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McAdams Energy Looking Forward 39

As we look forward to changing landscape of energy production we must find ways to meet our energy needs. McAdams Energy wants to hear your thoughts on how to meet this demand. It most cases when such a issue is discussed it is in a broad sense and a lot of otherwise good ideas are lost. McAdams Energy will be doing a series of blogs that will hit on different topics.We are going to start the blog with this question. Since oilgae.com focuses on the use of algae to meet energy needs, what do you feel is the best way to grow the algae? Is it the open pond method or the closed loop bio-reactor. Remember, feel free to give your thoughts but remember to respect the ideas of others. Only through constructive debate are good ideas found.So have fun and all ideas our welcome.
Thu August 19 2010 12:36:10 PM by McAdamsEnergy 3413 views

Comments - 35

  • Shankar wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 01:53:22 PM

    So long as the cost of the pbr doesnt come down by a very very large percentage say 70/80 %, the pbrs will be used for speciality products.

    Speciality products are those that sell for $ 10000 per ton and above.

    For commodity products like biofuel, bio plastics etc, the only way out is to go for raceway ponds.
    These commodity products sell for $ 1000 per tonne or below.

    Hybrid models are being touted around. But not there yet.

    There are many who claim that they have a low cost
    pbr, but we dont have proof yet.

    Vote Up! 1 Vote Down! 1

  • Arden wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 02:00:13 PM

    http://www.oilgae.com/club/users/Shankar/blogs/437

    It is said that mixing in a pbr is carbon positive and is 4 times that of a open pond.

    Vote Up! 1 Vote Down! 1

  • Arden wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 03:46:13 PM

    PBRs are much more expensive than ponds, and present major design and operating bottlenecks like, overheating, fouling, gas exchange, etc..

    PBRs cannot be scaled-up for individual growth units much above about 100 m2. For biofuels production,
    requiring hundreds to thousands of hectares this would require assembly and operation of tens of
    thousands of individual units, at very high capital and operating costs.

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 1

  • Amanda wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 03:49:32 PM

    " Open ponds, specifically shallow, mixed, raceway ponds, are much cheaper to build and operate,
    can be scaled to several hectares for an individual growth pond . Engineering designs of open ponds,
    including mixing systems and CO2 supply and transfer, is reasonably well understood.

    Thus the main focus of
    future research must be on the biology of algae species used in mass culture, rather than the
    engineering of the production systems. Open pond cultures suffer from many limitations,
    including more rapid (compared to closed systems) invasions by other algae, grazers, fungi,
    amoeba, etc., and low temperature in colder climatesv. "
    says JB

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  • Amanda wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 03:51:49 PM

    PBRs can be useful for seed culture (inoculum) production in algal biofuels production.
    Can be useful for hybrid cultivation.
    Can be useful for nutricuticals.
    Not for bio fuels.

    Vote Up! 2 Vote Down! 1

  • Richard wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 09:36:43 PM

    * prevent or minimize contamination, permitting axenic algal cultivation of cultivating monocultures (culture consisting of only one species of microalgae),
    Cultivation of algae is in controlled circumstances, hence potential for much higher productivity


    * offer better control over biocultural conditions (pH, light, carbon dioxide, temperature).


    Large surface-to-volume ratio. PBRs offer maximum efficiency in using light and therefore greatly improve productivity.

    Typically the culture density of algae produced is 10 to 20 times greater than bag culture i


    * Better control of gas transfer.


    * prevent water evaporation,

    * More uniform temperature.

    * Reduction in evaporation of growth medium.


    * lower carbon dioxide losses due to out gassing,

    * permit higher cell concentrations.

    Better protection from outside contamination.

    * Space saving - Can be mounted vertically, horizontally or at an angle, indoors or outdoors.
    * Reduced Fouling - Recently available tube self cleaning mechanisms can dramatically reduce fouling.



    * permit the production of complex biopharmaceuticals, e.g. in knockout mosses, under GMPconditions, a biotechnology known as molecular farming.


    If we can get low cost PBRs that can help cultivating algae on a contionous basis, it can be used for commodity products like fuel, plastics etc.,

    Vote Up! 2 Vote Down! 0

  • Natalia wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 09:54:26 PM

    Has anyone tried Algaelinks bioreactors ?
    Typically how much do they cost ?
    I know that they say that the price varies with quantity. But still i want to get an idea of the cost? Want to get an idea if I were to just buy one to start with ?

    Is it computer controlled ? Auto mated ? What about service if it fails to function ?

    Given below is what their website is saying.


