Skip to main content
European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

ALGAENAUTS: sustainable biopesticides based on microalgae

Leading the market for zero-residues biopesticides through sustainable production processes based on circular economy.

circular economy - algae

Guaranteeing a safe and sustainable food production is a major challenge for a growing population worldwide, including Europe. Consumers ask for safer and higher food quality and want to make sure food is produced in a more sustainable way to avoid adverse environmental and health problems. Sustainable products for plant nutrition are highly demanded but solutions in the market are still lacking.

The ALGAENAUTS innovation project aims to achieve and validate the pre-commercial industrial production of microalgae-based biopesticides and biostimulant products for agriculture. The project is funded under the EMFF Funding Programme (now European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund - EMFAF).

Seawater and wastewater are used as nutrients source for the cultivation of microalgae strains with proven biopesticide and biostimulant activity. Five strains have been selected and will be cultivated. Biostimulants will be obtained using the by-products from the biopesticide production. 

The strategic objective of Biorizon, the coordinator of the project, is to lead the market for sustainable and zero residues products for both organic and conventional agriculture, through sustainable production processes based on circular economy.

Microalgae-based biopesticides and biostimulant products developed under the ALGAENAUTS project will contribute to the reduction of chemical synthetic products in agriculture such as mineral fertilisers and chemical pesticides. The production of microalgae biomass also contributes to the CO2 reduction. Per kilogram of biomass of microalgae produced, up to 2 kilogram of CO2 are fixed.

The main project’s goals are:

  • Optimising large-scale microalgae production and processing into biopesticides and biofertilisers 
  • Engineering and scaling-up the biomass processes for industrial manufacturing 
  • Obtaining the agronomical validation through field trials on crops and end-users testing
  • Undergoing a techno-economic and sustainability assessment for marketability and for developing a legal framework

The ALGAENAUTS project responds to the need of less harmful active substances as encouraged by the European Pesticide Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 and of eco-friendly alternatives for a more efficient and Integrated Pest Management. Their circular economy approach is also in line with the EU Farm to Fork strategy.

Have a look at the video available on their website to see their circular process.

Also don't miss this Euronews episode about ALGAENAUTS!