Published on May 22, 2009
Algae the energy solution? Algae – the energy solution? Presentation by Sebastian Olényi – ESBS, may 2009
The energy challenge gy g Oil production runs out Climate warms due to CO2 We need more energy Alternative sources are needed d d
Algae advantages g g ‘Food vs. fuel’ becomes food and fuel normal crops have only a 1% photosynthetic effiency, algae at least 5% (presumably up to 14% in optimum conditions) algae have a low land footprint, making yields of f i ki i ld f biomass 15times higher than for normal crops can use saline water
The biofuel feedstock
Vast amount of possibilities p
Requirements for an algae startup q g p • Top algae scientists g p p • Algae production experience • Structured Programs • Strain selection • Cultivation development • Extraction • Scale‐up • Scale up • Product Development gp • Strong partner • Capacity for Technology Risk • Professional execution • Professional culture Professional culture
Example process p p
The next steps p • Pilot facility • CO2 CO2 • Access • Competence to operate • Sales contracts • Vegetable Oil • Protein/Carbohydrates Protein/Carbohydrates • produce ethanol, biodiesel, milk, animal feed and compost fertilizer p • Commercial Plant design • Commercial roll out plan
Challenges g Overall challenge is to develop low‐cost high‐productivity production systems at scale (e.g. 1000 hectares): d i l ( h ) Open ponds account for > 90% current worldwide production, but > 10 times too expensive for biofuels d i b i i f bi f l Photobioreactors are excellent for high‐value products, but >> 100 times too expensive for biofuels i i f bi f l Technical challenges are mostly upstream ‐ related to algae biology & transition from lab to outdoors
Lessons Learned Lessons Learned Many microalgae can accumulate neutral lipids All l All algae produce lots of biomass d l f bi GMO‐engineering of algae is difficult Diatoms and greens most promising No perfect strain for all climates, water types
Harvesting algal blooms from oceans g g not energetically or cost effective sea water is oligotrophic have to add nutrients like iron low cell densities Exception coastal lagoons, possible contained environment E.g. Commerically Spirulina from Lake Texcoco and cyanobacterial blooms in Oregon ‐ again limited
Open‐pond approach p p pp Biomass fast, easy and cheap C Contamination i i Density Harvesting
Bioreactor‐approach pp GMO‐containment B Better for cold regions f ld i Controlled environment Lipid induction Expensive
So Are Microalgae a Realistic So Are Microalgae a Realistic Source of Biofuels? Source of Biofuels? Yes B ill l ki i h b i R&D k h But we are still lacking in the basic R&D to make them viable I ill k i d It will take time and money
Our project? p j
Biology as long as possible: Biodiesel Ability to sustain production of high‐oil‐yielding microalgae strains high oil yielding microalgae strains Ability to extract the oil from the algae Capability of converting of microalgal oil into Biodiesel Identifying the high‐yielding microalgal strains i l l t i Identifying the most optimal methods to cultivate them th d t lti t th
Carbon capturing p g R&D‐head Jean‐Yves Malpote is in conseil d‘administration Local strains are best‐fitted Wastewater usage?
Project suggestion j gg Harvest and identify local strains from Strasbourg G Grow and select them for biomass‐production or lipid d l h f bi d i li id production T Try wastewater‐treatment Test genetical engineering for lipid‐content enrichment
1. Algae the energy solution? Algae – the energy solution?Presentation by Sebastian Olényi – ESBS, may 2009 . 2. The energy challenge gyg Oil ...
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