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Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
Texas pres oct_2008
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Texas pres oct_2008

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  • 1. Algae Energy - Challenges & Efforts Narasimhan Santhanam, Oilgae Presentation in Oct, 2008, Texas, USA
  • 2. How difficult is it to achieve the energy Holy Grail?
  • 3. Contents
    • For each of the various aspects of algal energy
      • Problems present
      • Efforts & solutions
  • 4. Aspects Considered
    • End products
    • Strains
    • Oil yields
    • GMOs
    • Methods to grow algae
    • Choice of cultivation plant
    • Problems in cultivation
    • Open pond systems
    • Photobioreactors
    • Harvesting
    • Extraction
    • Transesterification
    • Energy input/output
    • Land requirements
    • Scaling up
    • Quality of biodiesel
  • 5. End Products
    • Biodiesel
    • Ethanol
    • Hydrogen
    • Methane
    • Biomass
  • 6. Biodiesel
    • Greenfuel - recycled CO2
    • Solazyme - fermentation
    • Blue Marble - polluted water systems
    • Inventure - algae-jet-fuel
    • Aquaflow - algae in sewage
    • Aurora - GM algae
    • Solix - CO2 from breweries
  • 7. Biodiesel - continued
    • Seambiotic - CO2 from powerplants
    • Cellena
  • 8. Ethanol
    • Ethanol from GM cyanobacteria (Univ of Hawaii)
    • Algodyne - algae PBR that can produce multiple end products (fuels), including ethanol
    • Algenol - “algae produce ethanol in the gas form”
  • 9. Hydrogen
    • Using hydrogenase enzymes (triggered by sulphur deprivation) - biophotolysis
    • Using Cu to block oxygen generation
    • Manipulating genes that control the amount of chlorophyll
    • DIY Algae Hydrogen Kit - Amy Franceschini & Jonathan Meuser - biophotolysis
  • 10. Methane
    • Methane production by pyrolysis (Wu et al, 1999) - direct pyrolysis of marine nanoplankton
  • 11. Biomass
    • “ Under favourable conditions, some algae strains have produced over 180 T / ha /yr of biomass”
    • Solena - Uses high temperatures to gasify algae.
  • 12. Strains
    • NREL’s ASP did not specify any one species as the best, though they concluded diatoms and green algae were promising
    • Microalgae or macroalgae?
    • Blue Marble - wild algae blooms
    • Solazyme - Dunaliella species
    • C. reinhardtii - sulphur deprived to produce hydrogen
  • 13. Strains
    • Others:
      • Neochloris oleoabundans
      • Scenedesmus dimorphus
      • Euglena gracilis
      • Prymnesium parvum
      • Phaedactylum carterae
      • Tetraselmius chui
      • Tetraselmius suecica
      • Isochrysis galbana
      • Nannochloropsis salina
      • Botryococcus braunii
  • 14. Oil Yield
    • Increasing oil yield by:
      • Nutrient deprivation - Sulphur & Nitrogen deprivation
      • Silicon depletion
    • ACCase gene placed to increase fatty acid
  • 15. GMO
    • PetroAlgae - Environmentally-friendly algae
    • Solazyme - Optimizing biochemical pathways for hydrocarbon production
  • 16. Photosynthesis or Fermentation?
    • Photosynthesis - many companies
    • Fermentation - Solazyme
    • FAO - “direct extraction of lipids appears to be a more efficient method for obtaining energy, than fermentation”
  • 17. Choice of Plant
    • Single or multi-purpose
    • Multi-purpose
      • Combined with power plants
      • Combined with wastewater treatments and sewage
      • Greenfuel - power plants
      • Aquaflow - sewage
      • Inventure - power plants?
  • 18. Cultivation Problems
    • Formulation of Medium
      • Calcium, Magnesium can cause precipitation problems
      • Water might require conditioning
      • Montana Micronutrient Booster - GSPI
  • 19. Cultivation Problems
    • Provision of CO2
      • CO2 could cover a large part of operating costs
      • Covered area carbonators - bubble covers
      • In-pond carbonation sumps
      • Recycling of non-lipid carbon from extraction residues
  • 20. Cultivation Problems
    • Water Circulation
      • Paddle wheels
      • Airlift pump
      • Archimedes screw pump
      • Gas lift mixing
  • 21. Problems in Open Pond
    • Light penetration
      • Circulate algae using paddle wheels
      • Placing the light in the system - submerged into the tank
      • Passive optical system - Bionavitas
  • 22. Problems in Open Pond
    • Odour related problems
      • Result mainly owing to lack of oxygen
      • Planned cultivation and harvesting should take care of this
  • 23. Problems in Open Pond
    • Contamination, temperature, pH & salinity fluctations
      • Owing to:
        • Temperature & light variances
        • Infiltration from local algae
        • Evaporation, dust particles, rain.
