Microalgae are unicellular microorganisms either prokaryotic (cyanobacteria) or eukaryotic (strictly speaking microalgae), which are both photosynthetic. They are responsible for half of the global photosynthesis, the other half being realized by plants and trees. Microalgae are currently being studied for biofuels, feed or food, valuable chemicals or for wasterwater treatment. We focus on their CO2 absorption, in the objective of climate change mitigation.

A first work has been realized in our team and published in 2022. It is a “thought experiment” consisting in a “negative emissions” process, i.e. removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The feasibility of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) using microalgae instead of plants was investigated and quantified.

We have started first experiments on microalgae using a model cyanobacterium, and we aim to characterize completely its CO2 absorption.