Algae as a biofuel feedstock ?


    A question posted on Linkedin group….Algae to Growdiesel
    Does anyone have Algae Biofuels Production Technologies Worldwide Report ? I will be really thankfull if someone can share the document with me. I want to study the report for educational purpose.

    A comment by Andreas Abraham

    I guess you can give up your efforts. Every day just another group, or firm or person pops up and loudly claiming unbelievable things about how the world could be saved by producung biofuels from algae. Off course it works, – and there is no doubt about it. But it is a “nishe-product” and this it will stay. And such a list want last very long I am afraid. There will be a number of upsprings that just will vanish, and this time very quietly.
    I start to get a little bit annoyed about the persistance from the players of the algae-biofuel front, which might be true believers (this I will give some of them!), neglecting som vital facts about what kind of masses realy are necessary to fire up our transportation system and the good old combustion engine, – and this nationwide? or even world wide?
    I realy think there are quite a few among those acteurs who are only in this game to skim the market for investors or subvention money – this here reminds also a little bit like 2001 when the “New Market” collapsed. A number of investors are putting their money into something they don`t understand and a lot of people are disclaiming that this technology would bring growth and wealth until the great awakening takes place, – the insight that no money will be earned with this technology!
    BBB policy I would call that!
    Here just some facts (when I will get a little more time I will publish this a little more detailed!):
    In our algae project (which purely produces for food/feed outlets) we need about 19 hectares for a bio reactor plant producing 2000 – 2500, maybe 3000 tons of biomasses per year.
    For the oil-industry it seems to be economical feasible if algae-bio-diesel is being produced for 0,48 $ per litre in an ordering amount of 210 million litre – which equals the yearly fuel requirement of 200.000 standard model factory cars. For such a production a floor space of 85 square kilometre would be necessary. The liquid volume in such a production would be 17.2 million cubic metre. This amount of liquid has to be kept floating steadily, daily harvest of at least half of the reactor volume has to be undertaken daily, the biomasses have to be dried, and, and and ……
    The average lipid content (which is not biofuel yet) of algae is about 33%. Theoretical one could produce 7-10 litre extractable algae-oil per squaremetre from a faultless running production plant (please notice the word “faultless”!).
    One kg of algae biomasses (dried) has the calorific value of 24 mj (Mega joule) – to produce 1 kg of dried algae biomasses (waterhousehold-fluctation-movement-harvest drying) one would need 34 till 42 mj – that is for an average production facility based on 20 hectar (ponds want make so much more difference in energy consumption. The paddle wheels – losses from evaporation process that have to be filled up again – harvest – drying….) For sizes in algae plants like I have given example above the energy balance should be considerable different, – and I guess not to the better. On top of this now comes the cracking process and transport!
    So much the information for your educational purpose.
    We do believe in algae. It is a wonderfull feedstock and a economical rewarding one, – but not as bio fuel!

    Subscribe to our Newsletter!

    Stay up to date with the latest news and relevant updates from us.