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Nutrient Recovery as an Added Benefit to Harvests of Photosynthetic Marine Biomass: A Holistic Systems Perspective on Harvesting Marine Microalgae, Cyanobacteria, and Macroalgae
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4181-0571
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As a result of increasing environmental burdens from anthropogenic activities andresource scarcity, interest for the development of solutions utilizing photosyntheticmarine biomass has also been increasing in both academia and industries. Medium tolarge scale production and harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass have beenpracticed to achieve numerous services, including improving tourism industries,production of biofuels, and production of food/feed. However, few studies haveevaluated the potential for nutrient recovery as an added benefit to the aforementionedservices and the potential environmental burdens of such solutions from a holisticsystems perspective. This thesis, therefore, sought to determine the nutrient recoverypotential of harvesting photosynthetic marine biomass at industrial scales whileassessing the environmental burdens from a holistic systems perspective. Techniquesinvolving life cycle inventory and analysis, input-output analysis, growth modellingand experimentation, energy analysis, and assessment of greenhouse gas emissionsfrom a life cycle perspective were used to assess the potential environmental burdensof large scale harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass.This study employed five real world case studies of five different photosynthetic marinebiomass species at various geographical locations across the globe. Each case wasassessed to determine the potential to recover nutrients while evaluating the potentialenvironmental burdens from an energy and greenhouse gas perspective. Each casecontains unique specific details and therefore methods applied were case specific.Results showed that nutrient recovery potential existed in most cases with the exceptionof one case. Cases evaluated for their potential environmental burdens showed thatlarge scale harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass is resource intensive regardless ofspecies but showed mixed results from an energy perspective. The key findings of thisthesis were that a) the potential for nutrient recovery was estimated in both large scalecultivation and large scale wild harvest of photosynthetic marine biomass, b) from anenergy and biomass harvesting perspective, the viability of industrial harvests ofphotosynthetic marine biomass were found for both large scale cultivations and wildharvesting of biomass blooms, and c) scale of operations is an important factor towardsevaluating the environmental performance of photosynthetic marine biomassproduction systems.

Abstract [sv]

Som ett resultat av en ökande miljöbelastning från antropogenaktivitet och knapphet på resurser, så har intresset för utveckling av lösningar medfotosyntetisk marin biomassa också ökat i både akademi och industri. Produktion ochskörd av fotosyntetisk marin biomassa i medelstor till stor skala har praktiserats för attuppnå många tjänster, inklusive förbättring av turistnäringar, produktion avbiodrivmedel och livsmedels- och foderproduktion. Men få studier har utvärderatpotentialen för näringsåtervinning som en extra fördel för de nämnda tjänsterna och denpotentiella miljöbelastningen för sådana lösningar ur ett holistiskt systemperspektiv.Denna avhandling försökte därför fastställa näringsåtervinningspotentialen för skörd avfotosyntetisk marin biomassa på industriell skala, samtidigt som miljöbelastningenbedömdes ur ett systemperspektiv. Tekniker som involverar livscykelinventering ochanalys, input-output-analys, tillväxtmodellering och experiment, energianalys ochutvärdering av växthusgasutsläpp ur ett livscykelperspektiv användes för att bedömaden potentiella miljöbelastningen för storskalig skörd av fotosyntetisk marin biomassa.I denna studie användes fem verkliga fallstudier av fem olika fotosyntetiska marinaarter som kan producerar biomassa på olika geografiska platser över hela världen. Varjefall bedömdes för att bestämma potentialen för att återvinna näringsämnen samtidigtsom den potentiella miljöbelastningen utvärderades ur ett energi- ochväxthusgasperspektiv. Varje fall innehåller unika specifika detaljer och därför användesmetoder som var specifika för varje fallstudie. Resultaten visade att potentialen föråterhämtning av näringsämnen fanns i de flesta fall med undantag för ett fall. Fall somutvärderades för deras potentiella miljöbelastningar visade att storskalig skörd avfotosyntetisk marin biomassa är resurskrävande oavsett art men visade blandaderesultat ur energiperspektiv. De viktigaste resultaten från denna avhandling var att a)potentialen för näringsåtervinning uppskattades i både storskalig odling och storskaligvild skörd av fotosyntetisk marin biomassa, b) möjligheten för industriell skörd avfotosyntetisk marin biomassa hittades för både storskalig odling och vild skörd avbiomassa, och c) skalan är en viktig faktor för att utvärdera miljöprestanda förfotosyntetiska marina system för biomassaproduktion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. , p. 43
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261367ISBN: 978-91-7873-254-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-261367DiVA, id: diva2:1357771
Public defence
2019-10-28, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20191008

