Technology

Algae to Bio-Fuels - The Process

Algae production basically includes the sourcing of carbon dioxide, water, nutrients and light energy to the photosynthesis system for conversion to algae of a specific composition.

  • Carbon Dioxide Source – There are a number of potential carbon dioxide stackgas sources with high CO2 concentrations preferable for algae production, including power plants and energy intensive manufacturing facilities.
  • Water Supply – Water provides the critical hydrogen source for photosynthesis. Various algae species thrive in fresh water and/or high salinity water environments. Certain wastewater streams, containing high levels of nutrients, may also be effectively utilized for algae production.
  • Nutrient Source – The primary nutrients required for photosynthesis include nitrogen and phosphorous, sourced from conventional N/P fertilizers.
  • Light Energy – Sunlight provides the main energy source for conversion of CO2 and water into algae, generally 70% to 85% of the total energy requirements. Only the visible light portion of sunlight is useful for algae production and more specifically certain wavelengths are more efficiently absorbed.
  • Algae Composition – The composition of algae product is highly dependent on the specific species utilized and the photo-synthesis operating conditions employed. Algae products contain from 45% up to 80% carbon content in the form of lipids/oils, carbohydrates, proteins and hydrocarbons.

Lipids/Oils

  • Algae oil substitution of vegetable oil feedstocks (e.g., soybean oil, palm oil) for biodiesel industry.
  • Refined glycerine produced via algae-biodiesel production, for pharmaceutical and consumer products industries.
  • Specialty oils and fatty acids for dietary supplements and consumer product applications.

Carbohydrates

  • Substitution of agricultural sourced feedstocks for conversion of carbohydrates (sugars) to bio-ethanol (e.g., corn, sugar cane and sugar beets).
  • Production of bio-based polyolefin plastics for replacement of fossil fuel feedstocks.

Proteins

  • High protein content algae biomass for the animal food market, replacing agricultural-based protein sources (e.g., soybean meal).

Hydrocarbons

  • Production of renewable distillates via gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis for substitution of diesel fuels.

Biomass

  • Feedstock source for biomass power generation with substitution of fossil fuels.
  • Conversion of residual biomass following oil extraction to renewable distillates.

 

See the process diagram below

Sunlight

Sunlight provides the main energy source for conversion of CO2 and water into algae, generally 70% to 85% of the total energy requirements. Only the visible light portion of sunlight is useful for algae production and more specifically certain wavelengths are more efficiently absorbed.

Powerstation CO2

There are a number of potential carbon dioxide stackgas sources with high CO2 concentrations preferable for algae production, including power plants and energy intensive manufacturing facilities.

Nutrients

Water provides the critical hydrogen source for photosynthesis. Various algae species thrive in fresh water and/or high salinity water environments. Certain wastewater streams, containing high levels of nutrients, may also be effectively utilised for algae production.

Power

The Algae.Tec system is designed to capture carbon dioxide waste (Carbon Capture and Storage CCS) from power plants and manufacturing facilities, which feeds into the algae growth system.

Biomass

Feedstock source for biomass power generation with substitution of fossil fuels.

Conversion of residual biomass following oil extraction to renewable distillates.

Nutraceuticals

There exists a large variety of high value speciality algae based products and ingredients that have strong production potential. The short term focus will be on Chlorella, B-Carotene, Spirulina and Omega 3 oil algae markets.

Ethanol & Jet Fuel

Approximately 1,000 algae species studied show as potential for biofuels. Algae.Tec’s primary focus has been directed toward microalgae as the most efficient photosynthesis species for biofuels production.

High Protein Feedstock

  • High protein content algae biomass for the animal food market, replacing agricultural-based protein sources (e.g., soybean meal).

Algal Oil

  • Algae oil substitution of vegetable oil feedstocks (e.g., soybean oil, palm oil) for biodiesel industry.
  • Refined glycerine produced via algae-biodiesel production, for pharmaceutical and consumer products industries.
  • Specialty oils and fatty acids for dietary supplements and consumer product applications.

Speciality Algae Products

  • Substitution of agricultural sourced feedstocks for conversion of carbohydrates (sugars) to bio-ethanol (e.g., corn, sugar cane and sugar beets).
  • Production of bio-based polyolefin plastics for replacement of fossil fuel feedstocks.

Bio Diesel & Jet Fuel

Biodiesel has been produced commercially in Europe since the early 1990’s. Currently Europe accounts for more than 80% of global biodiesel consumption. Since 2006, biodiesel capacity has more than doubled.

AlgaeTec has signed a memorandum of understanding with German carrier Lufthansa. The accord triggered joint evaluation of the potential for aviation biofuel to be developed from clear algae oil.

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