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The use of simulated flue gas as a feedstock for the growth of microalgae

February 17th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Cultivation-Power-Plants

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The use of simulated flue gas as a feedstock for the growth of microalgae

Zeiler, KG; Heacox, DA; Toon, ST; Brown, LM PHYCOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA. PROCEEDINGS OF THE 1995 MEETING HELD IN BRECKENRIDGE, 6-10 AUGUST 1995. suppl uppl, 9 p. Journal of Phycology [J. PHYCOL.]. Vol. 31, suppl uppl.

Carbon dioxide is the major feedstock for the growth of photosynthetic microorganisms and has been identified as the primary contributor to the cost of microalgal mass culture. Fossil fuel-fired power plant flue gas can provide a point source of carbon dioxide for a microalgal mass culture facility and large amounts of CO sub(2) could be trapped using this technology. A major question for this process is whether or not microalgal species can tolerate the high levels of carbon dioxide, as well as other pollutants, in flue gas. We report here that at least one species of green microalgae, Monoraphidium minutum, is tolerant to the levels of carbon dioxide, nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide present in Clean Air Act 1990 simulated flue gas. Cultures of M. minutum were able to grow equally well whether exposed to simulated flue gas containing 13.6% CO2, 150 ppm NO and 200 ppm SO2 or to control gas lacking the NO and SO2. Growth of M. minutum was very good (2g/L ash-free dry weight final accumulation in batch culture) when exposed to simulated flue gas and grown in either 10% Artificial Sea Water (ASW) or in a defined medium analogous to saline ground water (roughly equivalent to similar to 30% ASW). It appeared that the cultures were able to assimilate nitrogen oxides arising as a result of exposure to the simulated flue gas, as well. The pH of the cultures was unchanged after the first 24 h of growth in either simulated flue gas or control gas, suggesting that under these conditions SO sub(2) does not significantly contribute to the acidity of the culture. Varying the delivery schedule, although not the total amount of gas, did not result in any significant changes in accumulation of biomass. Current efforts are directed at identifying other classes and species of microalgae tolerant to simulated flue gas which may be useful for the production of commodity chemicals such as biodiesel, other high value products, or co-combusted for power generation.

Descriptors: {Q1}; pollution control; carbon dioxide; growth; biotechnology; algal culture; {Q2}; Monoraphidium minutum

Nature gave us oil from algae; perhaps we should try Nature’s way again

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About Oilgae – Oilgae – Oil & Biodiesel from Algae has a focus on biodiesel production from algae while also discussing alternative energy in general. Algae present an exciting possibility as a feedstock for biodiesel, and when you realise that oil was originally formed from algae – among other related plants – you think “Hey! Why not oil again from algae!”

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