Harvesting of drifting filamentous macroalgae in the Baltic Sea: An energy assessment
2014 (English)In: Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, ISSN 1941-7012, Vol. 6, no 1, 013116- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Eutrophication combined with climate change has caused ephemeral filamentous macroalgae to increase and drifts of seaweed cover large areas of some Baltic Sea sites during summer. In ongoing projects, these mass occurrences of drifting filamentous macroalgae are being harvested to mitigate eutrophication, with preliminary results indicating considerable nutrient reduction potential. In the present study, an energy assessment was made of biogas production from the retrieved biomass for a Baltic Sea pilot case. Use of different indicators revealed a positive energy balance. The energy requirements corresponded to about 30%-40% of the energy content in the end products. The net energy gain was 530-800 MJ primary energy per ton wet weight of algae for small-scale and large-scale scenarios, where 6 000 and 13 000 tonnes dwt were harvested, respectively. However, the exergy efficiency differed from the energy efficiency, emphasising the importance of taking energy quality into consideration when evaluating energy systems. An uncertainty analysis indicated parametric uncertainty of about 25%-40%, which we consider to be acceptable given the generally high sensitivity of the indicators to changes in input data, allocation method, and system design. Overall, our evaluation indicated that biogas production may be a viable handling strategy for retrieved biomass, while harvesting other types of macroalgae than red filamentous species considered here may render a better energy balance due to higher methane yields.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 6, no 1, 013116- p.
Life-Cycle, Biogas Production, Greenhouse-Gas, Transportation Sector, Exergy Analysis, Common Reed, Net Energy, Efficiency, Biomass, Algae
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144008DOI: 10.1063/1.4862783ISI: 000332320200032ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84901831992OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-144008DiVA: diva2:710024
QC 201404042014-04-042014-04-042014-11-26Bibliographically approved