    The Basic AlgaeLink PBR system has many advantages. It is an unique, scalable, affordable and simple to install.

    It can be used for both salt and fresh water algae growing system. The photobioreactor is equipped with fully automated monitoring and control systems and includes feeding systems, pumps, sensors and series of clear, high transparent polyethylene tubes.


    The whole system, including the algae growth, is monitored by computer and controlled with tailor made software, developed by AlgaeLink.

    It monitors algae density, nutrients, CO2, light, temperature. The Basic AlgaeLink PBR system is protected with UV inhibitors to improve durability.


    Tube diameter : 30 cm
    Length : Unlimited
    Wall thickness : 3mm
    Connections : Rubber rings
    Cleaning docks : Included
    Legs : Not included
    U-bends : Included
    Material : Polyethyl

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  • Thu August 19 2010 09:59:16 PM

    @Natalia
    All that you are saying is wisdom of the past.
    There has been considerable progress in PBR design, usage and cost.


    There are several manufacturers, designers of PBRs in our club. Like Alan Schafear and alga solution.
    They will surely be able to add lot of in depth understanding of current progress in PBRs

    Vote Up! 1 Vote Down! 0

  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Thu August 19 2010 11:40:55 PM

    Sometimes I realy can get annoyed. Not only in such discussions, on the websites which are supposed to be informative you want get clear answers. Often you dont see more than drawings, 3D animations and a lot of "perspective" comments. Where are the clear answers!?
    Natalia came up with the question: How much does it cost?
    Well it was for the Algaelink product. But now down with the cards! How much.......

    This answer I have given to one of the Oilgae members some weeks ago:

    How much does your PBR cost ?

    From whom are you buying it ? In other words, who are the manufacturers ? Who are the other manufacturers did you consider ? What are the critical reasons, that made you buy from this seller ?

    How much did it cost ? At what temperature and conditions will it work ?

    How much of algae can it grow in a day / week / month ?

    At what price are you planning to sell the out put ie algae ?
    Answer:
    Well we are not buying. We are selling. NOVAGREEN is our partner and the developer and producer of this system. We never considered other manufacturers off course nor do we consider to change this technology. Bigger units than the V- bag (as one unit that is!) system are more difficult to control, you need too much energy to achieve a continuous flow of liquids, light management becomes too difficult. Size and calibre of these bags are just right for maximum growth rate of micro algae species like we are using them. The poly-bags we are using a three layer film bags with a certain UV-resistance (if needed!) and an ability to shrink at the spot where we perforate them for the supply tubes (watch the PP-presentation on SCRIBD:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/29775087/Specification-Bio-Reactor

    You might get an impression now, that it is not just hanging up some plastic bags, installing some hundred kilometres of pipes or putting up plastic panels or god knows what for a kind of system, - and then you have a functional PBR. You can build your own PBR from plastic bottles, you know that, but you don`t have a reliable PBR system yet. Watch also this presentation:

    http://www.box.net/files#/files/0/f/45445394/1/f_456073916

    How much does all this cost?

    Normally we calculate projects, like for a biogas unit (see in the presentation above) but lets try to bring it down per unit :

    V-System = 2,50 x 18 m = 144 V-reactors a 32 litres = 4.500 litres / incl. compressor, supply & survailance and construction work = Euro 9.950
    Exchange of folio after 12 to 24 month Euro 342

    H-system (closed pond) 2,50 x 20 m x 15 cm = circa 7500 litres / incl. compressor, supply & surveillance and assembly = Euro 4.880
    Exchange of folio after 2 to 5 years

    All above prices are for projects up to 1 hectare. Reduction of prices for 2.3 hectare 12% / 4-5 hectare 18% / 6-10 hectare 25%.
    ? All above price information have just informative character. This is not a binding offer.
    AA

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  • Fri August 20 2010 12:25:12 AM

    Commercial-Scale Photobioreactor Demo for Algae Production !

    National Algae Association is pleased to announce that construction has been completed on a commercial-scale photobioreactor (PBR) demo located at Lone Star College in The Woodlands, Texas.

    http://www.nationalalgaeassociation.com/press.html

    see separate blog in oilgae.club

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  • Fri August 20 2010 01:05:35 AM

    Hi Andreas Abraham

    Very nice power point and your mail too is pretty clear and to the point. you have a right in getting angry as many other answers including mine is not direct.
    That is because many of us do not know the answer, we give answers that are somewhat relevant but not to the point.
    You are able to do so because you are a. very knowledgeable in this area and perhaps in many other areas too. and b. you are directly selling PBRs
    Can i know the url of your company's website?
    Some of the slides after slide nos 9/10 are not in english !

