Oil content in Algae/Seaweed.

Bio-fuel from algae/seaweed.

There are two routes to produce fuel using algae and seaweed. Selection of species which have a high lipid content and extraction of the oil, Seaweed low in oil and high in fibre or polysaccharides can be converted into simple sugars. Both are viable options but the last one might be easier because the conversion of seaweed/algae in sugar is a very simple process after which it can be fermented to produce different types of alcohol.

The residual biomass from oil extraction can be partly used as high protein animal feed and also as source of small amounts of other high-value micro algal products. The other route called hydra-thermo chemical processing of algae biomass is a no enzymatic route for de-polymerisation of biomass into sugars which than can be used for the biological production of fuels but also all kind of chemicals and operates at much lower pressures and temperatures needed for liquefaction of the biomass otherwise.

 
However, the diatom alga needs silicon in the water to grow, whereas green algae require nitrogen to grow. Under nutrient deficiency the algae produced more oils per weight of algae. However the algae growths also were significantly less. While certain green algae strains are very tolerant to temperature fluctuations, diatoms have a fairly narrow temperature range.

There conclusion: in-depth research on this topic and in the end has said that there is no one strain or species of algae that can be said to be the best in terms of oil yield for bio diesel. However they did conclude that the diatoms and secondly green algae were the most promising.

 

Need for bio-diesel and petroleum.

The global economy literally runs on energy. An economic growth combined with a rising population has led to a steady increase in the global energy demands. If the governments around the

world stick to current policies, the world will need almost 60% more energy in 2030 than today, of this 45% will be accounted by China and India together. Transportation is one of the fastest growing sectors using 27% of the primary energy and as such the continued use of fossil fuels is not sustainable. Their combustion will lead to increased energy-related emissions of green house gases (GHG) viz., carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). There is growing consensus that the most promising global-scale biomass solution is represented by micro and macro algae since they are Mother Nature's most efficient practitioners of photosynthesis (the fixation of carbon dioxide), resulting in the highest yields of biomass and oils among all aquatic species, and are in turn an order of magnitude more efficient than terrestrial plants.

By the current and possible higher prices of fossil oil in the future large scale production of biofuels we will have to grow suitable biomass species and converted in organic or biofuel, at its basis an integrated biomass production in combination with a conversion system (IBPCS) at costs that enable the overall system to be operated at a profit at current prices. To do so it requires the combination and optimization of several factors such as biomass culture, growth management, transport to conversion plants, drying, product separation, recycling, waste (liquid and solid)management, transport of saleable products and marketing.

 

All algae comprise in varying proportions: Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats and Nucleic Acids. While the percentages vary with the type of algae, there are algae types that are comprised up to 40% of their overall mass by fatty acids.

(Lipids) It is this fatty acid (oil) that can be extracted and converted into bio diesel.

 

 

Source: Becker, (1994)

Name

Strain            Protein

Carbohydrates

Lipids/oil

Nucleic acid

Scenedesmus obliquus

50-60

10-17

12-14

3-6

Scenedesmus quadricauda

47

-

1.9

-

Scenedesmus dimorphus

8-18

21-52

16-40

-

Chlamydomonas rheinhardii

48

17

21

1

Chlorella vulgaris

51-58

12-17

14-22

4-5

Chlorella pyrenoidosa

57

26

2

-

Spirogyra sp

6-20

33-64

11-21

-

Dunaliella bioculata

49

4

8

-

Dunaliella salina

57

32

6

-

Euglena gracilis

39-61

14-18

14-20

1-2

Prymnesium parvum

28-45

25-33

22-38

1-2

Tetraselmis maculata

52

15

3

-

Porphyridium cruentum

28-39

40-57

9-4

-

Spirulina platensis

46-63

8-14

4-9

2.5

Spirulina maxima

60-71

13-16

6-7

3-4.5

Synechoccus sp

63

15

11

5

Anabaena cylindrica

43-56

35-30

4-2

-

Chrondrus crispus

11-18

55-66

1.5-4

-

Palmaria palmate

12-21

46-50

0.9-3.5

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microalgae, use a photosynthetic process similar to higher plants and can complete an entire growing cycle every few days. In fact, the biomass doubling time for microalgae during exponential growth can be as short as 3.5h. Some microalgae are even capable of grow heterotrophically on organic carbon source. However, heterotrophic production is not efficient as using photosynthetic microalgae, because the renewable organic carbon source required is ultimately produced by photosynthetic crop plants.

Microalgae are basically veritable miniature biochemical factories, and are more photosynthetically efficient than terrestrial plants and are efficient CO2 fixers.

Microalgae, use a photosynthetic process similar to higher plants and can complete an entire growing cycle every few days. In fact, the biomass doubling time for microalgae during exponential growth can be as short as 3.5h. Some microalgae are even capable of grow heterotrophic ally on organic carbon source. However, heterotrophic production is not efficient as using photosynthetic microalgae, because the renewable organic carbon source required is ultimately produced by photosynthetic crop plants.

Microalgae are basically veritable miniature biochemical factories, and are more photo synthetically efficient than terrestrial plants and are efficient CO2 fixers.

The use of algae as energy crops has potential, due to their easy adaptability to growth conditions, the possibility of growing either in fresh- or marine waters and avoiding the use of land. Furthermore, two thirds of earth's surface is covered with water, thus algae would truly be renewable option of great potential for global energy needs.

In basic the new or special type phototropic algae are most commonly grown in open ponds and photo bioreactors. The open pond cultures are still economically more favourable, but there are the issues of land use cost, water availability, and appropriate climatic conditions. Further, there is the problem of contamination by fungi, bacteria and protozoa and competition by other microalgae. photo bioreactors offer a closed culture environment, which is protected from direct fallout, relatively safe from invading microorganisms, where temperatures are controlled. Macro algae or seaweed are grown in the sea and estuaries, about 65% as such cultivated and the 35% harvested in the wild. Most of the seaweed used in Japan is cultivated. All most all micro algae are now grown in reactors. This technology is relatively expensive compared to the open ponds because of the infrastructure costs and production near the shores in the sea.

The use of algae as energy crops has potential, due to their easy adaptability to growth conditions, the possibility of growing either in fresh- or marine waters and avoiding the use of land. Furthermore, two thirds of earth's surface is covered with water, thus algae would truly be renewable option of great potential for global energy needs.

In basic the new or special type phototropic algae are most commonly grown in open ponds and photo bioreactors. The open pond cultures are still economically more favourable, but there are the issues of land use cost, water availability, and appropriate climatic conditions. Further, there is the problem of contamination by fungi, bacteria and protozoa and competition by other microalgae. photo bioreactors offer a closed culture environment, which is protected from direct fallout, relatively safe from invading microorganisms, where temperatures are controlled. Macro algae or seaweed are grown in the sea and estuaries, about 65% as such cultivated and the 35% harvested in the wild. Most of the seaweed used in Japan is cultivated. All most all micro algae are now grown in reactors and this is more expensive.

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