D-FACTORY: The Micro-Algae Biorefinery


The research project "The Micro-Algae Biorefinery (D-FACTORY)" aims to develop a concept for a microalgae biorefinery designed for the sustainable production of Dunaliella algae and its products. Dunaliella is one of a few microalgae genera used for dietary supplement production (carotenoid compounds) that are already commercially available. Moreover, Dunalliela biology and cultivation are already well-established. In the D-FACTORY project, additional high-value products will be developed for improve use efficiency and a higher added value.

Over the course of the project, existing technologies (e.g. algae raceways) will be extended and improved following innovative concepts. The ultimate goal is to present a D-FACTORY demonstration plant that sets new standards in the fields of industrial algae cultivation and processing.

The project is running for 4 years and is funded by the European Commission.

Activities at ifeu

As a member of the consortium, ifeu performs an integrated sustainability assessment for algae production and use. It includes a holistic evaluation of the entire life cycle, i.e. from algae cultivation to the use of the end products. In addition to environmental aspects, economic, technological and social aspects are considered in collaboration with the respective partner organisations. All results are consolidated in an integrated sustainability assessment. Thus, the most sustainable product portfolios and production techniques for microalgae biorefineries can be identified and compared to conventional products. Subsequently, optimisation potentials and recommendations are derived.

Further information regarding the D-FACTORY project can be found here

Information on other ifeu algae projects can be found here

For extensive information regarding the subject area algae please follow the link here


December 2013 – November 2017


European Commission


In total, the D-FACTORY consortium consists of 13 research and industry partners from 8 countries: University of Greenwich (UK) (coordinator), A4F Algafuel SA (Portugal), Dynamic Extractions (UK), Evodos (Netherlands), Hafren Investments Ltd (UK), Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (Portugal), Institute for energy and environmental research Heidelberg (Germany), In Srl (Italy), The Marine Biological Association (UK), NATECO2 GmbH & Co (Germany), National Technical University of Athens (Greek), Natural Beta Technologies Ltd (Israel), SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (Sweden).