      • Solution
        • Hybrid algae product system - cross between open and closed pond systems - GSPI
        • Combo of open pond and PBR - Enhanced Biofuels & Technologies
  • 24. Photobioreactor Problems
    • Choice of PBR
      • Dynamic Biogenics develops low-cost, scalable bioreactors
      • Solix B iofuels - “Massively scalable PBRs”
      • Texas Clean Fuels - optimized for CO2 sequestration and biofuel feedstock production
      • Valcent - vertical bioreactor
  • 25. Photobioreactor Problems
    • Choice of PBR
      • Origin Oil - Helix bioreactor
      • Academic & Univ Centre in Nove Hrady - Czech Republic - Penthouse PBR using solar concentrators with linear fresnel lenses
  • 26. Photobioreactor Problems
    • Cost of PBR
      • DEC Simgae system - simple, benefits of both & closed systems
  • 27. Harvesting
    • Method of Harvesting
      • Besides simple sedimentation, all other methods are expensive
        • The “expensive” methods - straining, filtering, flocculation
      • Cost-effective (?) methods
        • Induced bio-flocculation followed by sedimentation or flotation
        • AlgoDyne Ethanol Energy - new process to harvest biomass from marine algal blooms
  • 28. Harvesting
    • Long harvesting period
      • GreenFuel - harvests algae daily
      • Advanced Biofuel Technologies - Over-expression of ACCase leads to overproduction of triglycerides
  • 29. Harvesting
    • Long harvesting period
      • GreenFuel - harvests algae daily
      • Advanced Biofuel Technologies - Over-expression of ACCase leads to overproduction of triglycerides
  • 30. Harvesting
    • Time of Harvesting
      • Ability to determine the right time to extract oil from feedstock is critical
      • Current methods to determine these are expensive, time consuming and unreliable
      • BioGauge “bio-profiling” technology - from International Energy Inc.
  • 31. Harvesting
    • Harvesting Cost
      • Aquaflow - developed a scalable method for harvesting algae in the wild
  • 32. Extraction
    • Choice of extraction
      • Primary
        • Expeller
        • Solvent Extraction
        • Super critical fluid extraction
      • Less well-known
        • Enzymatic extraction
        • Osmotic shock
        • Ultrasonic assisted extraction
        • Soxhlet extraction
  • 33. Extraction
    • Cost of extraction
      • Numbers quoted are quite high - what are the real numbers?
    • Energy requirements
      • OriginOil’s new method to extract oil without resorting to chemical solvents, using a process called lysing, built on their patented method of “Quantum Fracturing”
  • 34. Transesterification
    • High FFA could create transesterification problems
      • Basu & Norris (2005) have developed a process to produce esters from feedstock that have a high FFA content using calcium and barium acetate as a catalyst.
      • SRS Biodiesel - FSP-Series Acid Esterification pretreatment system for high-FFA feedstock
  • 35. Energy Input & Output
    • Best-case - Macro-algae can generate 11000 MJ/dry algae & micro-algae 9500 MJ/T.
    • Solena’s plasma gasification tech consumes less than 1/4 of the energy it produces
  • 36. Land Requirements
    • Growing algae on solid carriers in ocean - Kansas State Univ. - Jun 2008
    • Nutrients for algae in sea water - algae grew much faster when supplied with dust from a desert
    • Valcent’s Vertigro uses area above a plot of land.
    • Algae grown in sewage ponds - Aquaflow Bionomic
  • 37. Scaling Up
    • When transferred to outdoor test facility, growth rate, % oil yield decreased dramatically from those from laboratory results (NREL) (biodiesel produced per acre in OTF was just 10% of that produced in lab)
  • 38. Algae Biodiesel Quality
    • Not enough data
    • High FFA content
    • Solazyme tests algae biodiesel that has superior performance under cold weather conditions (algae engineered to produce an oil with optimized fatty acid profile)
    • One way of bridging quality gaps is to blend biodiesel from different feedstocks?
  • 39. Conclusion
    • We are still not yet there, but the clarity about the problems we face and the diversity of solutions being attempted make the goal look more reachable than ever before.
  • 40. Thank You

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