in:

  • the cultivation and refining of biomass to produce advanced biofuels,
  • CO2 capture and utilization technologies.

“We are pleased to join forces with Veolia at our La Mède site to accelerate the assessment of microalgae cultivation systems using CO2, in the aim of producing next-generation biofuels. Biofuels will enable TotalEnergies’ clients to reduce their carbon footprint, and thus contribute to the ambition of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 together with the society”, announced Marie-Noëlle Semeria, Chief Technology Officer at TotalEnergies.

“This unique partnership enables TotalEnergies and Veolia to accelerate the production cycle of a promising alternative energy that is necessary to protect the planet. With this project, Veolia can contribute its technical expertise in optimizing and securing biological treatments to a more global context that will have a positive impact on the ecological transformation. This partnership is an excellent example of the ecological innovation capacities that Veolia wants to offer its customers in response to climate change”, said Philippe Seberac, Technical and Scientific Director at Veolia.

 

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