German-French Algal Biofuel Initiative LaunchesGerman-French Algal Biofuel Initiative Launches
October 20, 2011
joint German-French algal photobioreactor plant, built by IGV GmbH in partnership with Bioalgostral SAS (BAO), has gone into operation on the French island of La Reunion. The event also marked the signing of the contract between the partners for the delivery and establishment of an industrial plant for the production of biofuels from microalgae with a total volume of 82,000 L in 2012.
IGV GmbH, based in Nuthetal, Brandenburg, Germany, is an independent private research institution closely associated with industry, biotechnology and food processing, with 30 years of experience and development in the cultivation of microalgae, the design and construction of photobioreactors, and product developments from microalgae biomass. Bioalgostral, with headquarters in St. Clotilde, La Reunion, France, is a start-up company established in 2008 dedicated to the industrial production of biofuels from microalgae.
IGV and BAO have been working intensively together since 2010 within the framework of a co-operation agreement. The aim of the co-operation is the implementation and development of new technologies for the mass production of microalgae and the generation of bioenergy from microalgae biomass for specific projects on La Reunion. The island’s tropical climatic conditions offer excellent potential for algal growth and development, according to the two companies.
The intention is for the project to be carried out in two stages. During the 2011-2014 period, a number of different glass photobioreactors will be installed on La Reunion by IGV, and the biofuel manufacturing program will be put into action directly on the island. The intention is for this fuel to be used for the vehicle fleet on the island. Other products from microalgae will be evaluated as well during that time.
This phase will also include the supply and installation of a 1000 m² MUTL bioreactor, which will be used for research. With the MUTL technology using a “thin-layer” process, according to the partners, IGV GmbH will double the growth rate of the biomass in comparison with glass photobioreactors, and at the same time reduce investment costs by 60%.
In the second phase of the project, 2014-2017, the photobioreactors will be used for the manufacture of high-value products such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, as well as be used for the production of the stock material for the operation of a large-scale MUTL installation. The intention is, by way of expansion stages of 1 ha and 5 ha in size, to prove the economic and technical feasibility of the project. Mass-flow utilization concepts, such as the use of CO2 from waste gases, are at the focus of the developments on La Reunion.
Once the project has been completed, the two companies, in co-operation, will begin operating large-scale systems in the 100-ha range, as well as marketing other co-products.Going to the ABS? Drop by the A.I.M. Booth 306