Matching Items (16)

Algae Growth for Lipid Production

Description

This study analyzes the feasibility of using algae cultivated from wastewater effluent to produce a biodiesel feedstock. The goal was to determine if the energy produced was greater than the

This study analyzes the feasibility of using algae cultivated from wastewater effluent to produce a biodiesel feedstock. The goal was to determine if the energy produced was greater than the operational energy consumed without consideration to constructing the system as well as the emissions and economic value associated with the process.

Four scenarios were created:
       1) high-lipid, dry extraction.
       2) high-lipid, wet extraction.
       3) low-lipid, dry extraction.
       4) low-lipid, wet extraction.
In all cases, the system required more energy than it produced. In high lipid scenarios, the energy produced is close to the energy consumed, and a positive net energy balance may be achieved with minor improvements in technology or accounting for coproducts. In the low lipid scenarios, the energy balance is too negative to be considered feasible. Therefore the lipid content affects the decision to implement algae cultivation.

The dry extraction and the wet extraction both require some level of mechanical drying and this makes the two methods yield similar results in terms of the energy analysis. Therefore, the extraction method does not dramatically affect the decision for implementing algae-based oil production from an energetic standpoint. The economic value of the oil in both high lipid scenarios results in a net profit despite the negative net energy. Emission calculations resulted in avoiding a significant amount of CO2 for high lipid scenarios but not for the low lipid scenarios. The CO2 avoided does not account for non-lipid biomass, so this number is an underestimation of the final CO2 avoided from the end products.

While the term "CO2 avoided" has been used for this study, it should be noted that this CO2 would be emitted upon use as a fuel source. These emissions, however, are not “new” CO2 because it has already been emitted and is being captured and recycled. Currently, literature is very divisive on the lipid content present in algae and this study shows that lipid content has a tremendous affect on energy and emissions impacts. The type of algae that can grow in wastewater effluent also should be investigated as well as the conditions that promote high lipid accumulation. The dewatering phase must be improved as it is extremely energy intensive and dominates the operational energy balance.

In order to compete, wet extraction must have a much more significant effect on the drying phase and must avoid the use of the human toxicants methanol and chloroform. Additionally, while the construction phase was beyond the scope of this project it may be a critical aspect in determining the feasibility these systems. Future research in this field should focus on lipid production, optimizing the belt dryer or finding a different method of dewatering, and allocating the coproducts.

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Date Created
  • 2012-05

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Assessing Light Use Efficiencies (LUEs) Of Benthic Reef Communities For Spectral Modeling Applications

Description

Coral reefs are diverse marine ecosystems, where reef building corals provide both the structure of the habitat as well as the primary production through their symbiotic algae, and alongside algae

Coral reefs are diverse marine ecosystems, where reef building corals provide both the structure of the habitat as well as the primary production through their symbiotic algae, and alongside algae living on the reef itself, are the basis of the food web of the reef. In this way, coral reefs are the ocean's "forests" and are estimated to support 25% of all marine species. However, due to the large size of a coral reef, the relative inaccessibility and the reliance on in situ surveying methods, our current understanding of reefs is spatially limited. Understanding coral reefs from a more spatially complete perspective will offer insight into the ecological factors that contribute to coral reef vitality. This has become a priority in recent years due to the rapid decline of coral reefs caused by mass bleaching. Despite this urgency, being able to assess the entirety of a coral reef is physically difficult and this obstacle has not yet been overcome. However, similar difficulties have been addressed in terrestrial ecosystems by using remote sensing methods, which apply hyperspectral imaging to assess large areas of primary producers at high spatial resolutions. Adapting this method of remote spectral sensing to assess coral reefs has been suggested, but in order to quantify primary production via hyper spectral imaging, light-use efficiencies (LUEs) of coral reef communities need to be known. LUEs are estimations of the rate of carbon fixation compared to incident absorbed light. Here, I experimentally determine LUEs and report on several parameters related to LUE, namely net productivity, respiration, and light absorbance for the main primary producers in coral reefs surrounding Bermuda, which consist of algae and coral communities. The derived LUE values fall within typical ranges for LUEs of terrestrial ecosystems, with LUE values for coral averaging 0.022 ± 0.002 mol O2 mol photons-1 day-1 at a water flow rate of 17.5 ± 2 cm s^(-1) and 0.049 ± 0.011 mol O2 mol photons-1 day-1 at a flow rate of 32 ± 4 cm s^(-1) LUE values for algae averaged 0.0335 ± 0.0048 mol O2 mol photons-1 day-1 at a flow rate of 17.5 ± 2 cm s^(-1). These values allow insight into coral reef productivity and opens the door for future remote sensing applications.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Determination of Higher Heating Value for Algal Products

