Ross Barnowski Angela LiuDuncan Clauson Katie PeigeLogan Stephens
Algae need resources Climate Water Carbon Dioxide Land [+ Nutrients] Algae Fuel
Site SelectionJust a few considerations: “Areas with more than 5% slope can be effectively eliminated from consideration for site development not only due to the intrinsic needs of the technology, but also due to the increased costs of site development.” – DOE 2009 “Siting requirements for efficient microalgal cultivation may rarely coincide with high- volume point sources of CO2.” – DOE 2009
Site Selection – Wastewater “Wastewater treatment facilities, for example, tend to be near metropolitan areas with high land prices and limited land availability, and it is not practical to transport wastewater over long distances.” – DOE 2009
Ma’alaea Oil Power Plant -Maui July 15, 2008 – 200 x 1000 m = HR Biopetroleum 50 acres collaborative announced planned algal farm adjacent to Maalaea Plant, Maui. Satellite imagery reveals potential production site of approximately 50 acres (enough to supply 200-350 thousand gal/year)
Site Selection – ChallengesTo be successful the algal fuels industry must: Carefully choose sites that balance climate, water, carbon dioxide, land, and nutrient requirements – while ensuring and maintaining adequate levels of each. Seek to integrate existing waste streams as input streams for production processes (CO2, wastewater and others). Work collaboratively with government and the public sector to ensure public acceptance and protect existing interests.
Technological Challenges: Immature Technologies Raceway Ponds – Invasive species Photobioreactor – High capital cost Algae Selection Indigenous species and/or bioengineered organisms mvm.uni-karlsruhe.de High lipid production Fast growth rate Strained nutrient conditions Other infrastructure Nutrient and CO2 Sources Wastewater? Oil Plant Emissions?
Challenges: Represents ~30% of cost of producing algal biofuel Extremely low biomass density ~1800 Gallons culture -> 1 Gallon biofuel Known methods inadequate Centrifugation = too expensive High-temperature drying may degrade lipids Suggested methods unproven on commercial scale Flocculation and gravity settling
Reactions to convert lipids to biofuel exist Transesterification Biodiesel Catalytic Hydroprocessing Green gasoline, jet fuel, etc.Challenges: Large, commercial scale refining facilities required Refining processes need to be optimized for algal lipid feedstockTAG
Many problems are well-defined and can be solved viatesting and applied researchMuch is still unknown about algal ecosystems Improve lipid content and algal yield Improve robustness of desired strain or identify beneficial relationships between strainsLipid extraction Creative approaches to avoid energy-intensive drying process
Economic AnalysisLimits and Challenges Currently in R&D phase. It is difficult to do an economic analysis comparing the price of algal biodiesel to petrol-diesel since biodiesel is not being marketed and sold.
Goal of the EconomicAnalysis To encourage investor confidence The goal is to raise money so further research can be conducted. Investors in algal biofuels in Hawaii Oil companies Cellana LLC is a joint venture with HR Biopetroleum, University of Hawai’I, and Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum Local companies Alexander & Baldwin Hawaiian Electric Company State and Federal Funding NELHA - invested $100-150 million in 2009 State and Federal Funding – $645,000 for military jet fuel research
Production Costs I Production of algae Open raceway Capital cost: ~$5,000 per unit Production cost: $0.80 - $50 /gal algae produced Photobioreactor Capital cost: ~$150,000 per unit Production cost: $1.57 – $101 /gal algae produced Hybrid Production cost: $1.19-$2.27/gal
Production Costs II CO2 source Coal-power plant or BioEnergy Hawai’i LLC, a power plant that uses commercial waste. • Nutrient source Wastewater treatment plant Other ingredients like insolation (sunlight) and water are plentiful in Hawaii. Harvesting Expensive to centrifuge large amounts of algae so research is being done in flocculation and a combination of both.
Production Costs III Production Costs are offset by the sale of Co-ProductsFrom Zemke, Wood, & Dye, Technoeconomic Analysis of Algal Photobioreactors for Oil Production, Utah State University MERA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Hawaiian Co.) Producing astaxanthin-based products: AstaFactor and AquaXan Photobioreactor capacity: 6,000 gallons (25,000 liters) AstaFactor is $29.95/bottle
Overall Production Costs vsPrice of Petroleum According to Pienkos and Darzins (2009), overall production costs of biodiesel are: Low productivity: $25/gal biodiesel High productivity: $2.50/gal biodiesel Compared to the current cost of gasoline in Hawaii: $2.97/gal (US average is $2.29/gal) Compared to next most profitable oil: Palm oil: $2.50/gallon
Environmental Impacts of Corn-basedEthanol Depletion of topsoil Less land conserved in Soil nutrients depletion the Conservation Reserve Toxins from pesticides Program Eutrophication High amounts of erosion Contamination of ground Biodiversity disappears water CO2 from farm equipment Depletion of Aquifers
Air Locally grown: emission reductions from not having to ship oil to the islands Net Zero carbon: burned algae fuel does not add additional CO2 to the atmosphere Reduction in other emissions which leads to less smog and respiratory illnesses CO2 is recycled from power plants Growing algae adds more oxygen to the air
Water By using waste water to feed the algae, nitrogen and phosphorus can be diverted from the water bodies to help prevent problems such as dead zones. With a recycled source of water, water resources would not be depleted
Land Use Algae farming takes up considerable less land than other biofuels Algae does not need farmable land to grow so does not compete with food sources Growing and harvesting of algae is not harsh on the land
Social and Policy Implications –•Increased jobs and economic growth•Private sector investment is currently estimatedat $1 Billion•Continue to develop policy supportive of biofuels•Value of CO2 capture in a possiblecarbon market
Social and Policy Implications – Policy Drivers•US and Hawaiian Renewable Energy Initiatives•Engages multiple stakeholders (Government, Academia, and Industry)• Reduce potential for socialstress •Co-siting with CO2 source or Wastewater treatment •Can be used on marginal lands