ABACUS – Algae for biomass applied to the production of added value compounds

  • Project team:

    Rösch, Christine (Project leader), Cristina Onorato

  • Funding:

    EU Horizon 2020

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux energies alternatives, CEA; The Scottish Association for Marine Science LBG, SAMS; A4F Algafuel SA; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT; Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, CSIC; Subitec GmbH, SUBITEC; PROTEUS; MICROPHYT; SENSIENT Cosmetic Technologies, SENSIENT CT

  • Research group:

    Sustainable Bioeconomy

Project description

ABACUS project
ABACUS project

The main goal of the ABACUS project is to develop a new algal biorefinery concept, based on the production of added value compounds from microalgae, with a focus on terpenes for fragrances and long-chain terpenoids (carotenoids) for nutraceuticals and cosmetic activities, and to perform life cycle and techno-economic analysis of the process. Prerequisite are the selection of unique algae strains oriented to the production of terpenes, the optimization of cultivation systems, the development of specific in-line sensors for the terpenes monitoring and the investigation of innovative fractionation technic to provide a green low-cost downstream process.

The project will be carried out by a European consortium constituted by two large industries, three small enterprises and four research institutes that cover a large range of competencies in algae, biomass processes, biomass extraction, life cycle assessment (LCA), techno-economic assessment (TEA), and market survey. The project is divided into 9 work packages (see figure).

ITAS is in charge of analyzing the value chain of the total life cycle of the algae bio-based products (Work Package 7). The production costs of algal products are often much higher than those of conventional chemical or natural products and, therefore, a technological development is necessary to make them competitive in the selected market. One focus of ITAS will be to determine the most cost-effective options developed in the project by the members of the consortium and provide a detailed analysis of how the costs of algae could be decreased. The other focus of ITAS will be to investigate the perception of algal products by consumers. A systematic literature review and a customer survey on the perception of algal goods will be conducted.


Onorato, C.; Rösch, C.
Comparative life cycle assessment of microalgae cultivation technologies for added value compound production
2019. Algae Biomass Summit (2019), Orlando, FL, USA, September 16–19, 2019 
Onorato, C.; Rösch, C.
Comparative life cycle assessment for h. pluvialis cultivation with different technologies for astaxanthin production
2019. Workshop "Alg’in Provence" (2019), Arles, France, October 1–2, 2019 
Onorato, C.; Rösch, C.; Bergmann, P.; Pradelles, R.
Life cycle assessment of added value compounds production with microalgae
2019. 29th SETAC Europe Annua Meeting (2019), Helsinki, Finland, May 26–30, 2019 
Sassi, J. F.; Perez-Fernandez, M.; Fleury, G.; Chauvat, F.; Cassier-Chauvat, C.; Ricoul, F.; Roux, J. M.; Gougis, M.; Caudrelier, L.; Charreyron, V.; Mailley, S.; Stanley, M.; Ross, M.; Verdelho Vieira, V.; Guerra, T.; Roesch, C.; Oronato, C.; Herrero, M.; Gallego, R.; Ripplinger, P.; Bergmann, P.; Persillon, C.; Audiffrin, C.; Pradelles, R.; Usache, V.; Guyot-Ferreol, V.; Lorentz, G.
ABACUS - BBI: a joint Euroean initiative to Foster algae as a biomass applied to the production of added value compounds
2018. Cosmetic Ingredients and Biotechnology (COSM’ING 2018), St-Malo, France, July 4–6, 2018 
Onorato, C.; Rösch, C.
Life cycle assessment of add value compounds extraction from microalgae
2018. 5th International ISEKI_Food Conference (2018), Stuttgart, Germany, July 3–5, 2018 
Onorato, C.; Rösch, C.; Bergmann, P.
Life cycle assessment of H. Pluvialis cultivation for carotenoids production
2018. AlgaEurope (2018), Amsterdam, Netherlands, December 4–6, 2018 


Dr. Christine Rösch
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-22704