    In some other slides the readability is poor.

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  • Fri August 20 2010 01:08:28 AM

    Let us get the count of all the PBR manufacturers in our club
    algae solution
    Andreas Abhaham
    Alan Schafear
    anyone else ?

    Vote Up! 1 Vote Down! 0

  • Aathmika wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 01:10:02 AM

    AA
    Can i have the id and pwd for
    http://www.box.net/files#/files/0/f/45445394/1/f_456073916
    Thanks

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  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 07:51:57 AM

    Gr?? Dich Mia,
    we are still struggeling with our english web-site, since every time new vital informatin is coming up. But the german web site is :
    http://www.novagreen-microalgae.com/6.html
    For you and everybody else, - if you have trouble with the download or the quality of the presentations - send me an e-mail, you will get the original PP-Presentation.
    Andreas

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

  • Shankar wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 01:05:22 PM

    @Mcadams

    If you had had a different heading for the blog like
    Open pond Vs Closed loop bioreactor
    you would have got more responses.
    But even now, I guess you will keep getting comments as time passes by.
    Actually if we have many bioreactor manufacturers comment, then we will be able to acquire relevant knowledge.
    It can help make a purchase decision or a management decision on the process.

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 05:57:03 PM

    Hallo Mia again, and all other algae friend,
    back in office again I took up these discussion again, whereupon I had these outburst of frustration versus these "pretenders" in our business. To day I received as well a mail from an american contact sending me some info about Origin Oil somewhat "Low cost oil extraction", - people, here it is again! I dont see the actual machine or technology! All I got presented is a drawing and some sort of video, persumingly taken in a lab, showing actually - well nothing! Ok. - this might work in a lab, but where is the factory like solution? And now Mia falls for this articel "Commercial Scale Photobioreactor DEMO for Algaeproduction" Read the word DEMO!!!
    Original Text NNA: "National Algae Association is pleased to announce that construction has been completed on a commercial-scale photobioreactor (PBR) demo located at Lone Star College in The Woodlands, Texas."
    BBB (Bullshit baffels Brain!)taktic I would call that! There is somebody who wants to gather more money for his project, - it is that easy.
    A commercial scale demonstration.
    Now please where are the figures. How big is this thing? Commercial? What are you producing? Whom are you selling to? For what prices" How about the revenues! That`s commercial!
    By the way, - closed loop bio reactors - have you ever tried to clean such a thing!? Please dont think this is`nt necessary, - and dont think that you will be able to run a PBR without any problems, i.e. cultures that are dying, lumping together, geting infected with bakteria. The bigger the PBR the more difficulties to control.
    If you have a "commercial" PBR, meaning at least some 10 acres size and a closed loop PBR, how many kilometer of pipes will that be - any guess?
    Again, - I think a lot of the players in this business might be brilliant researchers, but they are not very practicall "commercial" developers.
    In this articel they write about an institute and people how are inventing something that they actually could buy already somewhere else, from producers, "commercial" producers like Hielscher, EVODOS, NOVAGREEN, ENALGY
    And again - dont get me wrong! Research is not only a necessity and even "re - eventing" (- well a stupid word, I mean you should always try to do things better) is nothing which is wrong. But a little modesty would do sometimes good.
    A fully working algae production is first than COMMERCIAL when it produces the highest possible production output CONTINIOUSLY over a certain period of time,in which no further investments and costs, to keep up the production cycle are to be undertaken.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.........

    Oh, I have forgotten something! When its COMMERCIAL than you should be able to make a profit!

    Greetings,
    Andreas

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  • Vign2211 wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 06:13:31 PM

    pbr cannot help in mass cultivation, i think the best way to produce algae in huge amount is to cultivate it sea,but we should be carefull of contaminating highly spreading breeds.a controlled cultivation of selected type of algae should be made possible.

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  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 07:59:24 PM

    Pang!!!!
    That is this little something I have waited for! Mr. Vign, forgive me, - but I usually say to something like this "Don`t f..k around with nature!"
    Besides, this has been done already,- fertilizing the sea, I mean. With iron particles to prevent the dramatical algae loss in the arctic sea. It did not turn out to be a sucess. But euthrofication is a sucess, the result is algae bloom, red tide! The fertilization of the sea with man made nutrients from industries and aggriculture waste is what causes this. If you think you van steer this, forget it! The only thing that helps here to help nature is nature itself, - with diatoms! But to harvest diatoms in the sea - rather unlikely. You might catch more zooplankton than diatoms and this means you steel the meal of fishes and shrimps and molluscs and coralls ....The same will happen when you try to sieve "wanted" algae species out of the sea, if you manage a selection of bad and good.
    It is like these idiots which start to fish for krill to get material for protein rich animal feed. Actually we should sink those ships.

