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Algal Biofuel
 

Algal Biofuel

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  • The International Energy Agency estimates that the majority of the world’s energy need has been met using oil for roughly the past 40 years.
  • Our interest in the oil consumption. This slide further segregates the sources of oil demand. The largest and most rapidly increasing segment of global oil consumption is transportation. Transportation includes the trucks, trains, and ships that carry global commerce. It includes personal vehicles like cars, motor bikes, and jet ski’s people use for fun or transit. It also includes aviation uses, which carries both freight and people.
  • Here we break down the output from refinery operations into major categories. The motor gasoline and aviation fuel categories are self-explanatory. Worth noting is that the aviation fuels category grew at the fastest rate (in percentage terms) increasing 50% beyond the 1973 numbers. The category described as middle distillates is the category containing diesel fuel. Trucks, trains, ocean vessels, and in many countries, auto’s are fueled by diesel. Note this category grew by roughly 570 Mt in 34 years and represents roughly one third of all refinery production. The heavy oils category describes truly heavy fuels, those being molasses-like in viscosity. These fuels must be heated to flow and are therefore used in continuously operating equipment such as ocean freight or power plants.
  • Biofuel offers some differentiation in the transportation fuel market. A significant amount of interest stems from the ability to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere. Biofuel production captures carbon from the atmosphere while growing, so that once converted and burned, it is possible to have a net reduction in CO2. The energy needed to produce fuel can be reduced, in particular through bio-methane, by collection from landfills, dairy farms, and other sources. A significant benefit to biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel is that they can essentially be dropped into the existing distribution system. Gasoline can be blended with up to 10% ethanol in modern vehicles, with more vehicles being offered with E85 (85% ethanol) compatible engine systems. (See next slide for ethanol issues.) Biodiesel can be blended or used exclusively. Energy independence is seen as an incentive in oil importing countries. On one hand this would provide a domestic source of energy, which is a strategic need. Foreign policy may also change. However, shifting dollars away from oil producing countries may destabilize them and will certainly cost influence. Crude will eventually run out, and another source will be needed. Biofuel provides a renewable source. The biggest problem with many biofuels is that they grow crops. These crops, such as corn for ethanol, soybeans for biodiesel, or switch grass and other plant matter crops displace food crops. This raises the cost of food, potentially sending people into starvation so the West can drive SUV’s. In some cases, forests (net carbon sinks) have been burned to open land for additional crops. Pressure to convert land to agriculture would increase with reliance on food crops for fuel. Finally, burning the fuel still produces CO2, although the net addition of CO2 to the atmosphere can be less than with oil.
  • https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/wrapper.aspx?ar=2466&story=true&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.mckinseyquarterly.com%2fThe_ethanol_challenge_for_the_United_States_2466%3fpagenum%3d1%23interactive&pgn=etch09_exhibit While 10% ethanol is permissible in most of the U.S. the actual levels used tend to be less. The reason is that the U.S. lacks an ethanol infrastructure. The following slide outlines the infrastructure requirements and costs.
  • https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/wrapper.aspx?ar=2466&story=true&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.mckinseyquarterly.com%2fThe_ethanol_challenge_for_the_United_States_2466%3fpagenum%3d1%23interactive&pgn=etch09_exhibit $12-18B dollars to make ethanol fuels beyond a 10% blend feasible throughout the U.S.
  • Video intro possibly
  • There are two main types of Algae growth systems. The first is an open system, which uses large open ponds to grow algae. The main design parameters are algae, light, nutrients and water. The algae grown in open systems is usually natural algae native to the local area rather than genetically modified algae since there are too many variables from contamination to grow foreign algae. The algae used is native to that region and therefore, can handle variables like changing weather seasons and seasonal temperatures. Also, since the algae is open to the environment, there is a risk of contamination from outside algae or organisms. Also, the large amount of water need for a open system may defer from other consumers of water like irrigation and homes. The light in an open system is all natural illumination from the sun. One advantage is that the algae is not dependant on electricity to produce lights and have a greater surface area to sunlight, but dependant on climatic, seasonal, regional and mutual shading from other algae. The nutrients algae rely on include nitrogen, phosphorous and carbon dioxide. One advantage of using an open pond is that algae can use wastewater that is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients to grow faster versus having to add them manually. This lowers the cost of algae production since they are cleaning the wastewater and producing faster algae. One disadvantage is that the wastewater cannot be controlled and may control things harmful to the algae. Open systems require large amounts of water, which are usually found from reclamation of rain or wastewater treatment. This makes certain areas that have a lack of excess water, such as American Southwest, unable to sustain open systems since they have a lack of water for their own consumption. Also, the large amount of water must be contained in land that must be converted into ponds for algae growth. Ryan, Catie. "Cultivating Clean Energy: The Promise of Algae Biofuels." Natural Resources Defense Council (2009).
