Principal Investigator
Vitor Vasconcelos

Leader Institution
A4F, Alga Fuel, S.A.

Research Teams


EXTRATOTECA: Microalgae extracts with high added value

The EXTRATOTECA project will be the starting point to create a 'bank of extracts' of microalgae and cyanobacteria with worldwide representation. EXTRATOTECA will include extracts selected from the microalgae available in the collection of cultures available to the consortium and may include extracts validated by relevant global entities in its catalog. Intellectual property and exploration licenses will be contracted according to the contributions of the parties involved, generating resources for future evolution and growth. Whenever relevant, the Nagoya Protocol will be strictly enforced.
The work to be carried out intends to develop (1) methodologies for the production and stabilization of extracts; (2) methodologies for characterizing extracts; (3) a set of model extracts fully characterized at the genetic, chemical, biochemical and functional levels that are representative. These extracts will cover 30 genera of microalgae, of which 15 exist commercially and 15 new species already isolated but not industrially produced. For each species, several production and stress induction technologies and at least 5 extraction processes (solvents, ionic liquids, steam, super-critical, HPP and MEF) will be tested.

The main target markets are: Health, Cosmetics, Food, Rations and Fertilizers, whose characterization is always focused on adding value due to the information collected on the biological activity of the extracts and their characteristics at the chemical and biochemical level. The functional characteristics of the extracts are the key factor for their commercial valorization because they represent information about potential applications. The development to be carried out will bring together the main national leaders in the area available in Portugal, involving selected RDI groups that have relevant skills in this field. A laboratory platform with web support will allow the dissemination of results and future commercialization.