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Blogs under tag Algae Biofuel Cost

Algae biofuel PBR at $ 4000 Posted by Shankar on Fri November 19 2010 09:13:20 PM 3

Algae biofuel process set up cost

interesting write up by an algaepreneur. Ron Brown has given his
costing. It is in contrast with the academic costing given by EBI. I
wish he could be invited along with the authors to discuss the algae
biofuel costs and costing.
Go ahead read on a short note by Ron Brown on how he set up his own algae farming to oil extraction.

year,  I became a founding director and Chief Technical Officer of
Aquatic Resource Farming, Inc. in a scheme to grow algae for its oil for
use as a renewable fuel feedstock."

He seems to have started all this almost solo. I admire the initiative.

" We built a 300-gallon concrete raceway for  $300.00.  (Plastic raceways of about the same size are  commercially available for $7,000.00.)

designed, built, and patented a bio-reactor at a cost of about
as opposed to at least tens of thousands of dollars for its
equivalent.  "

He has been cost conscious all along.

"We tried four different techniques for harvesting the algae
from the water (flocculation, foam flotation, electrophoresis, and
, finally implementing a harvesting strategy that uses
two 60-liter-per-hour cream separators from Ukraine, bought through eBay
at a cost of $135.00 each, saving thousands of dollars. "

Meticulous planning.

 "To extract the oil from the algae, we tried solvent extraction, with some success.  Searching for a more cost-effective solution, I bought a hand-operated screw expeller press from Rajkumar Engineering for $100.00.  After some false starts, we were able to use it to extract oil from the dried algae. 

units are available from China for $3,000.00.  Prices for expeller
presses specifically designed for use with algae start at $9,000.00.

Although we were able to surmount all the technical obstacles, there were a few surprises:

 We discovered that the bioreactor was not even necessary
after the first batch.  If we could just save five gallons of dense
culture or a couple of kilos of algae paste from  the current batch, it
could easily be preserved in a refrigerator.  Although we had arranged
for $80,000 in capital, this never materialized, leaving the company
with an uncertain future

We are poised to set up a 1/10th acre
pilot plant to demonstrate the scalability and commercial feasibility of
our process, but there is no money.   We found a grant opportunity with
the National Science Foundation which would allow us to continue, but
the deadline is fast approaching, and it is not clear whether we will be
able to get everything set up properly in time to meet the deadline."

By Ron Brown


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