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  • Georgeonik wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 09:31:58 PM

    There are often many paths to the same destination. Which is the best? Ask your investors. The philosophical discussion will end when a PBR that can pay for itself in 3 to 5 years hits the marketplace. Climate change, including drought and extreme changes in temperature can wreak havoc on an open pond. To me it is a question of "appropriate technology". Open ponds might work well in a country with limited resources and favorable temperatures. I live in a state where the temperature can change 70 degrees in one day! Shirt sleeves in the morning; snow in the afternoon.

    My criteria for a PBR is as follows:
    1. maximum output. Our design for a commercial PBR is based on a method used for fermentation of sugars that reduces the fermentation time to the volume of the vessel every 5 hours. This is much more ethanol than conventional batch systems. Instead of 28 days, or even 5 days for a single large tank, (50,000 gallons for example) Our fermenter is 1900 gallons and can produce 9500 gallons of beer in one day. Five fermenters can produce 47,500 gallons of beer per day and they occupy only 8 feet by 8 feet by 10 feet each. They are built from high grade stainless steel. The design requires no internal mixing devices and does not require the use of high capacity pumps. Micro-bubbling (very fine bubbles) enhance the CO2 absorption while providing additional mixing. The double wall design provides a water jacket that can be heated or cooled as necessary to 1 degree accuracy. Many scenarios for heating and cooling the units are possible. The units are sprayed with 2 or more inches of polyurethane insulation yielding no significant heat loss or gain from ambient temperature (delta T) We hope to apply this technique to the production of algae.

    2. Rugged, simple, construction.

    3. Computer control of nutrients, ph, salinity, temperature, and colony density can be maintained precisely. We hope to achieve "super bloom" from the first stage of the tank. This initial compartment produces algae at the theoretical limit then cascades into other compartments that change temperature, nutrient levels, light cycling, intensity, and frequency to "shock" the algae into maximum lipid production. Computer controls allow the "tweaking" of algae production to optimize conditions for a mixed or single culture. We feel that a predictive software program will sense various parameters and automatically make adjustments to keep the PBR on the razors edge, continuously. We want to find the best "recipe" through production experience.

    With many smaller tanks, it is possible to experiment with many conditions and recipes simultaneously. If you have a contamination or colony collapse you will only lose a portion of your capacity while the tank is sterilized and re-populated. Here in the US, dumping 50,000 gallons of "bad algae" into the environment could be a major problem.

    4. Logistical practicality; Building a large tank is a major effort. Our units can be shipped by truck transport without special permits. They arrive at the site ready to "plug and play". They can be mounted on steel frames in a flood plain and be stacked six high and as long as you want provided you have the space. Flat land is not a requirement. You can populate old buildings or any land that is not productive farm land.

    We can stack 180 53 foot long production modules on a foot print of 15,000 square feet or 1/3 acre. 8 to 10 surface acres on one third acre of non farm land. Our current efforts are focused on ethanol from cellulose because the numbers say we can make money.

    Algae production is still so new and nebulous that we intend to use the profits from the ethanol to pay for the experimentation that will be required to port this technology over to algae from ethanol production. So, we are not making our fermenter technology available until we can afford the considerable expenses to focus on algae production.

    Our concept is a multi-feedstock integrated bio refinery to convert effluent, (sewage)into methane for process energy, waste paper into ethanol, cycling CO2 into the algae, and the residual organics into a bacterial fermenter to produce hydrogen gas, butanol fuel, and acetone; all viable products for the marketplace.

    Having spent years producing the trash that is floating around every ocean in the world by the millions of containers each day, I have a keen awareness of scale. Refiners are juggling carbon molecules around to get the optimal mix of product as market conditions dictate. This also allows the oil companies to blend difficult and dangerous waste products into the gasoline mix eliminating costly disposal of toxic chemicals by burning them in our cars. That way they can make much more money to invest in pharmaceutical companies that make a ton of money from the illnesses created by the toxins we now get to breath from our polluting petro cruisers. An elegantly simple, profitable, and abhorrent way to do business.

    Making algae and other "green" fuels is not an option for the world. Similar to the distributed processing revolution that happened when the personal computer became reality, the distributed, de-centralized production of fuel promises to change the world. All of us who are here on this site, struggling with concepts and challenges should be proud to be a part of what could be a much brighter, greener future for our space ship; planet Earth.

