Bioenergy West Midlands - Joe McDonald: Algae

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Biofuels Seminar
Joint Event with EnviroInnovate at the Birmingham City University Technology Innovation Centre
5th November 2008

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Bioenergy West Midlands - Joe McDonald: Algae

  1. 1. THE BIOFENCE PRODUCTION OF MICRO- ALGAE JMCD 11/10/2008 1 BioenergyWM Initiative. Millenium Point
  2. 2. Varicon Aqua Solutions Ltd • Company formed in October 2005 by J.McDonald, D.Guest • Part of a group of companies, Varicon (3D) Drives Ltd, Computech Control & Automation (A Division Of Varicon (3D) Drives Ltd, Specialising in Power Electronics and PLC. Mechanical engineering • 21 employees. • Varicon Aqua specialise in manufacturing and supply of hardware, consumables and technical services to the Aquaculture, Fisheries, and Amenities sectors. Nationally and internationally, • Importing and exporting Globally with distributors in the USA, Australia, NZ and Tasmania 2
  3. 3. Main Products and Activities • BioFence. High density continuous algae production platforms • HDRS. Continuous, high density rotifer production systems • Process control hardware, primarily chemical and feedstock dosing systems, pump control systems, pH & dissolved oxygen monitoring, management. • Algae Concentrates: A range of speciality products imported from Korea, Japan, USA and Germany, distributed throughout Europe and Scandinavia, 1litre – 1000Litres • Algae nutrients. A range of proprietary speciality products designed specifically for mass production of marine and freshwater algae species. Exported Globally 1kg -1MT • Pond care products. Proprietary formulations for control and management of invasive algae species. • Technical Services: Provision of technical/consultancy support to customers 3
  4. 4. LIVE ALGAE PRODUCTION THE Varicon BIOFENCE WHAT IS THE BIOFENCE? 1. A HIGHLY EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE METHOD FOR PRODUCING HIGH DENSITY MONOCULTURES OF MARINE AND FRESHWATER ALGAE. WHY CHOOSE A BIOFENCE? 1. TYPICALLY OPERATES AT DENSITIES OF 10 TO 15 TIMES THAT OF CONVENTIONAL CULTURE METHODS 2. HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE RELATIVE TO CONVENTIONAL PRODUCTION METHODS. 3. DRAMATICALY REDUCES LABOUR REQUIREMENTS AND ELIMINATES HANDLING PROBLEMS 4. CAN BE OPERATED FOR PROLONGED PERIODS WITHOUT CULTURES CRASHING FACILITATED BY PATENTED TUBE SELF CLEANING MECHANISM 5. IT IS A CLOSED, CONTOLLED SYSTEM, ENVORONMENTAL PARAMETERS ARE AUTOMATICALLY CONTROLLED 6. SYSTEM EASILY EXPANDED TO MEET INCREASED PRODUCTION REQUIREMENTS 11/10/2008 4
