The ALG-AD project deliverables

Output WP1A1.1: Best Practices for the treatment and preparation of nutrient rich digestate for algal cultivation

Fernandes F.*, Aouamri N., Fernandes de Souza M., Fuentes-Grünewald C., Jones G., Seelam J.S., Sigurnjak I., Llewellyn C.* 2019. Best Practices for the treatment and preparation of nutrient-rich digestate for algal cultivation. Public Output report of the ALG-AD project, Swansea, January 2019, 58 pages. *Corresponding authors: Fleuriane Fernandes (Lead author,; Carole Llewellyn (ALG-AD project principal investigator,

This document is a compilation of Best Practice recommendations and considerations for the preparation of nutrient-rich digestate (NRD) with the purpose to be used as a nutrient source feedstock in microalgae cultivation systems. This document is part of the INTERREG North-West Europe funded ALG-AD project aiming to combine anaerobic digestion (AD) and algal cultivation technologies to remediate nutrient-rich digestate currently produced in excess in the region. 

In this report, best practices are presented for preparing NRD, including health and safety procedures, characterisation of the digestate with an emphasis on key parameters and recommendations for analysis, treatment of the digestate in order to facilitate integration into microalgal cultivation systems and to reach optimal nutrient concentrations for microalgal growth. The document draws on experiments and trials conducted on digestate provided by three anaerobic digestion plants in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France.


Available online at

20210616_BP_volume1.pdf ( 

Output WP1 A1.2: Best practices for microalgal production using nutrient-rich digestate as a waste-based medium

Silkina A., Fernandes F., Fuentes-Grünewald C., Ndovela V., Gayo Peláez J.I., De la Broise D., Soudant P., Chauchat L., Seelam J.S., Fernandes de Souza M., Llewellyn C.A., 2021. Best Practices for microalgal production using nutrient rich digestate as a waste-based medium. Public Output report of the ALG-AD project, Swansea, July 2021, 49 pages.


This document is an output of the INTERREG North-West Europe funded ALG-AD project. The document reports the results and recommendations developed through the operation of ALG-AD technology at three industrial pilot sites in North-West Europe (United Kingdom, Belgium and France).


The ALG-AD technology combines anaerobic digestion (AD) and microalgal cultivation technologies. The technology was developed to take excess nutrient-rich digestate waste produced from anaerobic digestion of food and farm to cultivate algal biomass for animal feed and other products.   The excess nutrient-rich digestate (NRD) being defined as digestate which is prohibited under EU legislation from being returned to land.


The document reports guidelines and best practice, and associated considerations, recommendations and conclusions drawn from the set-up and running of the large-scale cultivation facilities at the three pilot sites. The cultivation of microalgae using NRD, including maximising uptake of nutrients and biomass production, and the downstream processing of the algal biomass are covered.   

Available online at 

Share this

Tweet Share