WFU Biofuels

Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and associates making and testing vegetable-oil based fuels.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Finding a flue to stuff with algae...

It would appear that in order to efficiently grow the oil-producing algae that it needs to have a constant high level of CO2.
This comes from "An Algae-based Fuel" by Olivier Danielo, published on the greenfuelonline.com website:
"In order to have an optimal yield, these algae need to have CO2 in large quantities in the basins or bioreactors where they grow. Thus, the basins and bioreactors need to be coupled with traditional thermal power centers producing electricity which produce CO2 at an average tenor of 13% of total flue gas emissions."
Full PDF article

Who knew that Google Answers would have information?
I don't really understand the motivation of the original poster (who is trying to pay for information on what species of kelp produce the most oil, even though research has shown that microalgae are much more prolific), but there are some decent suggestions about algal species that outperform others. It appears that the species I included before, Tetraselmis sueica, and another one, P. tricornutum, were the best producers, according to research posted on veggievan.org. Oops! The link to the VeggieVan.org article doesn't work, and I can't find where the article is on their site. Oh well. This was cited by the Google Answers page below.

Here is the Google answers page.

I'll keep chipping away at this... All of you WFU Biofuels folks, let me know in which direction this needs to be focussed in order for us to be able to get an algal farm up as soon as possible. (Species names? Growing techniques? Cost estimates?)

Easing into microalgae oil production.

I've been looking at some of the published articles on production of oil for biodiesel from microalgaes, and it seems that there is a LOT of work being done on this.
The National Renewable Energy Labs used to be working on this, but their program lost funding in 1998. However, in the ramp-up of their research, they managed to establish a collection of the most promising oil-producing algae at the University of Hawaii. (Sounds like an excuse for a field trip to me...)

Although the papers I've read don't read easily into a recipe for following their work (at least not for a lay person like myself), but I was able to find one species mentioned in the following paper:
non peer-reviewed article from Environmental Research Center in Italy.
They seem to be studying the species Tetraselmis suecica.

The NREL study cites that the open-pond model for growing algae is probably the most effective, due to its low-cost. While the NREL study is a little dated now perhaps, they did some great groundwork into this, refining a list of over 3000 algals species to come up with about 300 species that are promising.

We'll get our algae farm going before you know it!

More findings to come...

Easing into microalgae oil production.

I've been looking at some of the published articles on production of oil for biodiesel from microalgaes, and it seems that there is a LOT of work being done on this.
The National Renewable Energy Labs used to be working on this, but their program lost funding in 1998. However, in the ramp-up of their research, they managed to establish a collection of the most promising oil-producing algae at the University of Hawaii. (Sounds like an excuse for a field trip to me...)

Although the papers I've read don't read easily into a recipe for following their work (at least not for a lay person like myself), but I was able to find one species mentioned in the following paper:
NREL study cites that the open-pond model for growing algae is probably the most effective, due to its low-cost. While the NREL study is a little dated now perhaps, they did some great groundwork into this, refining a list of over 3000 algals species to come up with about 300 species that are promising.

We'll get our algae farm going before you know it!

More findings to come...