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Energy balance of biogas production from microalgae: Development of an energy and mass balance model

Energy balance of biogas production from microalgae: Development of an energy and mass balance model

Milledge, John J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0252-6711 and Heaven, Sonia (2016) Energy balance of biogas production from microalgae: Development of an energy and mass balance model. Current Biotechnology, 4 (4). pp. 554-567. ISSN 2211-5501 (Print), 2211-551X (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.2174/2211550104666150722231755)

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Abstract

The paper describes the construction of a mechanistic energy balance model for the production of biogas from anaerobic digestion of micro-algal biomass grown in raceways, based on simple principles and taking into account growth, harvesting and energy extraction. The model compares operational energy inputs with the calorific value of the output biomass in terms of the energy return on operational energy invested (EROOI). Initial results indicate that production of microalgal biogas will require:

a) Favourable climatic conditions. The production of microalgal biofuel in UK would be energetically challenging at best.

b) Achievement of ‘reasonable yields’ equivalent to ~3% photosynthetic efficiency (25 g m-2 day-1).

c) Low or no cost and embodied energy sources of CO2 and nutrients from flue gas and wastewater.

d) Mesophilic rather than thermophilic digestion.

e) Adequate conversion of the organic carbon to biogas (≥ 60%).

The model itself provides a powerful assessment tool both for comparison of alternative options and potentially for benchmarking real schemes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microalgae, Algae, Bioenergy, Biogas, Anaerobic digestion, Energy balance
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2016 17:10
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13811

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