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Now that the oil is $ 115 per barrel !! 31

I have been reading in this forum that Oil from  Algae becomes viable in raceway ponds / PBR the moment oil reaches $ 100 per barrel .
Is it true !!
Is it now viable. ? Can those in the know throw some light !!
Wed March 30 2011 04:51:43 AM by Shankar 3495 views

Comments - 3

  • Gopinelli wrote:
    Thu March 31 2011 06:28:59 PM

    given serious attention, it could have been viable by now. There are genuine stuff out there. Same time, people make too much noice than algae and biodiesel. Most of the claims we see today are blown up and not validated. Majority of them are lab scale experiments. It.s well established for decades that lab models will not work upscale outdoors.
    Some others claim large scale biomass processing and biodiesel production, which will not exist without enough biomass.
    Unfortunately, research in this domain is the least supported one, primarily undertaken by independant researchers and startup comanies. They ususlly end up in financial burden. Few smart guys make money too, but genuine claims with scientific backing do not get enough support or attention. Its my experience too. So i decided to work silently on my projects until the right opportunity knocks my door.

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  • Shankar wrote:
    Fri April 01 2011 12:35:58 AM

    Thanks Gopinelli !
    What are the various cost components of the process algae to oil. 
    PBR as they say is capital intensive and hasnt scaled yet. Or atleast no proven model, I guess.
    So, is it the cultivation or the drying or extraction that has been waiting for oil price to go above $ 100 ? 
    Given What has happened unfortunately in japans Nuke facility, I expect lots of attention to turn to Algae for co2 capture, leave alone algae to oil. That is a bonus. Hi value products and biomass etc are bonus too. 
    Can we just grow algae and capture all the co2 from point sources !!
    For that matter in order to utilise all the co2 emitted from a say 500 MW coal power plant, how many PBRs do i need of what capacity, so that all the co2 is absorbed.
    What will be the total capital cost for building these PBRs. Wouldnt that be cheaper than pre combustion capture or post compbustion capture of CO2 in a power plant and then liquefying the co2 and transporting it to some place and store underground.
    Storing CO2 underground has the same threats like what happened to Fukushima nuclear plant in an earth quake. We run the risk of  large amount of CO2 suddenly coming out from such under ground or under ocean storages . 
    Algae it looks can save mankind all over again. 
    But this time around man has a price for his life. If PBRs expensive, he may sacrifice his life :-)

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  • Gopinelli wrote:
    Fri April 08 2011 09:40:51 AM

    Hi Shankar!

    The main issue is not about the cost. It's about how sustaianable we are and how much are we prepared to accept disruptive ideas. Being conservative in researches will not take us to the extreme possibilities.

    What i am offering is a proprietary sustainability platform.

    It grows large quantities of algae yielding biomass in multiple folds over conventional systems. 

    Light utilization in this lab-independent large volume bioreactor system is improved by its unique features and by tracking sunlight to shaded areas using proprietary solar trackers. Night time artificial lighting is employed for continuous yield.

    Metabolic activities of a short cell cycle algae is synchronized to maintain the cells in same metabolic state. The synchronized colony is alternatively exposed to dark and light periods corresponding to actual cell cycle duration of the species, to achieve multiple cell cycles per day.

    Each bioreactor represents a complete cell cycle providing a light period and dark period to the colony. Volume of bioreactors is improved in the direction of media flow and media diluted in each bioreactor.

    Media temperature is regulated in relation to incident light. Transparent insulation is provided to the bioreactors in extreme conditions. These features improve climatic and seasonal adaptability. The system branches out to form parallel branches, thus improves scalability. 

    Cells are allowed to attain maximum growth (and maximum size) before harvesting. Cells in the harvest broth are immobilized before dewatering. Harvest is partially dewatered into concentrated slurry using proprietary equipment that is much economic than other dewatering systems in the market.

    Oil is extracted out of the slurry in wet phase using ultrasonic cell disruption technology.  Oil is converted to biodiesel using ultrasonic processor.

    Solid mass after oil extraction is dried for downstream processing. Once the media is introduced to the system, transport of media and slurry are achieved gravitationally. Pumping is eliminated to minimize energy input. Heat requirement of the system is met by heat exchange of flue gases to be introduced into the system. 

    The system allows recycling of evaporative water. In areas where more than 750 mm annual rainfall is available, water requirement of the system will be met by recharging soil aquifers using rain water lakes. Water separated from initial dewatering of harvest will be fed to rainwater lakes and put nature to filter the water.

    The system overcomes almost all obstacles of commercial algae cultivation.

    A standard facility will be a 1 hectare algae farm and associated facilities on 4 hectares. This can consume daily 100 mt carbon dioxide producing nearly 50 mt biomass per day.  At 20% oil yield, annual oil yield is 3650 mt (nearly 1 milllion gallon) oil per annum. Thus, the system can replace nearly 320 acres of conventional algae farms. Cost of the entire system is approximately $35 million, that is an equivalant of 110,000$ per acre that produces 3000 gallon oil per year.

    In order to make the system financially feasible, a part of the biomass will be processed for high value end products.

    If waste water stream available, the system can recycle 20,000m3 waste water per day. Power requirement for night time lighting is 360 kwh.


    For any further info, please write to me on biz_3k@yahoo.com.




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