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Life cycle study - Algenol?s algae-to-ethanol process 3

Algenol Biofuels? Direct to Ethanol technology is based on an intracellular photosynthetic process in cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that produces ethanol that is excreted through the cell walls, collected from closed photobioreactors as a dilute ethanol-in-water solution, and purified to fuel grade ethanol.

System components of cyanobacterial ethanol life
cycle analysis. Credit: ACS, Luo et al.

A team from Algenol and Georgia Tech calculated the life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions for three different system scenarios for this proposed ethanol production process, using process simulations and thermodynamic calculations. They found that, on a life cycle basis in comparison to gasoline, the direct to ethanol technology can provide a 67% to 87% reduction in carbon footprint on an energy equivalent basis for initial ethanol
concentrations (given in weight percent) ranging from 0.5% to 5%.

Their work was published as an open access paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology on 22 Oct.

Tue October 26 2010 01:20:24 AM by Duncan algae to ethanol  |  ethanol from algae  |  Algenol  |  Georgiatech 2498 views

Comments - 2

  • Natalia wrote:
    Tue October 26 2010 01:30:13 AM

    Algenol aims to produce about 56,000 L (about 15,000 gallons US) of ethanol per hectare per year using about 430 polyethylene photobioreactors per hectare, each with about 4500 L of culture medium containing about 0.5 g/L of cyanobacterial biomass.

    This production target is within achieved photosynthetic yields and corresponds to 1.8% solar energy conversion efficiency for average incident sunlight energy levels in the United States.


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  • Natalia wrote:
    Wed November 24 2010 12:26:32 AM

    The 36-acre facility at Lee Road, Fort Myers, will demonstrate Algenol’s “Direct to Ethanol” process, using blue-green algae to capture carbon dioxide emissions and produce ethanol.

    Algenol has the support of the US Department of Energy, local officials on the Lee County Commission and its strategic partners, including The Dow Chemical Company.

    Paul Woods, Algenol’s Founder and CEO, said: “Having our Integrated Bio-Refinery and research laboratories all on one site will facilitate collaboration among our scientists and engineers and those of our partners, The Dow Chemical Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and Membrane Technology and Research (MTR).”


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