  • Closed Bioreactors are enclosed structures used to grow algae under controlled conditions not available in open systems. The main design parameters are algae, light, nutrients and water. The algae used is native to that region and therefore, can handle variables like changing weather seasons and seasonal temperatures. Also, since the algae is open to the environment, there is a risk of contamination from outside algae or organisms. Also, the large amount of water need for a open system may defer from other consumers of water like irrigation and homes. The light in an closed system is usually generated partially or totally from electric lights rather than natural illumination from the sun. One advantage is that the algae is not dependant on climatic, seasonal and regional effects. Instead, dependent on electricity requires access to secure power plants and may be environmental unfriendly. The nutrients algae rely on include nitrogen, phosphorous and carbon dioxide. One disadvantage of using a closed system is that nutrients and CO 2 that are required by algae need to be artificially supplied. Also, photosynthesis of algae causing oxygen to buildup, which must be removed using a degasification system. Closed systems require large amounts of water, which usually require the water to be sterilized to prevent contamination. Unlike an open system, this prevents untreated water from being used. One gain is a closed system can control the water temperature to maximize algae growth year round. Ryan, Catie. "Cultivating Clean Energy: The Promise of Algae Biofuels." Natural Resources Defense Council (2009).
  • Algae used in biofuel production usually comes three main sources: purchased from private culture collections, grown in natural water bodies or genetically engineered for desired characteristics. Companies are forming that do not process algae, rather focus on growing algae that is sold to refining companies for processing. This solves the issue with algae in areas without water sources, but required the algae transported to another location. Most algae in natural water bodies are nuisance algae that forms naturally. This is limited in scaling, but cost effective since the algae production cost is zero. Algal biotech firms have a databank of algae strains with their pertinent characteristics that they can license patents or create new customize algae strains based on customer needs. Levine, R., A. Oberlin, and P. Adriaens. "A Value Chain and Life-Cycle Assessment Approach to Identify Technological Innovation Opportunities in Algae Biodiesel." University of Michigan. Web. .
  • The marketing for algae based biofuels heavily leverages the fact that algae does not require food such as corn and sugarcane. Ethanol is commonly blamed for the increase in food costs as farmers could make more money selling crops to make ethanol versus selling for food consumption. Algenol Biofuels Inc. is also marketing itself as a domestic fuel producer to counter US dependence on foreign oil. In studies with J.B. Hunt Trucking Company, algae fuel blend from California based startup SunEco reduced emissions by 82% without any loss of power. The distribution of algae fuel will be the same as fossil fuels with consumers going to their local refueling station. Unlike ethanol, algae fuel does not require special automobile engine that support flex-fuel. The most likely consumers of algae fuel will be biodiesel vehicles and aircraft receiving algae based jet fuel. The US military has funded extended research into algae fuel and its use with aircraft. "Algenol Biofuels Inc." Algenol Biofuels - Harnessing the Sun to Fuel the World . Web. . Mollman, Steve. "'Green goo' biofuel gets a boost - CNN.com." CNN.com International - Breaking, World, Business, Sports, Entertainment and Video News . 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 04 Feb. 2010. . DLOUHY, JENNIFER A. "Obama unveils plan for alternative fuels.“ Houston Chronicle, 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. .
  • Many State and Federal governments require fuel blending with a certain percentage of biofuel, regardless of cost. Currently, ethanol is the most popular, but algae could gain large market share. Starting in 2010, EPA renewable fuel standard requires biofuels make up 8.25% (13 billion gallons) of gasoline sales. From 2004-2009, the US government supplied a $1 per gallon blenders’ tax credit for biodiesel. Currently, the House of Representatives has passed an extension of the tax credit, but it has yet to pass the Senate. Similar to the US, European Union and many other countries also gives tax exceptions to biofuel. DLOUHY, JENNIFER A. "Obama unveils plan for alternative fuels.“ Houston Chronicle, 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. . Finley, Russ. "US Biodiesel: The Never-ending Subsidy Story." Energy Tribune, 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. .
