Algae Biofuel

Topics: Algae fuel, Biofuel, Biodiesel Pages: 16 (2508 words) Published: April 19, 2011
Seminar Report



Anuj Arora(UE7510)


University Institute of Engineering and Technology,
Panjab University


1. Need of Biofuels – Global Problems
2. Algae – Part of Solution
3. Current Trends In Production
4. Recent Research
5. Challenges
6. Conclusions

Need of Biofuels –

Global Problems

Global Problems – Oil Price/Supply

▪ Peak oil approaching.
▪ Current oil and diesel prices on the rise.


Global Problems – Climate Change

▪ According to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 4th Assessment Report (Nov. 17, 2007), “warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”

▪ According to the IPCC Assessment, “global GHG emissions due to human activities have grown since pre-industrial times, with an increase of 70% between 1970 and 2004.”

▪ “CO2 is the most important anthropogenic GHG. Its annual emissions grew by about 80% between 1970 and 2004.”

▪ “Global atmospheric concentration of CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) have increased markedly as a result of human activities since1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values determine from ice cores spanning many thousands of years.”



Global Problems – Food Prices

▪ The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations climbed 36% in 2009. Index is based on export prices for 60 internationally traded foodstuffs. ▪ Current Food Inflation in India - > 15.56 %.

▪ Causes:
o Drought in Various Regions.
o Growing prosperity in India, China and Latin America.


“Oil prices are linked to food …and most everything else…food costs more because the energy to produce the food costs more.”

Global Problems – Deforestation

Palm oil, perhaps the best terrestrial feedstock for biodiesel, has an image problem. – Palm vs. Soyabean Yield: 1 acre of palm = 8 acres of soyabean. – Triglycerides (TAGs) from current oilseed crops and waste oils would barely dent annual U.S. diesel demand. – For biofuels to displace even a moderate amount of fossil fuels used in the transportation sector requires development of an abundant source of TAGs.

Algae – Part of Solution


What Is “ALGAE” ?

▪ Any of various chiefly aquatic, eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms, ranging in size from single-celled forms to the giant kelps.

▪ Microalgae are microscopic aquatic plants that carry out the same process and mechanism of photosynthesis as higher plants.


▪ Algae fuel (algal fuel), algaeoleum or third-generation biofuel, is a biofuel which is derived from algae.

▪ Inputs:
– Land
– Sunlight
– Water
– Carbon Dioxide
– Nutrients

▪ Process: Microalgae convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into biomass and oxygen. Biomass contains lipid oils/TAGs.

CO2 + H2O + Light Energy ( Biomass + Oxygen




Existing Sources of Algae:

▪ Terrestrial & Aquatic plants: Algae grow on and inside water plants (including other algae). ▪ Billabongs & lagoons: Rich microalgal habitats.
▪ Bogs, marshes & swamps - Salt marshes and salt lakes.
▪ Sewages & Garbage.
▪ Farm Dams & Large Water Reservoirs.
▪ Hot springs.
▪ Rivers, Lakes & Ponds, Puddles etc. – also Saline Lagoons, Saline Lakes, Mud, Sand & Rocks (internal & surface), Snow.

Quality Factors

▪ Dry mass factor:
It is the percentage of dry biomass in relation to the fresh biomass. E.g. if the dry mass factor is 5%, one would need 20 kg of wet algae to get 1 kg of dry algae cells.

▪ Lipid content:
It is the percentage of oil in relation to the dry biomass needed to get it. E.g. if the algae lipid content is 40%, one...
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