Available from: 2019-10-08 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-10-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Harvesting of Nodularia spumigena in the Baltic Sea: Assessment of Potentials and Added Benefits
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Harvesting of Nodularia spumigena in the Baltic Sea: Assessment of Potentials and Added Benefits
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Coastal Research, ISSN 0749-0208, E-ISSN 1551-5036, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 825-831Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Interest to harvest wild cyanobacteria exists due to the environmental and socioeconomic risks during cyanobacteria blooms coupled with demands for nonterrestrial-based alternatives for biofuel sources. This research, therefore, sought to estimate the wild cyanobacteria harvesting potential using Nodularia spumigena, and using the Baltic Sea as the case study. Data from literature provided during years 2003-2009 were used to perform estimations. Additional benefits of harvesting were also assessed by estimating the nutrient removal and biogas production potentials from the harvested biomass. Results indicate that one boom unit has the potential to harvest approximately 3 to 700 kg dry weight of N. spumigena per hour depending on the algae concentration of the bloom. Results also suggest that nutrient removal and biogas production potentials provide substantial additional incentives to the harvesting operation during years of extensive and highly concentrated blooms. However, during nonextensive or nonconcentrated blooms such potentials are low.

Keywords
Biomass harvesting, nutrient removal, cyanobacteria
National Category
Ecology Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-149510 (URN)10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-13-00119.1 (DOI)000339366800016 ()2-s2.0-84904618354 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140822

Available from: 2014-08-22 Created: 2014-08-22 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
2. Natural Resource Potential of Macroalgae Harvesting in the Baltic Sea-Case Study Trelleborg, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Natural Resource Potential of Macroalgae Harvesting in the Baltic Sea-Case Study Trelleborg, Sweden
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2013 (English)In: Global Challenges in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, John Wiley & Sons, 2013, p. 69-84Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The interest in harvesting biomass from the Baltic Sea has increased in recent years. However, there is a lack of available data on macroalgae biomass and of cost-effective methods for site-specific quantification of macroalgae. In this study, macroalgae biomass has been quantified in Trelleborg and thus the nutrient reduction that could be achieved by harvesting on a regional scale. The biomass was estimated on the basis of existing inventories of macroalgae, photic zone distribution and bottom substrata. An independent model for estimating the potential of macroalgae growth was applied where factors affecting the growth of macroalgae, for example nutrients, light and temperature, were considered. The estimated summer stock of macroalgae biomass along the 58 km coastal stretch in Trelleborg amounts to 19 000 tonnes dry weight (dwt) red filamentous algae. If 10-30% of this summer stock were to be harvested, a nutrient reduction of 50-150 t of nitrogen could be achieved. The model for estimating biomass proved promising and worthy of further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2013
Keywords
Algae biomass, Biomass quantification, Filamentous biomass, Macroalgae harvesting, Natural resource potential
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140103 (URN)10.1002/9781118496480.ch6 (DOI)2-s2.0-84889496130 (Scopus ID)9780470657560 (ISBN)
Note