  • Open and closed pools Money needed regardless of choice Exxon announced last month that it is plunking down $600 million for a partnership with Synthetic Genomics, and now BP is joining the algae fuel club with a $10 million investment in Market Biosciences. If new, would need land, then build facilities, open is preferred for the environment After that the algae would have to be introduced and grown until used to create biofuel
  • Most algae farms built the same Open pool Central hub for maintenance and extraction Location preferable in environment that would be water and algae friendly, cant really have it in a desert Oregon, Florida, Hawaii and such for America
  • Uses existing technology with cars Goes through the entire process as shown
  • https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Energy_Resources_Materials/Strategy_Analysis/Betting_on_biofuels_1992#foot1 Betting on biofuels • MAY 2007 • William K. Caesar, Jens Riese, and Thomas Seitz McKinsey sites several issues confronting the biofuel industry. “ variables that directly influence the profitability and environmental impact of biofuels: the cost and availability of feedstock, government regulation, and conversion technologies. ” The feedstock is 50-80% of the cost of biofuel. The right combination of land, raw materials (water, algae, heat and other energies, etc.), and extraction yield are critical to profitability. Government regulation (carbon trading, caps, blending requirements, etc.) and subsidies are all factors influencing the costs. With major investments currently underway, companies are understandably secretive about their technologies. Biofuel will be highly dependent on the site used for production. The raw land is but one factor. Situation near power plants, treatment plants, distribution systems, storage, refining, and the market demand will all determine the viability of the technology.

Algal Biofuel Algal Biofuel Presentation Transcript

  • Steve Keller Vijay Upadhyay Kaiser Hussain Zachary Hess
  • World Total Energy Consumption Key World Energy Statistics, 2009, p28. International Energy Agency.
  • Total Oil Consumption Key World Energy Statistics, 2009, p33. International Energy Agency
  • Key World Energy Statistics, 2009, p20. International Energy Agency
  • Biofuel VoD
    • Ethanol, diesel, methane from renewable sources
    • Good
      • Less CO2 generation
      • Reduces energy needed to produce fuel
      • Can be a “drop in” replacement for crude oil products
    • Neutral
        • Energy independence
    • Bad
      • Can turn food crops into fuel crops
      • May lose forests (carbon sinks)
      • Burning them still generates CO2
    Renewable Energy: R&D Priorities. IEA. 2006 Energy Technology Essentials (ETE02). IEA. 2007
  • Ethanol Consumption, % of Gasoline
  • Ethanol Challenges
  • What Algae Fuel is?
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbLACcUN4fQ
  • VoD For Algae Fuel or Oilgae Fuel
    • Compared to other biofuels most of them made from crops, algae grows much faster and contains much more energy per unit of weight.
    • Algae have the potential to yield greater volumes of biofuel per acre of production than other biofuel sources. Algae could yield more than 2000 gallons of fuel per acre per year of production.
  • Approximate yields for other fuel sources are far lower
    • Advantages
    • The yields of oil and fuels from algae are much higher (10-100 times) than competing energy crops.
    • Algae can grow practically anywhere, thus ensuring that there is no competition with food crops.
    • Algae are excellent bioremediation agents - they have the potential to absorb massive amounts of CO 2  and can play an important role in sewage and wastewater treatment.
    • Algae are the only feedstock that have the potential to completely replace world's consumption of transportation fuels.
    • Resource: http://www.oilgae.com/ref/report/digest/digest.html
  • Oilgae Technology
    • Algae need water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow.
    • The oil they produce can then be harvested and converted into biodiesel; the algae’s carbohydrate content can be fermented into ethanol. Both are much cleaner-burning fuels than petroleum-based diesel or gas.
    • Algae + CO2 = Biofuel
  • Mechanical Chemical
  • Large-scale Biodiesel Production from Algae
    • In order to produce biodiesel from algae on a large-scale, the following conditions need to be met:
    • Ability to sustainably produce high-oil-yielding algae strains on a large-scale.
    • Ability to extract the oil from the algae on a large scale.
    • Capability for large-scale conversion of algal oil into biodiesel.
  • Design Parameters
    • Open Systems
      • Advantages
        • Open pond, simple design
        • Natural light
        • Can use reclaimed or waste water
      • Disadvantages
        • Require large amounts of land and water
        • Algae contamination
        • Risk of harming current ecosystem
  • Design Parameters (cont.)
    • Closed Bioreactors (PBR)
      • Advantages
        • Scalable
        • Customized for specific Algae strain
        • Higher yield with less water and land
        • Control water temperature and nutrients
      • Disadvantages
        • May require artificial light
        • Needs sterilized water to prevent contamination
        • Large upfront cost
        • Needs CO 2 added and oxygen removed
  • Design Parameters (cont.)