Description

Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae represents one of many pathways for the sustainable replacement of fossil fuels in transportation. When processing and researching algal biofuel, determination of the higher heating value

Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae represents one of many pathways for the sustainable replacement of fossil fuels in transportation. When processing and researching algal biofuel, determination of the higher heating value (HHV) is paramount. Bomb calorimetry represents to current method for direct determination of HHV. When determining HHV’s indirectly, the industry standard is using one of many linear correlations relating elemental composition to HHV. Most of these correlations were developed from coal industry data, meaning that they do not necessarily fit algal product data well. In this study bomb calorimetry data and CHNS/O elemental composition data were collected for Chlorella, Micract, GS 5587.1, Kirchnella, and Gal 87.1 MM8 algae species. This data was added to CHNS/O and HHV values for other algal products in literature, and utilized to test the accuracy of the Dulong, Gumz, Vandralek and Boie correlations for algae products. Several preliminary algae specific correlations were proposed through a linear regression model of the data. Of the 5 samples tested, Kirchnella exhibited the highest HHV (23.2405 ± 0.0216 MJ/kg) and Chlorella exhibited the lowest (20.2055 ± 0.0484 MJ/kg). For both the experimental, and literature CHNS/O vs HHV data, the Vandralek and Boie correlations provided the best approximations in this study. For the totality of the data collected and researched in this study, 6 of 8 proposed correlations outperformed the Vandralek equation for HHV approximation. The most promising proposed correlations incorporated multiple linear regressions for elemental fractions of CHS, CHSO and CHNSO. Being that only 20 distinct algal product samples were regressed to create the proposed correlations, more data should be incorporated before publication of a final correlation. This study should serve as a starting point for the compilation of an exhaustive database for algal product assay and HHV data.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The Evaluation of Algae-Derived Activated Carbon Adsorbents for Direct CO2 Capture from Ambient Air

Description

Temperature swing adsorption is a commonly used gas separation technique, and is being<br/>further researched as a method of carbon capture. Carbon capture is becoming increasingly<br/>important as a potential way to

Temperature swing adsorption is a commonly used gas separation technique, and is being<br/>further researched as a method of carbon capture. Carbon capture is becoming increasingly<br/>important as a potential way to slow global warming. In this study, algae-derived activated<br/>carbon adsorbents were analyzed for their carbon dioxide adsorption effectiveness.<br/>Algae-derived carbon adsorbents were synthesized and then studied for their adsorption<br/>isotherms and adsorption breakthrough behavior. From the generated isotherm plots, it was<br/>determined that the carbonization temperature was not high enough and that more batches of<br/>adsorbent would have to be made to more accurately analyze the adsorptive potential of the<br/>algae-derived carbon adsorbent.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Design Opportunities with Bioluminescent Algae

Description

Bioluminescent algae has long fascinated humans as a beautiful natural phenomenon. This creative project uses bioluminescent algae to push the limit of biomimicry, using the algae not as a model

Bioluminescent algae has long fascinated humans as a beautiful natural phenomenon. This creative project uses bioluminescent algae to push the limit of biomimicry, using the algae not as a model but as a technology. Through experimentation with algae samples and industrial design, two potential applications of bioluminescent algae as a sustainable lighting technology were generated. One design focuses on indoor, private lighting, while the other focuses on outdoor, public lighting. Both outcomes attempt to solve problems generated by nighttime lighting including light pollution, wasted electricity usage, and negative impacts on human and environmental health while retaining the benefits of safety and convenience.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Production of Biofuel from Algae and Salicornia using Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) Technique

Description

Fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy in the world for many decades. However, they are among the top contributors of the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy in the world for many decades. However, they are among the top contributors of the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The objective of this research was to produce a more environmentally friendly biofuel from Algae-Helix and Salicornia biomasses. Experiments were conducted using a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technique in the HTL reactor to produce biofuel that can potentially replace fossil fuel usage. Hydrothermal Liquefaction is a method used to convert the biomass into the biofuels. HTL experiments on Algae-Helix and Salicornia at 200°C-350°C and 430psi were performed to investigate the effect of temperature on the biocrude yield of the respective biomass used. The effect of the biomass mixture (co-liquefaction) of Salicornia and algae on the amount of biocrude produced was also explored. The biocrude and biochar (by-product) obtained from the hydrothermal liquefaction process were also analyzed using thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA). The maximum biocrude yield for the algae-helix biomass and for the Salicornia biomass were both obtained at 300°C which were 34.63% and 7.65% respectively. The co-liquefaction of the two biomasses by 50:50 provided a maximum yield of 17.26% at 250°C. The co-liquefaction of different ratios explored at 250°C and 300°C concluded that Salicornia to algae-helix ratio of 20:80 produced the highest yields of 22.70% and 31.97%. These results showed that co-liquefaction of biomass if paired well with the optimizing temperature can produce a high biocrude yield. The TGA profiles investigated have shown that salicornia has higher levels of ash content in comparison with the algae-helix. It was then recommended that for a mixture of algae and Salicornia, large-scale biofuel production should be conducted at 250℃ in a 20:80 salicornia to algae biocrude ratio, since it lowers energy needs. The high biochar content left can be recycled to optimize biomass, and prevent wastage.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Electro-selective Fermentation of Scenedesmus acutus algae for enhanced lipid extraction

