Around the world steps are being taken to move from today’s fossil based economy to a more sustainable economy based on biomass. The 4-year SPLASH project will develop a new biobased industrial platform using microalgae as a renewable raw material for the sustainable production and recovery of hydrocarbons and (exo)polysaccharides from the species Botryococcus braunii and further conversion to renewable polymers.


The aim of SPLASH is to deliver knowledge, tools and technologies needed for the establishment of a new industry sector: Industrial Biotechnology with algae and/or algal genes for the manufacture of polyesters and polyolefins.

Research methods

Two bioproduction platforms will be explored: (1) green alga Botryococcus braunii on its own and (2) the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, to which the unique hydrocarbon and polysaccharides producing genes from Botryococcus will be transferred.


The project encompasses:

1. Development of Botryococcus as an industrial production platform
2. Systems biology analysis
3. Development of procedures for production, in situ extraction and isolation
4. Product development

AlgaePARC Contribution

- Strain development: Develop B. braunii mutants
- Cultivation optimisation: Develop outdoor control strategies. Optimization of growth and production
of hydrocarbons and polysaccharides by B braunii in indoor and outdoor cultivation systems
- Scale-up: Develop and implement outdoor cultivation systems at pilot scale (25 m2)
- Chain analysis and design: Design and construct a in-situ integrated algae cultivation and extraction


Research team

Photo of Maria Barbosa

Maria Barbosa


Photo of Rene Wijffles

Rene Wijffles

Professor/Chair Bioprocess Engineering

Project partners