Algae Biofuels

Algal biofuel is an alternative to liquid fossil fuels that uses algae as its source of energy-rich oils. Several companies and government agencies are funding efforts to reduce capital and operating costs and make algae fuel production commercially viable. Like fossil fuel, algae fuel releases CO2 when burnt, but unlike fossil fuel, algae fuel and other biofuels only release CO2 recently removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis as the algae or plant grew.  With current technology available it is estimated that the cost of producing microalgal biomass is $2.95/kg for photobioreactors and $3.80/kg for open-ponds. These estimates assume that carbon dioxide is available at no cost. If the annual biomass production capacity is increased to 10000 tonnes, the cost of production per kilogram reduces to roughly $0.47 and $0.60, respectively. Assuming that the biomass contains 30% oil by weight, the cost of biomass for providing a liter of oil would be approximately $1.40 and $1.81 for photobioreactors and raceways, respectively. Oil recovered from the lower cost biomass produced in photobioreactors is estimated to cost $2.80/L, assuming the recovery process contributes 50% to the cost of the final recovered oil. Numerous Funding programs have been created with aims of promoting the use of Renewable Energy. In Canada, the ecoAgriculture biofuels capital initiative (ecoABC) provides $25 million per project to assist farmers in constructing and expanding a renewable fuel production facility. In Europe, the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is the main instrument for funding research. Similarly, the NER 300 is an unofficial, independent portal dedicated to renewable energy and grid integration projects.

§  Advances in biofuel production

§  Culturing algae

§  Harvesting and oil extraction system

§  Cyanobacterial biofuels production

§  Commercialization of algae biofuels

§  Wastewater based algae biofuels production

§  Algal bio sequestration

§  Hydrogen Fuel cells