  5. 5. HOW DO THE Varicon TUBULAR PHOTO- BIOREACTORS WORK? 1. THEY WORK BY RECIRCULATING ALGAE, NUTRIENTS, WATER AND CARBON DIOXIDE THROUGH TRANSPARENT TUBES TO MAXIMISE THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT REACHING THE ALGAL CELLS, THE SHORT LIGHT FIELD MAXIMISES THIS PROCESS; THEREBYE ENHANCING THE PHOTOSYNTHETIC PROCESSES. 2. A RESERVOIR TANK PROVIDES A DARK PHASE FOR THE MORE COMPLEX PROTEIN BUILDING FUNCTION OF THE ALGAL CELLS, 3. A SEMI-CONTINUOUS STREAM OF STERILISED WATER, NUTRIENT,& CO2 IS SUPPLIED TO THE DARK PHASE OF THE PROCESS. THIS FUNCTION IS FULLY AUTOMATED AND REGULATED VIA THE PROCESS CONTROL SYSTEM. 4. LIVE ALGAE IS HARVESTED FROM THE RECEIVING TANK. 5. A NOVEL METHOD OF PUMPING CIRCULATES THE ALGAE AND NUTRIENTS AROUND THE SYSTEM ENSURING OPTIMAL CELL VIABILITY. 6. THE SELF CLEANING OPERATION OF THE VARICON BIOFENCE IS FACILITATED BY CONTINUOUS CIRCULATION OF PATENTED SPECIAL BEAD TECHNOLOGY. 11/10/2008 5
  6. 6. THE ALGAE WHAT ARE MICRO-ALGAE? • A DIVERSE RANGE OF PHOTOSYNTHETIC PLANTS COMPRISING 9 THALOID PHYLA, CHLOROPHYTA, EUGLENOPHYTA, PHAEOPHYTA, CHRYSOPHYTA, PYRROPHYTA, RHODOPHYTA, CYANOPHYTA, CRYPTOPHYTA, CHLOROMONADOPHYTA. • TIPICALLY ALL RETAIN A CUTICULAR CELL WALL COMPRISING MAINLY CELLULOSE. • ALL SPECIES IN THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT UTILISE LIGHT (PHOTONS) DISSOLVED CARBON DIOXIDE, & NITRATE, PHOSPHATES, TRACE ELEMENTS VITAMINS AND MINERALS FOR GROWTH. • DIATOMACIOUS SPECIES REQUIRE AN ADDITIONAL SUBSTRATE IN THE FORM OF SOLUABLE METASILICATE, THESE SPECIES VARY INSOFAR AS THE EXOSKELETON COMPRISES MAINLY SILICACIOUS COMPLEXES. • SELECTED STRAINS CONTAINING UP TO 40% LIPID ON A DRY WEIGHT BASIS. • 245% PRODUCTION PER DAY POSSIBLE WITH MIXOTROPHIC APPROACH 11/10/2008 6
  7. 7. CELL MICROGRAPHS 11/10/2008 7
  8. 8. Varicon BIOFENCE: VERSATILITY!!! WHERE CAN A BIOFENCE BE LOCATED? • WITH THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL: ANYWHERE! • TO DATE BIOFENCES HAVE BEEN INSTALLED throughout THE UK, IRELAND, Throughout NORWAY, SWEDEN, DENMARK, ICELAND, GREECE, SPAIN, THE NETHERLANDS SINGAPORE, AND throughout THE USA. (2007 SHELL OIL ALGAE TO FUEL PROJECT UK. UTILISES BIOFENCES) (2008 SAPPHIRE ENERGY, SAN DIEGO UTILISE BIOFENCES) • NEW INSTALLATION COMPLETED JULY 2008 IN HAWAII, 3 UNDER CONTRACT FOR CALPOLY, AND 2 OTHERS FOR BUSINESSES IN MALAYSIA. 1 PLANNED NORWAY. (2009)1st Q • CURRENTLY COMPLETING UK POWER UTILITY INSTALLATION FOR CARBON ABATEMENT R&D INDUSTRIAL POWER PLANT, AND WORKING WITH MONTANA CONSORTIUM TO PLAN AND BUILD A 1MILLION USG/PA BIODIESEL PLANT BASED ON ALGAE SEEDSTOCK PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING • SYSTEMS CAN BE SITUATED BOTH INDOORS AND OUTDOORS AND AT A RANGE OF ATTITUDES. VERTICALLY, HORIZONTALLY , AT AN ANGLE! WHAT SCALE OF PRODUCTIVITY CAN BE ACHIEVED? • THEORETICALLY ANY! GIVEN THE MODULAR CONSTRUCTION OF THE BIOFENCE SYSTEM. QUANTITY AND CONFIGURATION OF ARRAYS CAN BE CONSTRUCTED TO MEET SITE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS. • TUBE DIAMETER AND MANIFOLD SIZES CAN AND ARE MADE TO MEASURE. • SYSTEMS CAN BE HYBRIDISED WITH OPEN PONDS OR FERMENTORS FACILITATIING ASPECTS OF PROCESS CONTROL, PERMITTING COMBINATIONS OF MIXOTROPHIC 11/10/2008 8 PRODUCTION.
