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Life cycle study - Algenol?s algae-to-ethanol process Posted by Duncan on Tue October 26 2010 01:20:24 AM 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.