    Best wishes to all.

    Automedia, Inc.
    georgeonik@yahoo.com

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  • Arden wrote:
    Fri August 20 2010 11:06:44 PM

    @ George
    Your points make a lot of sense.
    Small medium sized PBRs that are controllable.
    Distributed, de centralised growing, cultivating and harvesting of algae followed by oil extraction using small medium extractors located locally is a great concept.

    It minimises the transportation of algae/ algae extract etc., back and forth.

    Imagine a biodiesel plant in every nook and corner whereever algae can be grown.

    Makes sense.

    @George
    If you had seperated your article with some paragraphs and may be some with sub heads, it would have been even more interesting to read.

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  • Arden wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 12:14:10 AM

    AA

    and others !

    PBR is carbon negative ? How much energy is utilised in culturing ?

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  • Georgeonik wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 01:59:26 AM

    @Arden

    Thanks for the suggestion. It was a spontaneous rant concocted while ignoring the person knocking at my front door. I will edit it into smaller chunks that are easier to digest.

    Decentralization is the greatest issue. As long as production of fuel is concentrated in large petro facilities too much power is in too few hands.

    A recent article predicts a barrel of oil will cost $250.00 in ten years. This will happen as a result of real demand and dwindling supplies. The world's largest oil field in Saudi is now pumping large amounts of seawater as injection is less and less effective. The biggest Mexican field is also depleting rapidly. As an oil man I know once told me; "You don't think we are going let a bunch of tree-huggers just waltz in and take over our business?" "Hell, this bio fuel stuff is like drilling one well that never runs dry."

    Even grizzly old roughnecks see the value of sustainability.

    Regards.

    George Onik

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  • Arden wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 03:22:13 AM

    Not just for the sake of powers being in a few hands . More because of minimising the double transportation, do we need to look at decentralisation. You generate CO2 to take algae from the farm to the refinery and then you generate CO2 to take biodiesel to the point of consumption from the refinery.
    In the decentralised model, with modular oil extractors, there will be extractors whereever decent quantity of algae is grown.
    i think am going off the topic of bioreactor vs open ponds. so, bye !
    Have a nice weekend all of you !

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  • Isabella wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 04:00:04 AM

    @ Andres

    Can u compare the two products and explain the functions of each one of them ?



    V-System = 2,50 x 18 m = 144 V-reactors a 32 litres = 4.500 litres / incl. compressor, supply & survailance and construction work = Euro 9.950
    Exchange of folio after 12 to 24 month Euro 342

    H-system (closed pond) 2,50 x 20 m x 15 cm = circa 7500 litres / incl. compressor, supply & surveillance and assembly = Euro 4.880
    Exchange of folio after 2 to 5 years


    Under what conditions do you recommend H and V ?
    What are their efficiencies ?
    Plus and minus points

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  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 11:17:46 AM

    Excuse me George, but your PBR design is everything elso but simple. 8 by 8 by 10 feet double wall tanks made from high grade stainless steel, - sounds expensive for me. If they are to be constructed in a such a way that you can transport them, you have to fortify them inner-walls to prevent twisting and denting. LIGHT - light comes than only from above, - right? And you want to pile them? Than off course you have to connect them if you need heating and send warm water through the entire multi-tank unit, - like in a central heating system? CO2 appliance for all tanks would need an inter connection too, I guess. For all of this you would need some driving force. And you want to transport the tanks, - what for!
    Well our experiance is to leave the algae cultures as untouched as possible. The only "stress" they might tolerate is when you withdraw oxygen for a period of time, - then they will produce hydrogen. But even this trick is far from commercialization, - yet!
    I have to admit that I dont understand very much about this technology, but I am always eager to learn.

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  • Sat August 21 2010 12:42:34 PM

    AlgaeNova, I don't know what you are smoking in that pipe but keep it going, you are putting out some really good posts.
    I like the idea of getting serious about discussing 'commercial' conditions and economic
    possibilities.
    To help us start on the same page I think we must describe the opportunities and the challenges in specific detail. I don't want AA to jump to the conclusion that I am wandering into the area of BBB. But I digress.........let's get started.

