Algal Biorefinery

The Algal Biorefinery is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by revolutionizing how industry-produced carbon dioxide is managed. The pilot plant is part of a collaborative research effort between the NRC, Pond Technologies, and Votorantim Cimentos' St Marys Cement. The process being deployed by NRC experts and partner organizations is designed to rapidly recycle carbon dioxide (CO2) and other airborne industrial emissions into algal biomass through photosynthesis without displacing food crop resources.

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What we offer

The NRC and its partners are demonstrating how a broad spectrum of Canadian industries can deploy and adopt algal carbon conversion technologies. The algal biorefinery pilot plant will assess how best to convert CO2 emissions into usable algal biomass, renewable biofuels, and other value-added bio-products through algal carbon conversion facilities integrated within existing industrial processes.

Why work with us

On-site NRC scientists are managing and operating the pilot biorefinery as well as contributing extensive expertise in microalgae biology, cultivation, and bioprocessing. Advanced biochemical analysis of algal biomass and conversion into a variety of bioproducts is also carried offsite at NRC facilities.

Technical specifications

  • A 25,000 L photobioreactor directly connected to the kiln gas emissions from a cement production plant
  • NRC-developed 1000 L Brite Box photobioreactors to produce high-quality algae
  • Multiple small photobioreactor systems (< 20 L) for conducting strain-selection work
  • Harvesting and biomass processing equipment
  • A field laboratory set up for algal culture manipulation and analysis of culture density and health


Contact us if you are interested in sustainably managing CO2 emissions, expanding your network or knowledge base, accessing our advanced scientific infrastructure, or connecting with our experts.

Targeted industries

Cement, oil & gas, steel, pulp & paper, energy, manufacturing.

Contact us

Stephen O'Leary, PhD, Director, Algal Carbon Conversion Program


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