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Ethanol from Seaweed -Exploiting what the alginate industry doesn’t use for fun and profit.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethanol from Seaweed -Exploiting what the alginate industry doesn’t use for fun and profit."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethanol from Seaweed -Exploiting what the alginate industry doesn’t use for fun and profit


3 Objective Can you profitably make ethanol from Seaweed in Norway?

4 Seaweed Seaweed has three main carbohydrate – Laminarin – Mannitol – Alginate Contents vary throughout the year

5 Sourcing Seaweed is an abundant resource along the Norwegian Coastline. Laminarian Hyperborea – 150.000 tons/year – FMC Biopolymer Haugesund Some experiments in seaweed cultivation – Seaweed Energy Solutions

6 >Making money fermenting laminarin Previous group


8 Why merely fermenting algae is silly Ethanol is a low value product compared to alginate Laminarin and mannitol make up at most 45% of dryweight in the best of conditions 1 NOK in earnings  roughly 1,3 NOK in costs – Cost of wild seaweed 176 NOK/wet ton  900 + NOK/dry ton An integrated ethanol/biogas plant needs a raw material cost of <400 NOK/dry ton 90 % yield 90 NOK 1 ton wet algae - 90 kg sugars 57,5 liters of ethanol 176 NOK 212 NOK

9 Processing The alginate industry requires only alginate. The ethanol plant only uses the other two carbohydrates. Alginate can be separated out before or after fermentation Fermentation can be done with a mixture of yeast and bacteria Laminaran easy to ferment, mannitol somewhat harder – Partially oxidizing conditions Pretreatment Fermentation Separation/ distillation Dried seaweed Ethanol Alginate

10 Potential for sale Ethanol primarily for two purposes – Transport fuel Mixing with gasoline E5, E85 Norway mandates 3,5 % with a potential for a 5 % mandate eventually. Needs distillation to around 100 % ethanol – Heating fuel Fireplaces fueled by ethanol – Ethanol around 96 % needed Clean burn, no chimney needed

11 Economics Investment around 10 million NOK Costs around 8,6 million Production 3,7 million liters of ethanol per year on an eight month production schedule Profit highly dependent on sales price – Fuel ethanol sold for just 3,7 Nok/liter (Brazilian ethanol bulk price) – 13,7 million income  5,1 million profit  Roughly 50 % – Fireplace ethanol sold for around 25 Nok/liter (retail). – Up to 23 million income  14,6 million profit  Roughly 140 %

12 Conclusions Standalone ethanol production from Seaweed is not very viable at current prices and technology level The price of fuel ethanol is a bit low Potential for good profitability through other uses of bioethanol such as for heating if the ethanol plant is integrated with a cheap source of raw material such as an alginate plant

13 Whatever

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