    We all need to start with a defination of a 'commercial' operation. I think it should be no smaller than 25,000 cfm of CO2 (standard conditions). This is just a medium size emitter.
    If one is going to do any good at all with the CO2 problem we have to design facilities to handle lots of CO2......and do the job 24 hours a day. I think we should think of CO2 that is being emitted as a valuable resource, don't waste any of it, if the CO2 escapes from the surface of your reactor, capture that CO2 and send it back through the reactor until the algae or whatever process it. In summary:

    Build for processing 25,000 cfm CO2
    PBR must work 24/7/365

    And the system MUST make a big profit without any help from the taxpayers. What do you think.
    Alan Schaefer

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  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 01:48:55 PM

    Hallo Issabella of Anguilla, summer tends to leave us here in the north of Germany and I wish I could sail away to a warmer realm ...... and maybe land on Anguilla and make a dream come true. All right, - here we stop dreaming - One question that always pops up with algae breeding is the productivity! People tend to think algae is something where you fill water into some sort of container, put some gimmicks to it, like some extra light, some fertilizers and som CO2 and the they are productive. But after all it is still living material - even the word "material" gives me troubles to write. Give me a better one! Algae - their number double 2-3 times a day. 1kg of algae- to 5 kg after 5 days - to 1 to after 1o days. 1 kg of algae requires 1.65 to 1,8 Best condition) of CO2 in production (here we have a basic research going on to maybe enhance the ability of algae to sequester/transform carbon dioxide see: my profile NEW RESEARCH >> Incorporation of carbon and nitrogen atoms into proteins measured by protein-based stable isotope probing (Protein-SIP. So now, - how is the productivity in our bio reactor - and I will not be able to answer straight away because it is a little bit like farming: what specie, under which conditions (temperature, light, nutrients, quality of CO2, and, and, and ...... But one thing I can tell you, we are earning money with what we harvest!And this is the only figure that is dependable. If someone tells you his PBR or pond will produce so and so much amount of algae every day, month, or year, dont beleive him let him show you the commercial figures. If you install a PBR or even a pond system (I have to admit that I dont understand very much about pond cultivating - it is just not an option for us and this mainly because of our engagement here in Northern Europe and the knowledge that open systems do not only contain algae but as well everything else that might live in aquatic environments. For the type of clients and the policy of quality we are going after it is not acceptable. Pool culturing might be economical when you are only out after biomasses that you can squeeze for lipids, anything else will only produce poor quality. Algae are never alone in an open environment and they have the ability to store all kinds of substances and micronutrients with their vacuole system. It is that what makes them interesting for waste water treatment and the possible removal of toxic heavy metals and other chemicals. Sorry I got carried away, so if you install a PBR you will need at least one or two month to run it properly, meaning to achieve the highest possible production, that is if you have an allready proven system and you dont have to experiment any longer. We have one system runing on Sicilia and are of course suprised about the boost in productivity there. So much about productivity, you cant nail me on that. I am not able to answer that straight away. Again, see it economical, for the project in combination with the power plant of Vattenfall/Saxony/Germany we are still in preparation and under construction, the estimatet income (production of biomasses allready ordered by contract LOI): Location: Industrial park ?Schwarze Pumpe? - s?chsischer Teil ? Street B Number 1A Breakdown: 21 ha (51.8921 acre) of production surface, hereof 18,8 ha (44.4789 acre) greenhouses 1.0 ha (2.47105 acre) of management centre, research centre and conference centre 4.5 ha (9.88421 acre)open Pond systems Production: The production volume of algae-biomass will be 2000 m/to/year, during first both years . Sales profits by guaranteed purchase and refining contracts amount to ? 22.000.000,00 p.a. Estimated revenue net. 15 -25%. How do we know? Well there are PBR`s of the same type running and producing. I do think we know this business, algae breeding, a little bit and it is therefore we concentrate on the possible. Which system now is to recomend. - well both! Both need very little energy to run on - you can get that from the solar - voltaic installation we recomand for shading (a new development also there, we use now transperent voltaic collectors) If you ask noe - shading! why that, algae need as much light as possible. Please read on my profile about Light Management. Well back to the two types. For high quality production of I would recommend the V-system, for a good quality mass-production the H-system - covered pond. For serious algae breeding and a nameable CO2 storage a combination of both. The pond system requires no pumps nor 3 phase AC motors, water circulation in the ponds comes from a hydrostatic head generated by light air pressure (the same 12 V/140W air compressor we use for the 144V-Reactor >> see PP-presentation: Specification Bioreactor on Linkedin Profile: http://de.linkedin.com/in/algaenova Any more questions please contact me: algaenova at email dot de Andreas

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  • Georgeonik wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 02:06:35 PM

    @AlgaeNovae

    Dear AlgaeNova;

    First, I took the opportunity to view your site and I must complement your minimalist approach to the construction of your PBR. It is excellent. While most of us are debating the merits of algae farming on a theoretical basis your group is MAKING it. Kudos.