    • Algae
      • Purchase from private culture collections
      • Grown in natural water bodies
      • Genetically Engineered
        • Databank of algae strains
        • Licensing patents
        • Highest Yields
  • Value Chain
    • Marketing
      • "food vs. fuel“
      • Domestic fuel production
        • Obama wants to triple biofuel production by 2022
      • Clean burning fuel
        • J.B. Hunt Trucking Company
          • Tested algae fuel blend from startup SunEco
          • 82% reduction in particulate emissions with no loss of power
    • Distribution
      • Uses existing fuel distribution infrastructure
        • Does not require flex-fuel cars like ethanol
      • Biodiesel
      • Jet Fuel
  • Value Chain
    • Sales and Service
      • US
        • State and Federal blending mandates
          • In 2010, EPA renewable fuel standard require biofuels make up 8.25% (13 billion gallons) of gasoline sales
        • $1 per gallon blenders' tax credit for biodiesel
        • 2004-2009, expected to be renewed in 2010
      • European Union
        • Exempt from fuel taxes
  • Value Chain: Technology Development
    • Technology already out there
    • Partner or Create new?
  • Value Chain: Product Design
    • Product design based on a partnership
    • Generally, biofuel made from the oil produced by algae in the reactors or pools siphoned to other pools based on oil content until able to be extracted to be made into biofuel.
    • Location?
  • Value Chain: Logistics and Manufacturing
    • Technology> location> build of ponds> growth of algae in ponds> harvesting> extraction of oils> transesterification> Biodiesel fuel
  • Potential IP issues:
    • Any Patents that would be in use would be ensured by our technology partner against infringement of others, having them use their particular methods of growth, harvest, and extraction.
    • Paddlewheels
    • Oil secretion chemicals
    • Genetic mutations of algae
    • Chemicals used to grow algae faster
    • Tools used in extraction
    • Closed pool reactors
  • New IP’s: ???
    • Through ongoing technology development however most issues would arise in any growth additives for the algae, or tools used in harvesting and extraction
  • Time to Market
    • Large-scale plants entering market
    • Competitive issues
      • Large percentage of fuel cost is harvesting & extraction
      • Lowest cost production will win
    • Enter now or wait for cost improvements?
  • ???Questions???
  • Exxon, a Longtime Biofuel Holdout, Makes a $600 Million Algae Fuel Investment BY Ariel Schwartz Tue Jul 14, 2009 http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/ariel-schwartz/sustainability/surprise-longtime-biofuel-holdout-exxon-makes-600-million-algae-f?nav=inform-rl
    • “ Exxon is betting that algae fuel can be more easily scaled up than other types of fuel--even though large-scale commercial plants are up to a decade away.”
  • Five Companies That Are Turning Algae Into Energy BY Ariel Schwartz Wed Jul 29, 2009 http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/ariel-schwartz/sustainability/when-will-we-see-commercial-scale-algae-fuel?nav=inform-rl
    • “ Solazyme expects to have a commercial plant by 2010”
    • “ Even then, it will take 5 to 10 years before SGI can produce large quantities of fuel.”
    • “ Sapphire expects to make 1 million gallons of algae-derived biodiesel and jet fuel by 2011, 100 million gallons by 2018, and 1 billion gallons by 2025.”
    • “ [Algenol] plans to finish its Mexico project this year and begin producing 10,000 gallons of fuel per acre per year in short order.”
  • “ Energy Technologies at the Cutting Edge” International Energy Agency 2005
    • “ Demonstration and pilot plants have recently been commissioned. The IOgen's facility Ottawa (Canada) produces 40 tonnes/day using wheat straw and poplar tree pulp. The Abengoa facility in Castilla y Leon (Spain) produces 200 million liters/year using agricultural residues for feedstock, as well as other plants in Canada, Sweden, and the United States.”
  • Ralph Sims, Michael Taylor, Jack Saddler, Warren Mabee. “From 1st to 2nd Generation Biofuel Technologies” International Energy Agency. November 2008
    • “ This section briefly describes the potential for algal feedstock and several of the advanced conversion technologies. Some are already reasonably close to market (such as hydrogenated biodiesel).”
    • “ Catalytic hydrogenation and cracking of oils and fats is not strictly a new process and is already entering the market.”
  • Aurora Biofuels Pilot Algae Plant Produces Biodiesel Thursday, March 05, 2009 http://www.americanfuels.info/2009/03/aurora-biofuels-pilot-algae-plant.html
    • Aurora Biofuels Chief Executive Bob Walsh
      • "In the near-term we expect to demonstrate that the economics of this process can produce biodiesel that is price-competitive with fossil fuels and our first commercial plant will be in operation by 2012."
