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Thermo-chemical Conversion to Make Biofuels From Algae – A Reality

April 1st, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted in Algae-Biodiesel, Algae-Energy-Products

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“Key advantages for algae include prolific growth rates and relatively high oil contents in certain species,” said Lance Schideman, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Missouri.”In addition, algae can help clean up water resources with excess nutrients and can be grown on lands that aren’t useful for agricultural purposes.”

The traditional method to produce biofuel from algae calls for extracting algae oil from the other biomass components and converting it via transesterification, Schideman said, but extraction methods are relatively expensive.An alternative processing method is called thermo-chemical conversion, or TCC, a chemical process that transforms organic compounds in a heated and pressurized enclosure to produce a biocrude oil

“It simulates the processes that went on in the earth when our petroleum reserves were formed. You’re just doing it a lot faster,” Schideman said.”It’s my opinion that TCC will be a very important technology in helping biofuels from algae become a reality.”

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2 Responses to “Thermo-chemical Conversion to Make Biofuels From Algae – A Reality”

  1. dug Says:

    Love these meaningless, numberless press releases. The TCC process obviously requires heat energy input. Without saying what the net energy output is and what its' cost will be – this guy might as well be speaking in tongues. With marketable algae cost at 10-20 times higher than petro diesel – this will have to be a very dramatic process to get anywhere near economic reality.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, TCC is a energy consuming process. However, it depends how they harvest algae. If as they said they can harvest algae from the waste water and make the water clean as well as. The feedstock could be looked as free. This huge benefit could make their ratio of energy input/output less than 1. On the other hand, cleaning waste water could increase their credits.

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