    Now for the critical analysis. Having worked on blow molding equipment for years, (the best machines are GERMAN, incidentally) and some experience with blown film extrusion, you have not included the cost of processing to make your poly bags. Triple wall bags of sufficient strength to meet your application are probably co-extruded. An expensive and technically challenging endeavor. The plastic is made from petro most likely natural gas. This doesn't mean that it can't be made from methane, eventually, but, I digress. The ambient light levels appear to be low enough that degradation of the film due to UV exposure is, most likely, very low.

    I cringe when I see algae being pumped through large plastic tubes under pressure. They are little creatures and I am sure some of the same problems that manifested in heart pump design are also a consideration. When pushing algae under pressure around the impeller of a pump it is much like a carnival ride of death for the little guys.

    Our design utilizes the physics of the digestion cycle to provide extremely gentle, natural mixing of the algae. As for light we originally thought we would literally bathe the algae in light and our theories on how much light was necessary were naive at best. I compare the light requirements for algae to be more similar to a catalytic reaction where the light actually enables the other processes rather than being the source of the energy. (i.e. algae that are grown in the dark). Our light source is provided by LED lamps that are suspended inside the tank. Our light source is always open to the top of the culture thus eliminating much of the problem of algae obscuring the light due to build up on the sidewalls. Our gas collector lid is designed to blow off in case of hydrogen buildup and ignition. Otherwise, The out-gas of the reactor is collected at the top of the unit for storage or recirculation.

    The unit for algae production is made from 1/8 inch Stainless (.125") with large structural members on the corners reducing the flexural problems associated with thinwall tanks. Much of our design is based on experience in the dairy and beer industries.

    On the surface it may appear to be overkill but, in a production environment we anticipate workers blasting the vessel with steam, on occasion, to clear the tank and for sterilization.

    COST!!!! We have a target cost of $25,000 per unit on a mass produced scale. A five compartment module is basically the size of a 53' shipping container. This makes shipping and delivery compatible with existing infrastructure. When comparing the cost of a 50,000 gallon fermentation tank as is commonly used in the ethanol arena versus the enhanced output of our unit and the small footprint of our design I feel we will be able to return the capital investment in a relatively short time as compared to the operating life of the units.

    Best wishes, your companies' work is impressive.

    George Onik
    Automedia, Inc.

    Stainless steel dairy equipment has a remarkably long life span and is quite durable. We factor the initial cost against the life of the unit which is on a theoretical level is substantially less than one would think.

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  • Shankar wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 04:27:47 PM

    Alan
    You seldom cease to amaze me. Am i becoming your fan ?

    " We all need to start with a defination of a 'commercial' operation. I think it should be no smaller than 25,000 cfm of CO2 (standard conditions). This is just a medium size emitter.
    If one is going to do any good at all with the CO2 problem we have to design facilities to handle lots of CO2......and do the job 24 hours a day. I think we should think of CO2 that is being emitted as a valuable resource, don't waste any of it, if the CO2 escapes from the surface of your reactor, capture that CO2 and send it back through the reactor until the algae or whatever process it. In summary:

    Build for processing 25,000 cfm CO2
    PBR must work 24/7/365

    And the system MUST make a big profit without any help from the taxpayers. What do you think."

    Right way to start !!
    Any takers ?!!

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  • Aathmika wrote:
    Sat August 21 2010 04:34:36 PM

    @ George

    " When pushing algae under pressure around the impeller of a pump it is much like a carnival ride of death for the little guys."

    cant agree more George.

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  • Sun August 22 2010 12:42:59 PM

    Pardon me Alan, Andres and George and others for digressing the topic. But this is somewhat related and interesting too.

    I agree with some who said in our club, that there is no need to bother about using the refining infrastructure of crude oil.

    We can have a distributed algae culture, distributed extraction and refining centres and we can save on transportation of algae to the refinery and re transportation of Gas to the consumption centre.
    Here is a PLUG and PLAY - MODULAR PBR from
    Algasol Renewables.
    Frost and Sullivan has chosen their technolgy as a disruptive one.

    We are living in a dynamic world. I am glad our algae to fuel process too is as dynamic as any other ! Even as we are discussing the existing concepts in PBRs, heres a breakthrough of sorts.