  9. 9. THE Varicon BIOFENCES IN OPERATION 11/10/2008 9
  10. 10. THE Varicon BIOFENCES IN OPERATION 11/10/2008 10
  11. 11. INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH APPLICATION 11
  12. 12. RANGE OF APPLICATIONS • AQUACULTURE, as feed for fish, shellfish and crustacea • PHARMACEUTICALS • NEUTRACEUTICALS • BIO-REMEDIATION • CARBON SEQUESTRATION / ABATEMENT • BIO-FUELS • DRUG DELIVERY. 11/10/2008 12
  13. 13. THE Varicon BIOFENCES IN OPERATION 11/10/2008 13
  14. 14. MICRO-ALGAL PRODUCTS • COLOURANTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS: XANTHOPHYLLS LUTEIN, β CAROTENE, VITAMINS • FATTY ACIDS: SATURATED AND POLYUNSATURATED, TRIGLYCERIDES EFA’S • ENZYMES: CELLULASE, SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE,PHOSPHOGLYCERATE KINASE, LUCERIFASE & LUCIFERIN, RESTRICTION ENZYMES. • POLYMERS: POLYSACCHARIDES, STARCH, POLY β HYDROXYBUTYRIC ACID • SPECIAL PRODUCTS: PEPTIDES, TOXINS, STEROLS, AMINOACIDS. LUBRICANTS • FUELS: BIO-EHTANOL, HYDROGEN, BIO-DEISEL, • WHOLE CELL INCINERATION OR PYROLYSIS ETC. 11/10/2008 14
  15. 15. LARGE SCALE PBR 11/10/2008 15
  16. 16. SIMPLIFIED MASS BALANCE PHOTOSYNTHETIC CONVERSION OF CO2 TO BIOMASS AND O2 PHOTONS CARBON DIOXIDE BIOMASS (CH18N17O.56) PHOTOSYNTHETIC CARBON DIOXIDE CONVERSION MACRO/MICRO OXYGEN NUTRIENTS 11/10/2008 16
  17. 17. SELECTION OF CANDIDATES FOR ‘PROOF OF PRINCIPLE. • CHLORELLA VULGARIS CELLS CHLOROPLAST 11/10/2008 17 CARBON CYCLE
  18. 18. EFFICIENT UTILISATION OF ORGANIC SUBSTRATES Utilisation of farm waste; Anearobic digestion. • How would that assist in an algal production process? • Production of methane: Could be utilised to provide power for operating algae plant. • Production of CO2; Necessary for photosynthesis • Production of a digestate: rich in dissolved organics, growth media • Production of waste heat: valuable energy source for maintaining process temperature during cold periods or for drying biomass after dewatering. 11/10/2008 18
  19. 19. AVERAGE COMPOSTION OF ALGAE • ALGAL COMPOSTION VARIES WIDELY; • SPECIES DEPENDANT; • ENVIRONMENTALLY DEPENDANT • SUBSTRATE DEPENDANT. In broad terms comprising of Carbohydrates, lipid, protein, pigments, vitamins, anti-oxidants. Algae can be manipulated and stressed to produce unaturally high levels of certain components, lipid for example: In broad terms: Gross CV does not exceed 20Mj / kg of dry biomass. Lipid will not exceed 50% on a dry weight basis under the most extreme limitation of NO3
  20. 20. PRODUCTIVITY Bag Reactor V’s Varicon BioFence CONTIUOUS BAG SYSTEM Nannochloropsis Winter production or artificial light Summer production, natural daylight % harvest rate/day mean cell density % harvest rate/day mean cell density 16% 20 million/ml 24% 25 million/ml VARICON BIOFENCE. Nannochloropsis Winter production or artificial light Summer production, natural daylight % harvest rate/day mean cell density % harvest rate/day mean cell density 25% 120 million/ml 35% >600 million/ml 11/10/2008 20
  21. 21. CARBON FIXATION (QUANTITATIVE VALUE) • 1.8MT of CO2 will yield 0.8MT algal biomass & 1.0MT O2 • Under typical biotic/abiotic conditions: – aquatic micro-algae can fix Carbon at 10 the rate of terrestrial plants – The solar energy capturing efficiency of algae is in the order of 5%, terrestrial plants = 0.2% • PBR systems operate at between 15% and 33% the theoretical maximum • 8moles of photons (=0.175Mj @680nm) will fix 1 molecule of CO2 • Redfeild Ratio: C:Si:N:P = 106:15:16:1 • Hu et.al. (1998) reports PBR productivity levels in the order of 20- 25gr/L d.w basis at an optical path of 14 mm with a light intensity of 2000µmol m-2 s-1 • BioFence current optical path is 14mm.
