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Is burning algal biomass as coal substitute, ok?!!! 17

Because algal biomass has quite a good amount of protein and other compounds... Burning this may lead to Nitrogen based oxides which may lead to atmospheric pollution...

Like this,what are the possibilities or risks of getting other contaminants in air?

But how much is that compared to normal coal?

Whats the economics compared to coal?

It's just that was in the back of my mind from few days...

Please share your thoughts on this...
Fri July 16 2010 02:22:46 PM by Mahesh 5582 views

Comments - 11

  • Duncan wrote:
    Fri July 16 2010 10:45:08 PM

    It is definitely lot better than burining coal. coal is sequestered CO2. Algae is CO2 in the atmosphere. Algae biomass as a substitute for coal is a terrific idea even if it is used as 10 % or 20 % of coal.
    But someone has to grow algae in a large scale at an economical rate.
    Not only that. if you can grow algae and set up small power plants with only biomass, it is good. Atleast is not releasing sequestered CO2 and hence should get carbon credit/ equivalent.

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  • Fri July 16 2010 11:16:00 PM

    There is no single large scale commercial algae growth centre.
    It has to be in open raceway ponds and with free water to make it economically viable.
    And then drying is another cost center besides water. One should plan to use sea water. And sun drying.

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  • Emily wrote:
    Sat July 17 2010 12:21:04 AM

    The economics is based on the cost of algae produced.
    However, given that the power companies will be keen on buying the biomass as they will be bellowing less CO2

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  • Mahesh wrote:
    Sat July 17 2010 04:24:20 AM

    Forget cost, other than that, is this idea good??? because I have an idea, which is highly cost effective...

    Vote Up! 1 Vote Down! 0

  • Shankar wrote:
    Wed July 28 2010 12:59:45 PM

    Ofcourse. All the companies in India in particular and probably all over the world are having a department called AFR standing for Alternative Fuel research. With coal shortage and price increase, the search for alternative fuel is on.
    If you can grow biomass at a cost lower that what it costs to make a calorific value of coal, u got a product.

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  • Arnoldboer wrote:
    Tue August 17 2010 05:53:56 PM

    Good idea. Don't be stumped by the people who are just bashing around with all the economics. Great ideas have to mature. That's what the entire algae business is about. Most algae production/research companies are not making good profits yet. But to be able to refine the process and equipment needed to grow algae, one has to make a start. Keep up the good work. Maybe there are companies that have extracted oils from the algae and have solids left. Maybe those solids can be turned into 'coal'?

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  • Shankar wrote:
    Tue August 17 2010 11:00:23 PM

    @ Mahesh

    You would have read the blog where in details about the two professors from Netherlands have given some calculations regarding making algae and the costing.
    They worked out and said that given all the co products, it can cost Euro 1.65 per kg.
    After extracting the protein and all other co products, it makes sense to burn the bio mass with coal or even seperately as it is carbon neutral.
    In my opinion, if you can grow algae in large quantities for biomass it is good. If you can extract protein and other co products before using as a biomass it is better. If you can extract some small quantity of high priced nutraceutical and some co product like protein and then use the remnants as a biomass, it is best. You then have a business.
    if no one has done this in a large scale, then it is an opportunity to start one.

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  • Wed August 18 2010 06:09:23 AM

    We have been looking into this idea too and think it is a good idea. I read an article which suggested using algae as a water source in coal gasification. the article compared water with algae and they found that using algae as a water source had a better efficiency.

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  • Veronica wrote:
    Wed August 18 2010 06:28:14 AM

    The question is how do we grow regular crops of algae to be used as a biofuel at an affordabe cost without affecting other food crops and without using much fresh water.

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  • Veronica wrote:
    Wed August 18 2010 06:29:59 AM

    @ Tondimatambo

    Can u post that article as a blog in our club.
    Comparing water with algae ! Wonder why water will be required in coal gassification ?

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  • Wed August 18 2010 01:22:55 PM

    The article is "The resource utilization of algae-Preparing coal slurry with algae(2010)Fuel, 89:965-970"

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