    Now, let us continue our discussion and also have expert views on this new product.


    the news item is given below.
    --------------------------------------------
    Algasol Renewables provides a critical and innovative method for micro algae biomass production. Its modular floating bag technology, a new variation of photobioreactors (PBRs), provides a low-cost design coupled with industrial scalability, optimal light exposure, high biomass concentration, low energy consumption, and efficient system control.

    A key aspect of the technology is its entirely flexible structure utilizing only an integrated density management system to control the position of the PBR in the water.

    Algasol Renewables is able to reduce energy and water use by taking advantage of an internal aeration system, high biomass concentration and free stirring from waves as well as through a natural temperature buffer provided by the surrounding sea.

    In addition, the company's commercial unit-size PBR is capable of holding up to 500 m3 of algae culture in modular sub-units and only needs 3 m3 of low-cost polymer material, thereby evidencing a clear commitment to optimal resource management.

    Furthermore, Algasol Renewables has developed an adverse weather protection system, which enables its PBRs to submerge for protecting the algae culture as well as the PBR.


    This means that the floating PBR technology of Algasol Renewables can be deployed both in ponds on land or in the ocean, thereby providing maximum flexibility in terms of where to locate large-scale micro algae production facilities.

    "Algasol Renewables' approach is expected to be the pioneer to achieve an economically and environmentally sustainable large-scale algae biofuels production," says Frost & Sullivan Global Program Manager, Transportation Chemicals, Robert Outram.


    "The company has shown an astonishing entrepreneurial dexterity in introducing a new environment-friendly production system, which could eventually be rolled out across the world."

    Large-scale production of algae biofuels requires huge amounts of energy, water, nutrients, and non-degradable inputs. This is likely to raise concern about its supposedly beneficial environmental contribution. Achieving this goal is expected to significantly ease the world's fossil fuel dependency.

    Hence, CO2 emissions, which contribute to climate change, are likely to be reduced.

    Algasol Renewables' technology reduces the need for intensive use of resources not only by reducing cost, but also by leaving a positive footprint on the planet. Being a modular "plug and play" system that can be rolled out easily and locally, Algasol Renewables' technology avoids the carbon footprint associated with constructing and installing more complex production systems and with transportation of fossil fuels.

    Its innovative approach is expected to have a significant beneficial effect on the environment, if it allows a massive adoption of algae biofuels.

    Thus, the amount of fossil fuels consumed is expected to be reduced. In the long term, the company expects to adopt biodegradable plastic materials for its floating bags, thereby increasing its commitment to the environment.

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  • Sun August 22 2010 03:24:54 PM

    Mia, I like your thoughtful post.

    I would like to add that if a system is to be viable it has to be flexible enough to be applied ANYWHERE close to a large CO2 emitter. Now it might not be the cheapest system but it has to fit the most large emitters to be competitive. AND do the job at a profit 24/7/365.

    You are right, let's keep our eye on the goal of 'fixing' the CO2 problem where ever it occurs.

    Have a great day all of you F.O.A.
    "Friends Of Algae"

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  • Richard wrote:
    Mon August 23 2010 12:58:14 PM

    Mia franceska, Andres, Alan, George, Arden, Aathmika, Isabella, et al

    Just when all of us were discussing the perils of large sized PBRs here is news about someone wanting to build the larges PBR ever built and may be even auction it ?

    10,000,000 liter continuous culture !

    Let us have your views please !

    http://www.oilgae.com/club/users/Veronica/blogs/563

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  • Shankar wrote:
    Tue August 24 2010 12:24:41 AM

    @ George
    " This also allows the oil companies to blend difficult and dangerous waste products into the gasoline mix eliminating costly disposal of toxic chemicals by burning them in our cars. That way they can make much more money to invest in pharmaceutical companies that make a ton of money from the illnesses created by the toxins we now get to breath from our polluting petro cruisers. An elegantly simple, profitable, and abhorrent way to do business. "
    Is this a fiction or fact ?

    I am tempted to believe what you are saying. But is there proof of oil companies owning pharma companies ?

    As I said before, I totally agree with the idea of distributed generation of oil from algae to avoid double transportation.

    Also can i Have the url of your site ?

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  • Richard wrote:
    Thu August 26 2010 07:07:49 AM

    How come there is no comment from anyone on
    Algesol's pbr ?
    It sounds very good.
    As Andres says, there is no photograph, no video.
    As Alan says there are no calculations to show
    a. material balance
    b. rate of growth
    c. profitability etc etc

    Other than the above, the fact remains that the pbr has won an award for disruptive technology.

    We as industry experts, need to express our opinions.

    I am wanting to learn for practical experts.

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