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Microalgae culture for biofuel production Dr Navid R Moheimani BSc, MSc, PhD Chief Scientific Officer Smorgon Fuels Pty Ltd

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Presentation on theme: "Microalgae culture for biofuel production Dr Navid R Moheimani BSc, MSc, PhD Chief Scientific Officer Smorgon Fuels Pty Ltd"— Presentation transcript:

1 Microalgae culture for biofuel production Dr Navid R Moheimani BSc, MSc, PhD Chief Scientific Officer Smorgon Fuels Pty Ltd

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3 Fats or Oils + Methanol + Catalyst FAME & Glycerol Our capacity is = 100,000,000 L/y

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5 Methods of CO 2 removal (CDR): Biofixation of CO 2 by photosynthetic organisms Injecting liquefied CO 2 into the deep sea or burying CO 2 underground

6 Slow growth of higher plants High fresh water requirement of higher plants High cost of land for growing higher plants No competition with food supply Why Microalgae?

7 There are many marine and freshwater species Photosynthetic, calcified, etc High Lipid productivity High growth rate ( times canola) Potential species

8 1950’s MIT Feasibility tests for CO 2 Conversion 1970’s UC Berkeley wastewater treatment systems First commercial open pond algal farms in US US DOE initiates $50 million flue gas/algae program 1980’s UC Berkeley wastewater treatment systems First commercial open pond algal farms in US US DOE initiates $50 million flue gas/algae program 1990’s Japan MITI $200 million bioreactor program (discontinued) German and other EU government programs Commercialization in Australia, Israel, and China; nutraceuticals production exceeds 4,000 tons/year Greenfuel Technology Founded design and experimentation 2004: Gen1 deployed at MIT Cogeneration Facility 2005: Gen2 installed at 1000 MW power plant in Southwest; Instigated first International license with The Victor Smorgon Group 2006: Developing coal (NYSERDA) and other applications (eg oil, waste water treatment, etc.) ; Building Gen3 Pilot Project

9 Algae Biotechnology transforms Carbon Management from a Cost into a Revenue Power Plant / Energy Source Flue Gases NOx + CO 2 from combustion flue gas emissions Patented Algal Biotechnology Cleaned Gases GreenFuel bioreactor Algal Biotechnology Converts Flue Gases & Sunlight into Biofuels through Photosynthesis “Used” Algae have Multiple Potential Uses Sunlight Co-Firing Fermentation Esterification Drying Green Power Aus$60/t Biodiesel Aus$700/t Ethanol Aus$380/t Protein Meal Aus$400/t

10 HARVEST Algae Harvested from Bioreactor OIL SEPERATION Manufacture BIODIESEL (High Value) Ferment Biomass for ETHANOL (Equivalent Value to Animal Feed) Protein Meal ANIMAL FEED denatured by heat (Low Value) Digest Biomass BIOGAS Competing with Gas (Low Value) DRYING Co-Fired for BURNER FUEL (Low Value) ANIMAL FEED High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids (High Value) Potential Uses for Micro-Algae

11 Aims of Project Optimise C fixation Identify suitable species and cultivation system Assess economics of large scale culture Optimise the growth on site Scaling up

12 How to be successful in Algae for biofuel production? Finding algaeFinding Photobioreactor Dewatering Post Harvesting Methodologies

13 Closed photobioreactors Open ponds Comparison of productivity of microalgae

14 Limits to productivity of Microalgae  Physical factors such as light (quality and quantity), temperature, nutrient, pH, O 2 and CO 2  Biotic factors including pathogens, predation and competition by other algae, and  Operational factors such as: shear produced by mixing, dilution rate, depth and harvest frequency

15 Costing of Microalgae

16 Geoseqestration Potential Trading / Penalty GreenFuel Carbon-Dioxide Mitigation ($ / ton) Kyoto Cost Possible Cost in Aust Forest Sequestration GreenFuel Sequestration Tonnes of CO 2 Sequestered per Year / Hectare Low Sunlight High Sunlight The Emissions to Biofuels technology is based on a Profit rather than Cost model CO 2 Mitigation

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18 Fuel Carbon (60%) Day Time Carbon Emissions (50%) Flue Carbon (100 %) Fuel Carbon (100%) Open Cycle Carbon Closed Cycle Carbon Management Closed Cycle Biomass Carbon Management Clean Gases Algae Biomass as Fuel Source (40% Fuel Carbon) Night Time Carbon Emissions (50%) Gross Calorific Value measures 27 MJ/kg for our current microalgae

19 Development Process Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 1 On-Site Evaluation Feasibility Unit conducts 3-6 week on-site test for optimal algae production Field trial requires only slipstream of gas from emission stack Pilot Program Installation of Mini Pilot onto ¼ acre facility Confirmation of all hardware, design, operability with scalability validation Additional results: Biofuels for internal use Full Scale Build out pilot program with modular expansion Project optimised for maximum Biofuel yield and ROI

20 Biomax trial at Hazelwood  Microalgae selection (on going)  Testing flue gas on freshwater and seawater algae  Testing the suitability of water resources  Measuring productivity  Building ESU, floating bioreactor (20-25 g/m 2 /d)

21 ACHEIVEMENTS Engineering Scale Unit Developed, Proprietary Design 3D Matrix Bioreactor setup includes equipment for Algal Harvesting, Dewatering, and Water Recycling Introduction of Bulk Flue Gases Consistent Growth Rates achieved at an annualised rate of over 300t per annum of Algal Biomass. Proved conceptual economic model for Capex v Opex v Growth Rate 660 Tonnes of CO 2 sequestered per hectare installed ISSUES Materials Discovery / Development not adequate for commercial Rollout Harvesting issues due to materials used for 3D Matrix not releasing Algae easily Vertical system (Gen 3)

22 Horizontal system (Gen 4) ACHEIVEMENTS Thin Film Bioreactor setup includes equipment for Algal Harvesting, Dewatering, and Water Recycling utilising Bulk Flue Gases Significantly reduced Capex Economic Commercial Scale project Consistent Growth Rates achieved at an annualised rate of over 100t per annum of Algal Biomass. 220 Tonnes of CO2 sequestered per hectare installed ISSUES Reduced sequestration / growth rates

23 Uncertainties  Microalgae selection  Bioreactor geometry  Growth rate of microalgae  Contaminants  Water quality  Flue gas quality  Weather profile of each site

24 Show video

25 300 tons algae biomass/ha/y 1/3 of biomass = oil 100 tons of oil /ha/y At Hazelwood = 1000 ha = 100 Mt of oil 1 kg of biomass = 0.5 kg of “C” 27% of CO 2 is “C” 555 Kt of CO 2 fixed/y 1 Black balloon = 50 g of CO 2 BioMax will save 11.1 billion black balloons per year

26 1L of diesel = 2.67 Kg of CO 2 Ref: Biodiesel reduces net emissions of CO 2 by 78.45% Ref:NREL/SR UC Category L of Biodiesel will save 2.09 Kg of CO Mega L of Biodiesel will save 209 Kt of CO 2 1 Black balloon = 50 g of CO 2 Biomax will save 4.2 billion black balloons per year

27 Acknowledgments The Victor Smorgon Group (Biomax™) Hazelwood International Power


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