Description

The microalgae Scenedesmus have been regarded as a potential source for biofuel production, having up to ~30% of dry weight as lipids used for biodiesel fuel production. Electro-selective fermentation

The microalgae Scenedesmus have been regarded as a potential source for biofuel production, having up to ~30% of dry weight as lipids used for biodiesel fuel production. Electro-selective fermentation (ESF) is a novel approach that can selectively degrade proteins and carbohydrates while conserving lipids within algal cells, while simultaneously enhancing lipid wet-extraction and biohydrogenation. ESF is a combination of SF and Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) technologies. Experiments reported here prove that ESF is an effective means of enhancing lipid wet-extraction by ~50% and achieving 36% higher lipid saturation conversion, compared to SF, over 30 days of semi-continuous operation. Anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) residing on the anode surface produced a current that led to increased rate of organic substrate utilization, protein degradation, and ultimately enhanced lipid extraction and biohydrogenation that converted unsaturated to saturated fatty-acids. Thus, ESF provides a promising method for enhancing lipid extraction for biofuel production.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

Algal Fuels: A Future Less Green than the Plant

Description

The algal fuel industry has existed since the 1980s without fully commercializing a product. Algal fuels are potentially viable replacements for fossil fuels due to their fast cultivation, high

The algal fuel industry has existed since the 1980s without fully commercializing a product. Algal fuels are potentially viable replacements for fossil fuels due to their fast cultivation, high oil content, carbon dioxide sequestration during growth, and ability to be grown on non-arable land. For this thesis, six companies from 61 investigated were interviewed about their history with biofuels, technological changes they have gone through, and views for the future of the industry. All companies interviewed have moved away from fuel production largely due to high production costs and have moved primarily toward pharmaceuticals and animal feed production as well as wastewater treatment. While most do not plan to return to the biofuel industry in the near future, a return would likely require additional legislation, increased technological innovation, and coproduction of multiple products.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Automated monitoring and control systems for an algae photobioreactor

Description

There has been considerable advancement in the algae research field to move algae production for biofuels and bio-products forward to become commercially viable. However, there is one key element that

There has been considerable advancement in the algae research field to move algae production for biofuels and bio-products forward to become commercially viable. However, there is one key element that humans cannot control, the natural externalities that impact production. An algae cultivation system is similar to agricultural crop farming practices. Algae are grown on an area of land for a certain time period with the aim of harvesting the biomass produced. One of the advantages of using algae biomass is that it can be used as a source of energy in the form of biofuels. Major advances in algae research and development practices have led to new knowledge about the remarkable potential of algae to serve as a sustainable source of biofuel. The challenge is to make the price of biofuels from algae cost-competitive with the price of petroleum-based fuels. The scope of this research was to design a concept for an automated system to control specific externalities and determine if integrating the system in an algae cultivation system could improve the algae biomass production process. This research required the installation and evaluation of an algae cultivation process, components selection and computer software programming for an automated system. The results from the automated system based on continuous real time monitored variables validated that the developed system contributes insights otherwise not detected from a manual measurement approach. The implications of this research may lead to technology that can be used as a base model to further improve algae cultivation systems.

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Date Created
  • 2014

Algae computer simulation: growth forecasting within a swimming pool environment

Description

An issue with the utilization of swimming pools is that pumps are operated an excessive number of hours to keep the pool free of debris and algae. Case in point,

An issue with the utilization of swimming pools is that pumps are operated an excessive number of hours to keep the pool free of debris and algae. Case in point, according to the pool industry, a pump should operate one hour for every ten degrees of ambient temperature. A dynamic model and a control strategy have been developed using Matlab/Simulink that uses environmental conditions together with chemicals that hinder or aid algae growth in order to determine algae population. This model suggests ways to function the pump on shorter time intervals to reduce energy consumption, while simultaneously maintaining algae populations at acceptable levels. Other factors included in the model are pool thermal dynamics and pool pump/filter performance characteristics, since they also have an effect algae growth. This thesis presents the first step for an alternative way of operating a swimming pool by minimizing operating costs while eliminating algae.

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Date Created
  • 2012