TotalEnergies and Veolia join forces to develop next-generation biofuels from microalgae that absorb CO2

TotalEnergies and Veolia will be joining forces to accelerate the development of microalgae that absorb CO2 to transform them into biofuel. For four years, the two partners will be pooling their expertise to develop a biofuel production research project at TotalEnergies’s La Mède biorefinery near Marseille, France.

To grow, microalgae need sunlight and CO2, of atmospheric or industrial origin, during photosynthesis. On maturity, they can be transformed into next-generation, low-carbon biofuels. A test platform will compare different microalgae culture systems to identify the most efficient ones.

Veolia brings its expertise in the water sector and algal biomass recovery to this project to respectively optimise the management of the aquatic environment of crops and to recover the algal biomass that absorbs CO2. TotalEnergies, in synergy with the business lines on its La Mède site, will be providing its expertise in biomass, advanced biofuel refining and production, and CO2 capture and recovery technologies.

We are pleased to join forces with Veolia at our La Mède site to accelerate the assessment of microalgae cultivation systems using CO2 with the aim of producing next-generation biofuels. Biofuels will enable TotalEnergies’s customers to reduce their carbon footprint and thus contribute to the ambition of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, together with the society.

—— Marie-Noëlle Semeria, Chief Technology Officer at TotalEnergies 

This unique partnership enables TotalEnergies and Veolia to accelerate the production cycle of a promising alternative energy that is necessary to protect the planet. With this project, Veolia can contribute its technical expertise in optimising and securing biological treatments to a more global context that will have a positive impact on the ecological transformation. This partnership is an excellent example of the ecological innovation capacities that Veolia wants to offer its customers in response to climate change. 

—— Philippe Seberac, Technical and Scientific Director at Veolia