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Algae-based CO2 Sequestration at Power Plants 16

I was wondering if there are members in this club who have done / or are doing work on algae-based CO2 capture at power plants and other large CO2 emitting industries. It is well known that it is a tricky area with a number of stiff challenges, but if we are able to make it happen, it could be really wonderful.

I thought this club might be a good place to kick off interactions and discussions on this important subject.

I am looking forward to members who have some interest/experience in this dropping a note in the comments section.

Have a great day
Fri April 23 2010 10:52:47 AM by Narsi power plants  |  co2 sequestration 2646 views

Comments - 14

  • Askatoch wrote:
    Fri April 23 2010 02:17:31 PM

    coal fire power plants need to have FGD system in order to be linked up to Algae system.
    The marriage is successful but needs initial investment to convert the unit the FGD or at least partial FGD.

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  • Rmulvey wrote:
    Fri April 23 2010 07:18:45 PM

    What do you mean by FGD?

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  • Narsi wrote:
    Sat April 24 2010 04:40:13 AM

    FGD = flue gas desulfurization

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  • Karthic wrote:
    Sun April 25 2010 06:39:33 AM

    Well, we need to test a couple more things I guess.
    1. Can algae withstand the concentration of CO2 that the plant emits. To my knowledge, most microalgae can withstand upto 15%. In most cases, algae will have to adapted or proper strain has to be selected for best utlization of CO2.
    2. Algae should be able to withstand NOx and SOx.

    Only when these conditions satisfy, the process work good.

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  • Mahesh wrote:
    Mon April 26 2010 09:39:51 AM

    but won't the pH vary because of continous addition of flue gases????

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  • Rmulvey wrote:
    Wed May 05 2010 07:34:27 AM

    If the power plant is already using low sulfur coal, what would be the need for FGD?

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  • Karthic wrote:
    Wed May 19 2010 01:58:21 PM

    @ Mahesh,
    The pH would change due to CO2. CO2 in water would form HCO3- (bicarbonate) that would alter the pH. But, to my knowledge NOx and SOx does not affect the pH of the culture media.
    Also, most cultivating systems have some kind of a buffering system.

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  • Anand wrote:
    Thu August 05 2010 10:54:20 PM

    It is best to isolate the algae in the vicinity of the water bodies from the coal-fired power plants. Such algae can provide more tolerance to the CO2, SOx, NOx present in the flue gases and adapt to the environmental conditions of the power plant.
    All the constituents of the flue gas CO2, SOx and NOx (form respective acids)have an effect on the pH of the algae cultures. CO2 is separated from the flue gas after SOx and NOx is removed through scrubbers and FGD systems. Algae is only fed with CO2 from the flue gas to the algae ponds near the powerplants.
    CO2 feeding is not required throughout the entire daylight period as it has a heavy influence on the pH of the algae cultures. The mole fraction of the carbon dioxide gas can be adjusted according to the pH of the algae cultures.

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  • Akg117 wrote:
    Sun September 26 2010 02:37:08 AM

    @narsi:Why not a photobioreactor be considered if raceways needs more land?Economic analysis can be made for CO2 supply using pipelines and photobioreactor capital,operation and maintenance cost.Based on the economics pbbly one can arrive at the solution

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  • Sun September 26 2010 05:17:56 AM

    For months and months people on this blog have been talking about open raceways, ponds etc. So much time and effort has been put out saying this company does this and that company does that. And if you add it all together it doesen't add up to a hill of beans!
    Why don't one or a group of you get together and figure out the requirements for a realistic raceway system, if such a system is reealistic in the real world.

    Here would be some starting points from which to go forward.
    1. The actual size of the surface (water) area
    for the pond system would be 10,000 acres of level land.
    Question #1. This 10,000 acres are net surface area.....how many acres will be needed for access roads pipelines etc.?

    Question #2. How many cfm of CO2 will this system be able to handle. How will you mix the CO2 with the water/algae mix? If CO2 escapes to the atomsphere you may be fined for relesing CO2.
    What is your answer for night time production of CO2???? This emmiter is of coarse an industrial emmiter of CO2 24/7/365. They probably expect a CO2 mitigation system to work just as hard as they do.