  • References
    • &quot;Aurora Biofuels Pilot Algae Plant Produces Biodiesel |.&quot; American Fuels . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. < http://www.americanfuels.info/2009/03/aurora-biofuels-pilot-algae-plant.htm l >.
    • &quot;Exxon, a Longtime Biofuel Holdout, Makes a $600 Million Algae Fuel Investment | Sustainability | Fast Company.&quot; FastCompany.com - Where ideas and people meet | Fast Company . Web. 07 Feb. 2010. < http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/ariel-schwartz/sustainability/surprise-longtime-biofuel-holdout-exxon-makes-600-million-algae-f?nav=inform-rl >.
    • &quot;Five Companies That Are Turning Algae Into Energy | Sustainability | Fast Company.&quot; FastCompany.com - Where ideas and people meet | Fast Company . Web. 07 Feb. 2010. < http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/ariel-schwartz/sustainability/when-will-we-see-commercial-scale-algae-fuel?nav=inform-rl >.
    • France. International Energy Agency. Energy Technologies at the Cutting Edge . 2005. Web.
    • France. International Energy Agency. Key World Energy Statistics . 2009. Web.
    • France. International Energy Agency. Renewable Energy: R&D Priorities . 2006. Web.
    • &quot;McKinsey Quarterly: The Online Journal of McKinsey & Company.&quot; Articles by McKinsey Quarterly: Online Business Journal of McKinsey & Company. Business Management Strategy - Corporate Strategy - Global Business Strategy . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. < https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/wrapper.aspx?ar=2466&story=true&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.mckinseyquarterly.com%2fThe_ethanol_challenge_for_the_United_States_2466%3fpagenum%3d1%23interactive&pgn=etch09_exhibit >. Web.
  • References (Cont)
    • &quot;About Us.&quot; Home . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. <http://growdieselevent.com/aboutus.aspx>.
    • &quot;Algae Biofuel Becoming a Reality?&quot; EcoSherpa | Sustainable Living . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. <http://www.ecosherpa.com/green-energy/algae-biofuel-becoming-a-reality/>.
    • &quot;Algae Biofuel Becoming a Reality?&quot; EcoSherpa | Sustainable Living . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. <http://www.ecosherpa.com/green-energy/algae-biofuel-becoming-a-reality/>.
    • &quot;Algae Biofuels Offer Enormous Promise, Face Tough Production and Cost Challenges to Scale.&quot; Green Car Congress . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. <http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/10/algae-biofuels.html>.
    • &quot;Algae fuel -.&quot; Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algal_fuel>.
    • Biodiesel from Algae Oil - Oilgae - Information, News, Links for Algal Fuel, Alga Bio-diesel, Biofuels, Algae Biofuel, Energy - oilgae.com . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. <http://www.oilgae.com/>.
    • &quot;Patents.&quot; Google . Web. 09 Feb. 2010. <http://www.google.com/patents>.
    • &quot;Photosynthetic oil production in a ... - Patent Search.&quot; Google . Web. 08 Feb. 2010. <http://www.google.com/patents?id=UumoAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA2&dq=algae+biofuel&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q=algae%20biofuel&f=false>.
    • &quot;PADDLEWHEEL APPARATUS - Patent Search.&quot; Google . Web. 09 Feb. 2010. <http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=OcnIAAAAEBAJ&dq=algae+biofuel+paddlewheel>.
    • &quot;Algenol Biofuels Inc.&quot; Algenol Biofuels - Harnessing the Sun to Fuel the World. Web. <http://www.algenolbiofuels.com/default.html>.
    • DLOUHY, JENNIFER A. &quot;Obama unveils plan for alternative fuels.“ Houston Chronicle, 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. <http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6849995.html>.
    • Finley, Russ. &quot;US Biodiesel: The Never-ending Subsidy Story.&quot; Energy Tribune, 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. <http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm?aid=3087>.
    • Levine, R., A. Oberlin, and P. Adriaens. &quot;A Value Chain and Life-Cycle Assessment Approach to Identify Technological Innovation
    • Mollman, Steve. &quot;'Green goo' biofuel gets a boost - CNN.com.&quot; CNN.com International - Breaking, World, Business, Sports, Entertainment and Video News. 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 04 Feb. 2010. <http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/08/21/eco.algaebiofuel/index.html>.
    • Opportunities in Algae Biodiesel.&quot; University of Michigan. Web. <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~adriaens/Site/Welcome_files/Algae%20biodiesel%20value%20chain.pdf>.
    • Ryan, Catie. &quot;Cultivating Clean Energy: The Promise of Algae Biofuels.&quot; Natural Resources Defense Council (2009).