  22. 22. STRAIN SELECTION? • KEY OBJECTIVE: MAXIMISE SPECIFIC GROWTH RATE • OIL CONTENT, FATTY ACID COMPOSTION. • WHICH STRAIN TO CHOOSE? IDEAL CHARACTERSISTICS • High carbon fixing capacity per unit dry weight biomass • Fast growth rate • Resist & suppress colonisation of potentially invasive species • Maintain culture integrity for prolonged periods of operations (6 month to 1 year) • Tolerate; – high aqueous CO2 concentrations at low pH – abiotic extremes (temperature, light intensity etc) – hydro-dynamic stress – Variations in gas quality??? – Heavy metal contaminants • And Or utilise Other gases NOx SOx 11/10/2008 22
  23. 23. IMPORTANT LIGHT FREQUENCIES Violet 380–450nm Blue 450–495nm Green 495–570nm Yellow 570–590nm Orange 590–620nm Red 620–750 nm 11/10/2008 23
  24. 24. CHLORELLA VULGARIS GROWTH PERFORMANCE. 11/10/2008 24
  25. 25. EXAMPLE OF BIOTIC EFFECT (INFLUENCE OF CELL DENSITY) 11/10/2008 25
  26. 26. INDUSTRIAL PBR CONCEPT 11/10/2008 26
  27. 27. LIMITING FACTORS. • PBR DESIGN-Environmental factors – Tube diameter, trade off between volumetric carrying capacity and optical path, (cost implication!) – Influence of hydro-dynamic stresses on algal strain, excessive mechanical stresses cause algae to lose cell wall integrity (damaged flagella, rupturing of theca, fracturing of silicaceous or calcite exoskeletons of diatoms or coccoliths) – Light-dark ratio (too much light causing cell damage, too little limiting rate of photosynthesis) (cost implication!) – Light quality (optimal frequencies, ratio of short to long wavelengths (Red/Blue) – Seasonality (photoperiodism) influence of diurnal variation in light duration and intensity, (under natural daylight conditions, uptake of nutrient is not steady state!!!) • Ambient temperature; affects rate of growth, low temp=low growth excessive high high- temp will cause process to collapse . – Super saturation of process with Oxygen (by-product of photosynthetic process) definite growth limiting factor. – Nutrient availability throughout process cycles ( large scale PBR may need multiple controlled inputs throughout process. 11/10/2008 27
  28. 28. OTHER PBR’S 11/10/2008 28
  29. 29. Recovery of Algae - Products Light Energy mech. Energy, Water, Mineral Salts Mineral Salts Corbon Dioxide Waste Water Waste Water Cultivation in Enclosed System or Open System Photobiotic Reactor / Algae - Bacteria - System Algae Concentration Algae Concentration Settling Tank Nozzle Clarifier Clarifier Extraction and/or Algae Concentration Liquid Clarifier / Decanter Washing Decanter Phase Solvent Crude Algae Algae-Extract Material to further Processing Drum Drier Spray Drier Drying in the sun Condensate Final Algae- Meal to further Processing 11/10/2008 29
  30. 30. Varicon CELL-HI ALGAL MEDIA All-in-one Algal Culture Media • All-in-one powder Cell-hi F2P is based on the Guillard F/2 medium and has exactly the same N, P trace element and vitamin content. Most people in aquaculture use this - 1 kg makes 10,000 litres culture medium at F/2 strength • Cell-hi WP based on the Walnes medium and has exactly the same N, P trace element and vitamin content. Walnes is recommended by the UK Culture Collection for algae and protozoa. It is particularly good for flagellate algae such as Isochrysis and Tetraselmis - 1.5 kg makes 10,000 litres culture medium at Walnes strength • Cell-hi TEViT has all the trace elements and vitamins required by aquaculture species but without the nitrates and phosphates which can be bought locally from cheap fertilizer. Fantastic economy - 63 g makes 10,000 litres culture medium. For diatoms just add 30 grams of sodium metasilicate for each 1000 litres of culture water after adding the Cell-hi. 11/10/2008 30
  31. 31. ______________Aquaculture Fisheries Amenities FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT TECHNICAL SALES AT: Merebrook Business park Hanley Road Malvern Worcestershire WR13 6NP Tel: + 44 1684 312980 Fax: + 44 1684 312981 www.variconaqua.com aqua-solutions@varicon.co.uk JMCD 11/10/2008 BioenergyWM Initiative. Millenium Point 31

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