MacroFuels is financially supported by the European Commission. Six European countries will concert their efforts to achieve breakthroughs towards the commercially viable production of third-generation biofuels from seaweed or macro-algae.


The progress that will be achieved by MacroFuels will have significant impacts on various economic fields, and - most importantly - pave the way towards a sustainable solution for biofuels that are not competing with arable land or food in contrast to1st and 2nd generation biofuels derived from food-based crops and residuals.


Thus Macrofuels aims to form a substantial part of the renewable energy from photosynthesis counted towards the goal set by the European Union of using renewables for 10% of their transportation energy use by 2020.


MacroFuels will develop technology for the production of fuels which are suitable as liquid fuels or precursor thereof for the heavy transport sector as well as potentially for the aviation sector. MacroFuels will scale up the production of macroalgae as well as the biorefinery processes.



  • Increasing the biomass supply by developing a rotating crop scheme for cultivation of seaweed, using native, highly productive brown, red and green seaweeds. Combined with the use of advanced textile substrates these breakthroughs will result in a year round biomass yield of 25 kg seaweeds (wet weight) per m2 per year
  • Improving the pre-treatment and storage of seaweed and to yield fermentable and convertible sugars at economically relevant concentrations
  • Increasing the bio-ethanol and bio-butanol production to economically viable concentrations which metabolize all sugars at 90% efficiency
  • Increasing the biogas yield to convert 90% of the available carbon in the residues by adapting the organisms to seaweed
  • Developing the thermochemical conversion of sugars to fuels from the lab scale to the pilot scale
  • Performing an integral techno-economic, sustainability and risk assessment of the entire seaweed to biofuel chain



  • Danish Technological Institute (project manager)
  • Stichting Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland, Netherlands
  • Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek, Netherlands
  • Avantium Chemicals BV, Netherlands
  • The Scottish Association for marinescience LBG, United Kingdom
  • Sion Industries NV, Belgium
  • Environmental Resources Management Limited, United Kingdom
  • Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Eurida, Germany
  • Matis OHF, Iceland
  • Fermentationexperts AS, Denmark