Emergence - Emergence

Development of a volumetrically-lightened flat panel photobioreactor – PRIAM

Development of a volumetrically-lightened flat panel photobioreactor

PRIAM project aims to develop an innovative, intensified and low energy consuming photobioreactor, suited to the needs of current biotechnology markets and industrial production of molecules with high added value.

Towards a breakthough and industrial technology

Priam aims to the development of a new intensifed photrobioreactor technology for photosynthetic microorganisms (microalgae) cultivation. The chosen design will incorporate the latest innovations and know-how developed in the field (some of which have been the subject of recent patents) to develop a commercial and industrial photobioreactor, controlled and intensified with high-volume productivity (and therefore working under high cell density), here combined with low energy consumption. Based on an innovative volumetric lighting, the developed system will be modular with simple extrapolation to cover a range from 10 to 1000 liters per unit of production. The expected gain is in the range of 3-20 in terms of volumetric productivity compared to existing technology.

PRIAM aims to develop a modular high-productivity industrial photobioreactor for cultivation of microalgae by incorporating the latest innovations in the field, whether in the engineering of these processes, the optimization of the light supply or hydrodynamic . The project will capitalize on significant recent progresses, some of which have been obtained or recently patented by the partners. The production unit will present high performances (productivity, concentration level achieved energy consumption, production stability) radically superior to existing systems. A gain of a factor between 3 and 20 on the volume productivity compared to the state of the art is expected.




This project concerns the development of an intensified cultivation system for photosynthetic microorganisms. This system will incorporate the latest patented innovations and know-how of partners. The aim is to obtain at the end of the program a photobioreactor unit for commercial and industrial use, highly controlled and working at very high volumetric productivity (and therefore under high cell density) and with low energy consumption (optimization of light use). Through the use of flat internal lighting structures, the developed system will be modular and simply extrapolated in volume, to cover a range of about 10 to 1000litres per unit of production. The expected gains are in the range of 3-20 in terms of volume productivity compared to existing technologies. The photobioreactor will aim to respond to emerging markets of microalgae, such as (i) production of natural molecules of interest for food or health (short-term target), (ii) the production of molecules for green chemistry and effluent treatment (CO2 fixation, nitrate, etc. ...) (medium-term targets), and (iii) the production of bio-energy (long-term target). Project duration is 24 months. It will lead to the design and validation of a pilot production of 50-100 liters. In parallel to the technological development and new patents proposal, a technology transfer strategy with be set-up, with the aim to market the unit by the assignment of a license to an industrial producer of microalgae and / or creating a new branch of a young existing enterprise.

Project coordination

Jeremy PRUVOST (Laboratoire GEPEA (Génie des Procédés-Environnement-Agroalimentaire)) – jeremy.pruvost@univ-nantes.fr

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IP-GePEB Institut Pascal
FIST France Innovation Scientifique et Transfert
GEPEA Laboratoire GEPEA (Génie des Procédés-Environnement-Agroalimentaire)

Help of the ANR 234,099 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2012 - 24 Months

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