The overall objective of MACRO CASCADE is to prove the concept of the cascading marine macroalgal biorefinery. This is a production platform that covers the whole technological chain for processing sustainable cultivated macroalgae biomass – also known as seaweed –   to highly processed value added products.

The project has nine specific objectives (SO):

SO1:      Obtain optimized strains of seaweeds to increase levels of target components in S (sugerkelp, kombu) and Palmaria palmata (red seaweed, dulse). (WP1)

SO2:      Improve scalable cultivation of seaweeds using 1D and 2D cultivation substrates, develop mechanical harvesting, increase biomass yield by a factor of 5, and reduce overall cultivation cost 50-75% (WP1)

SO3:       Improve methods for seaweed biomass preparation and storage stability. (WP2)

SO4:      Develop patentable feed and food products with health promoting functionalities through innovative microbial refining methods of macroalgae in combination with rape seed. (WP3)

SO5:      Develop scalable and sustainable extraction/separation methods for the production of multiple products from brown and red seaweeds or seaweeds residues by enzyme aided physicochemical methods. Targeted intermediate products are alginate, fucoidan, mannitol and protein. (WP4)

SO6:       Develop a variety of efficient and robust carbohydrate active enzymes, with a range of specificities of relevance for processing macroalgal polysaccharides.  Target high value products for feed, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and chemicals are enzymatic derivatives of alginate, laminarin and fucoidans. (WP5)

SO7:      Study the economic viability of the macroalgae cascading valorization schemes. (WP6)

SO8:       Quantitatively assess the sustainability of the seaweed-based value chains, via a multi-criteria evaluation of the technological, environmental, economic, and social aspects. (WP6).

SO9:       Develop sustainable business cases for a “Blue Print” of the cascading marine macroalgal biorefinery. (WP6 and WP7)