QC 20140117

Available from: 2014-01-17 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
3. Preliminary assessment of simultaneous mixotrophic production of Tetraselmis tetrathele and treatment of saline wastewater from aquaculture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preliminary assessment of simultaneous mixotrophic production of Tetraselmis tetrathele and treatment of saline wastewater from aquaculture
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Interest in industrial-scale cultivation of microalgae biomass has increased in recent years, due to its potential in phytochemicals, wastewater treatment, and aquaculture feed. Previous studies have focused on freshwater systems and phototrophic microalgae growth. In this study, preliminary observations were performed on mixotrophic growth of Tetraselmis tetrathele in crude unaltered saline wastewater and its nutrient removal and aquaculture feed potential. The wastewater was obtained directly from a Pacific white shrimp farm. The results showed successful phototrophic and mixotrophic growth of Tetraselmis tetrathele in saline wastewater, with maximum specific growth rate of approximately 0.2 day-1. Some nutrient removal was achieved (phosphate), and use of biomass as feed for shrimp aquaculture are further discussed.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261366 (URN)
Note

QC 20191004

Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
4. Energy Analysis of the Nannochloropsis sp. Production as an Alternative Protein Source using the Holistic ep-EROI
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy Analysis of the Nannochloropsis sp. Production as an Alternative Protein Source using the Holistic ep-EROI
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Energy systems analysis and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of open pond microalgae cultivation systems is attracting considerable interest in the past decade due to their potentials for the production of biofuels and phytochemicals. However, there has been little discussion on energy systems analysis of microalgae produced from power plant flue gas and its use as an alternative protein source. This study aims to analyze edible protein energy return on investment (ep-EROI) and the overall GHG emissions for a medium-to-large scale Nannochloropsis oceanica cultivation system using power plant flue gas in northern China. Besides, additional benefits of the microalgae cultivation system were assessed on the overall nutrient recovery potential of the harvested biomass. Results of the study indicated that cumulative energy demand and GHG emissions for production of Nannochloropsis oceanica products were intermediate to other conventional protein sources in the literature, such as fish. Results of the EROI-based analysis showed that the Nannochloropsis oceanica cultivation system achieved a moderate ep-EROI of 0.11.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261360 (URN)
Note

QC 20191004

Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
5. Energy performance and greenhouse gas emissions of kelp cultivation for biogas and fertilizer recovery in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy performance and greenhouse gas emissions of kelp cultivation for biogas and fertilizer recovery in Sweden
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2016 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 573, p. 347-355Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The cultivation of seaweed as a feedstock for third generation biofuels is gathering interest in Europe, however, many questions remain unanswered in practise, notably regarding scales of operation, energy returns on investment (EROI) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, all of which are crucial to determine commercial viability. This study performed an energy and GHG emissions analysis, using EROI and GHG savings potential respectively, as indicators of commercial viability for two systems: the Swedish Seafarm project's seaweed cultivation (0.5 ha), biogas and fertilizer biorefinery, and an estimation of the same system scaled up and adjusted to a cultivation of 10 ha. Based on a conservative estimate of biogas yield, neither the 0.5 ha case nor the up-scaled 10 ha estimates met the (commercial viability) target EROI of 3, nor the European Union Renewable Energy Directive GHG savings target of 60% for biofuels, however the potential for commercial viability was substantially improved by scaling up operations: GHG emissions and energy demand, per unit of biogas, was almost halved by scaling operations up by a factor of twenty, thereby approaching the EROI and GHG savings targets set, under beneficial biogas production conditions. Further analysis identified processes whose optimisations would have a large impact on energy use and emissions (such as anaerobic digestion) as well as others embodying potential for further economies of scale (such as harvesting), both of which would be of interest for future developments of kelp to biogas and fertilizer biorefineries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Biorefinery, Economy of scale, Energy return on investment (EROI), EURED GHG savings, Saccharina latissima, Swedish macroalgae cultivation, Anaerobic digestion, Biofuels, Biogas, Economics, Fertilizers, Gas emissions, Investments, Refining, Seaweed, Biorefineries, Energy return on investments, Macro-algae, Greenhouse gases
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-195182 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.220 (DOI)000390071000032 ()2-s2.0-84983638479 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-11209-24630-54
Note

QC 20161118

Available from: 2016-11-18 Created: 2016-11-02 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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