Project – Macroalgae biorefinery for high value products (MAB4)

Xiaoru  Hou

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Project – Macroalgae biorefinery for high value products (MAB4)

Project start: May 2016. Expected completion: October 2020.

While agricultural land is almost filled, more crops can be cultivated in the oceans. Many species of seaweed are highly nutritional, and several of algae bioactive substances can advantageously be used in the manufacturing of food and cosmetics.

The project, Macroalgae biorefinery for high value products (MAB4) will contribute to solving the challenge of cultivation and conversion of macroalgae for production of value-added products. The vision of MAB4 is to turn seaweed and products hereof into value-added commodities of food and feed ingredients and products for skin-care.

Breeding and cultivation will be conducted in Danish and Faroese waters, with special attention to seasonal development of algae bioactive substances and their conservation during harvesting and storage.

The project will furthermore develop and optimize sustainable enzymatic and green extraction methods for the production of high value products, including antioxidants, fucoidan, laminarin, alginate and minerals. The entire product chain from cultivation of macroalgae to refined final product will be evaluated in terms of economy and sustainability (LCA). MAB4








  • Industrial cultivation of 1-2 macroalgae in Denmark (4 hectares)
  • Process for extracting food and feed ingredients from algae eg. laminarin, alginate and fucoidan
  • Establishment of method for extracting antioxidants with selected qualities which can be implemented in skin care products
  • Bio refinery as a pilot facility will be established
  • Identification of barriers in algae cultivation and industry
  • Establishment of platform for stakeholders

    The results from MAB4 will guide the stakeholders from industry and future macroalgae cultivation.


The project is a transdisciplinary project and has a strong consortium of national and international algal and biorefinery experts.

  • Danish Technological Institute, Denmark (project manager)
  • Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Kattegatcentret, Denmark
  • DTU, Denmark
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Ocean Rainforest, Faroe Islands
  • FermentationExperts, Denmark
  • AT-SEA, Belgium
  • Morgenfruerne ApS, Denmark
  • Højmarks Group BHJ, Denmark
  • Melissa ApS, Denmark
  • Nordisk Tang, Denmark
  • Hortimare Ltd., the Netherlands