Algal Carbon Conversion program


The Government of Canada is committed to addressing the issue of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while simultaneously generating economically and sustainable opportunities for Canadian companies. The Algal Carbon Conversion ( ACC ) Flagship program positions Canada as a world leader in converting CO2 emissions into algal biomass, renewable biofuels and other value-added products through integrated algal biorefineries.

The ACC program addresses a number of factors which influence the commercial potential of ACC technology, including scaling-up algae cultivation technologies connected to industrial CO2 emitters, identifying the most appropriate algae strains for industrial deployment, increasing the productivity and reducing energy costs of photobioreactors, identifying ways to reduce energy required for processing algal biomass and assisting in the development of high-value, sustainable products from algal biomass.


Collaborate with us

Collaborate with us on strategic research projects to help de-risk your innovative ideas, reduce your start-up costs, and accelerate your commercial development timelines.

Collaboration opportunities

The primary objective of the ACC Flagship is for NRC and its partners to establish a pilot scale algal biorefinery at an industrial site. This demonstration facility will be integrated into the industry's operations with direct access to industrial flue gas emissions, wastewater and waste heat, which will be used to test and evaluate the scalability and cost effectiveness of current algal cultivation technologies for potential commercial deployment.

NRC has already engaged a number of partners for the ACC demonstration facility and is currently seeking partners for four additional R&D streams designed to support the Flagship initiative. New partners could include Canadian stakeholders, ranging from large final emitters ( LFEs ) to small companies providing dedicated solutions throughout the value chain. NRC is also interested in partnering with international companies and research organizations that possess innovative technologies, essential expertise and are well positioned to contribute to Canada's algal carbon conversion and environmental initiatives.

Collaborator benefits

NRC partners will benefit from a strong core of expertise and capabilities in algae-related technologies, as well as a comprehensive breadth of expertise in marine biosciences, biotechnology and plant biology, leveraged by close links with industry. As the Flagship's four R&D streams evolve, partners will have the opportunity to explore many other uses and developments of algae for a variety of commercially viable applications.


This "biofence" at NRC 's Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia facility is used to grow various strains of algae in order to find the most robust and productive species, depending on its environment and emissions.

Overall, the ACC Flagship stimulates the development of innovative technologies and provides novel products and services to establish, construct and sustain the algae biorefinery infrastructure and its associated value streams. The biorefinery demonstration facility will grow algal biomass while remediating wastewater and recycling industrial CO 2 emissions. The algal biomass produced will be further processed into high value products including renewable biofuels, soil amendment products, animal feed and specialized bioactive products for health and agricultural markets.

In addition to the industrial algal biorefinery, NRC 's Flagship initiative features four R&D streams that support the pilot project, as well as future commercial deployment of the technology:

  • Algae Strains: Identifying the most appropriate algae strains for deployment and the optimal conditions for their growth.
  • Photobioreactors ( PBR ) & Light: Improving algal productivity and minimizing operating costs for photobioreactors.
  • Harvesting and Dewatering: Reducing costs and energy inputs for processing algal biomass.
  • Additional Value Streams: Creating high value, sustainable products from algal biomass.

Contact us

If you're interested in sustainably managing CO2 emissions, expanding your network or knowledge base, accessing our advanced scientific infrastructure or connecting with our experts, contact:

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

Targeted industries

Steel, pulp & paper, oil & gas, energy, manufacturing.