    Let's stop diddle-daddling around and start working on something worthwhile, like finding real solutions for the CO2 mitigation problem.
    There are at least 10 or more people on this blog who could help with this project. It would be great to have all these very bright people pulling in the same direction. If we can separate the possible from the impossible we can surely start to make rapid progress towards realistic systems to capture C and make it pay.

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  • Manohar wrote:
    Mon September 27 2010 06:52:05 AM


    The CO2 would have gotten released from the Coal plant / power plant chimney anyway.

    even if the algae absorb during the day say 40 % of the CO2 transported. That is pretty good.

    Why not transport CO2 from the coal plant only during the day time ?

    What happens if we store the CO2 during the night times and mix it with water during the day time?

    The first question of how much extra space is required for 10,000 acres will be about 10 % or 20 %. Why is this considered tricky ?

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  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Tue September 28 2010 11:58:42 AM

    Hallo Oilgae friends,
    here a little bit of information about ALGAE CCS :

    and :




    I like to mention that we have one ongoing project with the power plant of Vattenfall, another one as well with Vattenfall in planing (both brown-coal fired-like the one with RWE and one gas fired power plant in Luxembourgh in planing. All PBR-projects (exept RWE) are commercial driven and have sizes from 15 to 25 hectare, all in greenhouses with photovoltaic roofing.
    To get some impressin what it looks like in reality go onto this website:
    and start: Film starten !! You will find that on the right side under the text: Weitere Informationen .....
    and dont mind the political talk in this little film just wathe the PBR sytem in action.
    This information is about biogas conditioning with microalgae:

    and last but not least, and to show you that we in "old Europe" are not living on the other side of the moon (since you are so fixed on everything that goes on in the US of A!)here this little information:
    http://www.get-busy.net/algenforum/img/Friedl, Thomas.pdf

    For more I unfortunately do not have the time, - this is also an excuse to everyone whom I owe an answer or a thanks - I will try to follow up as soon as possible (asp - right!?. For now it was just time enough for copying some material....

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  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Tue September 28 2010 12:50:43 PM

    Here I am back and just received disturbing news from my german news-letter IDW:


    Oceans acidify much faster than ever before in Earth?s history

    The time I wrote this bit about the CO2 problem I sure have heard about acidification, but had no concrete figures and so no reason to take it up in this articel:
    Algae and CCS

    If we start from what we know today, namely, that the total amount of CO? that we still can blow into the atmosphere, without creating severe damages to our environment, is much smaller than the still remaining reserves of all our fossil energy, than it is only a small step to an insight, that we have to live ?Carbon Neutral?; - meaning, we would have to eliminate 100% carbon dioxide emission from now on! Since we can not anticipate that the established, as well as the rising industrial nations will reduce their consumption per head, if we furthermore assume that it will be almost impossible to initiate binding resolutions or agreements that might force a change of habits upon them, we must at least come to an agreement to change technologies. Emit and it will cost you, - prevent and you earn! This simple formula could change things to the better. Our only alternative is ?Safe Carbon? (Sequestered Adequate Fraction of Extracted Carbon).
    Since the Kyoto-protocol, and even now with the disillusioning ending of the Copenhagen Climate Conference little in this direction did happen, but one can assume that in very near future things will change considerably.
    The African continent seems to dry out, the arctic ice melts and also the glaciers in the mountains melt like- yes, like ice in the sun. And with it all the already known consequences, plus those we never even heard of, it will be brought to our minds, - we have to re-arrange, re-invent, save and prevent!
    Whatever regulation the political and social guarantors, the leading industrial nations, as the competent organisations, might come up with, it has to go into the direction of a ?SAFE CARBON? era, with an obligation for the emitting industry to use CCS (Carbon Capture & Storage), beside all other means and technical possibilities for a reduction, instead of buying their way out and thus only misalign the problem instead of solving it to the better.
    Whatever it might be, - IT WILL GET EXPENSIVE!
    How expensive the burning of the last reserves of fossil energy will get in the end for all of us, - no one knows yet... Even with the prices of crude oil falling for a little period of time, it won?t make any difference in the long run, - the race is on!
    Now we see, - the race is realy on! Every sollution to reduce CO2 emission we have to take.
    Please send this articel to all your friends and connections!

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  • Tomcatino wrote:
    Sun January 30 2011 12:19:14 AM

    there are a couple of companies in Australia working on projects with coal fired power plants.

    the 2 I'm aware of are MBD Energy & Algae Tec



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