Home Built PBR/Processor/Storage Project

All aspects of extraction of oil from algae are discussed

Home Built PBR/Processor/Storage Project

Postby dieseltwitch » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:25 am

Hello All,
This is my first post on this forum, I have to say I love forums, they are the true embodiment of what the internet was meant to be, share ideas, thoughts, findings, results, experience, and knowledge freely and quickly. Thank you all for the willingness to do so.

Ok on to my project. My primary goal is not to solve the world energy problem with bio fuels, nor is it to make a ton of money doing this. That being said I want to be totally self sufficient without giving up any of the pleasures, freedoms and utilities me and mine currently enjoy... these being; Food, Water, Heating, Cooling, Electricity and Fuel for Transportation and if i happen to help solve an energy problem and be as many people say "part of the solution" then great!

My goal before I am 35 is to build a home that is as close to off the grid in every way as i can make it with out living like hippies (my apologies to any one who take offense to that). Its my belief that people will not accept a technology no mater how much energy it can save them if it forces them to either work harder or makes life more complicated. For me if a little bit of work is required to make my life better, safer and cleaner I'm all game. If I can grow my own fuel, food and make my own heating and cooling, and pump my own water, then I don't need to work as hard to provided for my family. this is a win win in my head.

Ok enough rambling about that. Here is what I have planned;
I want to take two 40' shipping containers and turn one into a PBR and the other into the processing, storage and management center. On the outside of southern most container I will mount 5 evacuated tube solar thermal collectors (~175,000 BTU's/Day averaged over the year) for heating of both containers in the winter and also use any excess heat to heat the water from my home as well as space heating and also for processes heating. On the top side of both containers I will mount PV ( aprox 8 kW) On the inside I will us a combination of Batteries and grid tried inverters to store some of the power and return the excess to the grid) I will use the PV power directly to power the pumps, oil press and lights and control system.

Im trying to form a list of things I need to solve to make this work. (I will update these as I solve them so that others can learn)
Here is what I have thus far:

What Strain To Use?
Im hoping that some one can help me with this one. There is a lot of information out there about this but none of it is really clear.

What temperature does the water need to be kept at?

How much Co2 needs to be introduced into the sytem?
I read some where that for every 1 ton of Algae I will need almost 2 tons of Co2

Is there enough Co2 in the atmo to just pump outdoor air though the water or do I need to provided a larger source of Co2?

How much volume will I need to get x amount of fuel
From my readings I have found that 10% of the Wet algae (not including water medium) weight will be its dry weight and. another 10% of that is what I can expect from that in actual fuel oil production so basically 1% of the wet weight is what I can expect... is this right? I 1% really isn't that bad. When stretched over days and weeks. can some one help me develop a model that will help me with this problem.

What is the best design for the PBR?
My First thought is a tubular system -> High price but low risk of contaminates although having it inside should minimize that also. (this is my fav thus far)
My Second thought is an open pond system (long troughs inside the container) -> cheaper to build but could pose other problems. (must lay flat and may get less surface area out the total volume of the container...)
Any other designs I haven't consider that might be better?

What Nutrients need to be added to the water and it what concentration?
This one I have no clue about..

What is the gell point of ABD (Algae BioDiesel)?
Im thinking this depends on the strain and the process technique.

My thought is to have a few totes of water say 500 gallons each. rather then just grow, process, grow process, I'm thinking that I will constantly filter off a given volume of water/algae and dry that providing a constant but slow rater of production. I still need to look at this to see if its the best way to do it. I worry that the algae needs to mature before being processed, in that case I will have a 3 stage system. the first stage will just be used to cultivate the algae and begin the growing, the second stage will be a full growing tank (running though the PBR and infusing Co2)... and the third stage will be the drying and preprocessing tank any thoughts would be of great help on this. remember Im not going for huge huge production rates. I drive about 1000 miles a week and my car get roughly 40 MPG, so I only need about 25 gallons a week. If I can make 30 gallons a week I will double my stock in just over a month.... Not BAD!! :-) I also plan to reclaim as much of the water as I can into each cycle. hopefully reducing the amount of water I need to add to the system each time

After reading this does any one have any ideas, thought, questions, answers to my post? I would love to build this, document it and share it to anyone who wishes to use the same idea?
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:22 am
Location: Strasburg, CO

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