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Microalgal biomethane production integrated with an existing biogas plant: A case study in Sweden
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes. School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology, Mälardalen University, 72123 Västerås, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 112, no SI, 478-484 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Microalgae are considered as potential sources for biodiesel production due to the higher growth rate than terrestrial plants. However, the large-scale application of algal biodiesel would be limited by the downstream cost of lipid extraction and the availability of water, CO2 and nutrients. A possible solution is to integrate algae cultivation with existing biogas plant, where algae can be cultivated using the discharges of CO2 and digestate as nutrient input, and then the attained biomass can be converted directly to biomethane by existing infrastructures. This integrated system is investigated and evaluated in this study. Algae are cultivated in a photobioreactor in a greenhouse, and two cultivation options (greenhouse with and without heating) are included. Life cycle assessment of the system was conducted, showing that algal biomethane production without greenhouse heating would have a net energy ratio of 1.54, which is slightly lower than that (1.78) of biomethane from ley crop. However, land requirement of the latter is approximately 68 times that of the former, because the area productivity of algae could reach at about 400t/ha (dry basis) in half a year, while the annual productivity of ley crop is only about 5.8t/ha. For the case of Växtkraft biogas plant in Västerås, Sweden, the integrated system has the potential to increase the annual biomethane output by 9.4%. This new process is very simple, which might have potential for scale-up and commercial application of algal bioenergy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 112, no SI, 478-484 p.
Keyword [en]
Biogas plant, Cold region, Energy balance, Life cycle assessment, Microalgal biomethane
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136092DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.04.087ISI: 000329377800049ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84884283197OAI: diva2:676158
4th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE),July 01-04, 2012, China

QC 20131205

Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2014-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Yan, Jinyue
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