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An Overview of Biofuels and An In-depth Look at Algae Oil By Yuxuan Chong.

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1 An Overview of Biofuels and An In-depth Look at Algae Oil By Yuxuan Chong

2 Contents  Introduction to Biofuels  Types of Biofuels- 1 st, 2 nd, and 3 rd  Case Study: Brazil  Issues to Think About /wp- content/uploads/2009/06/BIOFUELS.jpg

3 What is biofuel?  Fuels derived from biomass  Include solid biomass, liquid fuel, biogas  Increased attention- Oil price spikes, increased energy security, greenhouse emissions.  Divided into 1 st, 2 nd, and 3 rd generations

4 1 st Generation Biofuel content/uploads/2007/09/biofuels_ft_hdr.jpg

5 1 st Generation Biofuel  Made from sugar, starch and vegetable oil  Many biofuel sources are food sources (corn, wheat)  Created the Food vs Fuel debate oons/fuel-vs-food_600.jpg

6 1 st Generation limitations  Limited production till food supplies are threatened  Dependent on subsidies and not cost competitive  Little reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (20% to 70%)

7 2 nd Generation Biofuel waste-e1282587184807.jpg

8 2 nd Generation Biofuel  Made from plants containing lignin and cellulose  Sources include non food parts of food crops (stems, leaves, husks), non-food crops (switchgrass) and industrial wastes (pulps, wood chips).  Increased reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (90%)  No food competition

9 3 rd Generation Biofuel

10 3 rd Generation Biofuel  Made from algae  Only require ocean water and wastewater  Produce 10-100 times more energy compared to 2 nd gen biofuel  39,000km 2 of algae can replaced all US petroleum fuel – 0.42% of US map, 1/7 area of corn harvested

11 Advantages of Algae Oil  Algae produce 300 times more oil compared to conventional crops  Algae grows 20 to 30 times faster, leading to shorter harvesting time  Can be grown on land not suitable for conventional crops (arid land, saline soil)

12 Disadvantages of Algae Oil  Carbon neutral ( Does not reduce atmospheric CO 2 )  Full potentials not realized commercially (can’t replicate experimental results)

13 Production Types  Photobioreactors  Closed Looped System  Open Pond

14 Photobioreactors  Pumping nutrients-laden water through plastic bags and exposing them to sunlight biofuels-tt001.jpg

15 Closed Loop System  System not exposed to open air  Prevent contamination  Greater conditions control  A need for sterile CO 2 gae-biodiesel-5.jpg

16 Open Pond  Mainly used to grow high lipid content algae  However, low lipid content algae survive better in open atmosphere content/uploads/2009/02/algae-open-pond.jpg

17 Algae Oil: Industrial Applications  nJJSP5c nJJSP5c  Taking CO 2 concentrated flue gas from power stations to grow algae.  Results: Same amount of CO 2 produced, but cleaner air, and more energy produced.

18 Algae Oil: Industrial Applications  Growing algae from sewage  Remove nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals and even pathogens  Results in algae production  Killing 2 birds with 1 stone

19 Case Study: Brazil  World’s 2 nd largest producer and largest exporter of ethanol fuel  1 st sustainable biofuels economy  Sugarcane-based – More efficient than US’s corn based biofuel  Sugarcane biofuel has 7 times more energy, and is 35% cheaper.

20 Case Study: Brazil  This possible only due to advanced agricultural technology, large amount of open spaces and tropical climate.  Hard to replicate elsewhere

21 Issues to think about content/uploads/2009/04/biofuels-cartoon.gif

22 Issues to think about  Oil price moderation  Food vs Fuel Debate  Poverty Reduction  Environmental impacts  Energy efficiency and balance  Solar energy efficiency  Carbon emission

23 Oil price moderation  Dwindling oil supply can lead to future price shock  Without biofuel, crude oil and gasoline will be trading 15% and 25% higher

24 Food vs Fuel  Real food prices drop by 75% from 1974 to 2005.  Prices increased recently despite record crops produced- maize(300%), wheat(127%), rice(170%)  Non-biofuel crop prices increased too due to switchover (barley)  Attributed to demand for biofuel production

25 Poverty Reduction  Create employment  Stabilize oil prices (Developing countries import oil)  Success depend heavily on individual government’s policies

26 Environmental impacts  Soil erosion and deforestation to make way for plantations  Removal of cellulose biomass deplete soil  Increased water pressure: To grow and process biofuel  Loss in biodiversity  Pollution: Increased level of Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde and other Aldehyde  Eg: 160% more Formaldehyde in Brazil

27 Energy efficiency and balance  Net energy gain: Difference in energy input/output  Energy needed to grow crops, process and transport biofuel  Little to negative energy gains  Eg: 1.29GAL fossil fuel give 1GAL corn biofuel

28 Solar energy efficiency  Plants vs Solar cells  Solar cells are 10 to 100 times more efficient at solar energy conversion  Biofuel sources are easier to grow oducing-worlds-largest-solar- winery.jpg content/uploads/2007/07/so ybean.jpg

29 Carbon emission  Carbon neutral – No net addition of CO 2 into the atmosphere  CO 2 emission in biofuel processing?

30 /lifecycleanalysis.jpg?w=468

31 References  

32 Questions?

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