Macro-algae to ethanol

Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby cacofonix » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:51 am

While micro-algae are the most researched species both for biodiesel and ethanol currently, there are some serious issues with microalgae, one of which is the cost of harvesting. This is a significant component - it can be anywhere between $100-$400 per T of algae biomass!

Now, I would presume the costs of harvesting could be much lower if it were macroalgae, though I do not have enough data on the same from real-life case studies.

My question is, is there anyone who has done work on macroalgae species that are suitable for ethanol production - that is, macroalgae that have high starch or cellulose content that can be fermented to ethanol?

I await your valuable response, thanks!
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby DR Johansen » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:38 pm

The Japanese have plans for floating kelp/sargasso nets and are planning the syngas method for energy harvest. Check out:
[URL]http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article522203.ece[/URL]
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby cacofonix » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:11 pm

DR Johansen wrote:The Japanese have plans for floating kelp/sargasso nets and are planning the syngas method for energy harvest. Check out:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article522203.ece


Thanks for the link Dr J. This is a good effort indeed. I kind of wondered what was the current status of this experiment/project given that the article was published in May 2005! On googling, I got these two news items: http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/11/seawee ... ofuel.html , http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/features/ ... th-seaweed & one more to boot - http://ezinearticles.com/?Seaweed---Alg ... BioEthanol)&id=1684705

This certainly sounds interesting - macroalgae to fuel. Somehow, methinks macroalgae is a better bet - at least a priori it looks like harvesting could be much simpler, and growing these in marine will be a lot easier than to grow microalgae (how do you control these microalgae growth within a certain boundary, for instance?)
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby DR Johansen » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:48 pm

[quote="cacofonix"] Thanks for the link Dr J.
This certainly sounds interesting - macroalgae to fuel. Somehow, methinks macroalgae is a better bet - at least a priori it looks like harvesting could be much simpler, and growing these in marine will be a lot easier than to grow microalgae (how do you control these microalgae growth within a certain boundary, for instance?)[/quote]

First, it is DR J, not Dr. J, initials, not title. ;)
Second, half the times I post, the BBCode is on, half off. See, its on for my signature. Why? Makes quotes and smilies difficult!

I too like the macroalgae path, though the capital expenses for mats and such like may be fairly high.

As for microalgae, if the sole expense is sifting it out of the ocean with a plankton net, what could be easier? If one undertakes to add a bit of what is effectively rust and it blooms by 1000%, why do we care about staying within certain boundaries? Let it overflow the edges. Gives more for the fishies!
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby cacofonix » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:10 am

Growing macroalgal blooms in oceans sounds like a great idea, but there are some party-stoppers already who claim that trying to manipulate ocean environments could result in unforeseen disasters...

On a theoretical note, I do agree with them...we know so little about our ecology, but I'm wondering perhaps as we are doing in the case of genetic engineering, try small pilots and proceed carefully one step at a time, perhaps such ideas indeed can be tried without much risks...
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby guru » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:26 pm

Hi,
May be creating such massive algal blooms may not be a great idea.......But what about the existing algal blooms. Now and then news articles stating the death of shellfish due to massive algal blooms appears. Why cant we use the existing algal blooms?

Someone in this forum has given this link........Its really interesting.
See:http://geology.com/nasa/marine-phytoplankton.shtml
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby cacofonix » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:59 pm

Interesting discussion here...

By the way, there is something else I'd like to know while we are on this. I'd like to know about the ethanol yield of macroalgae Ulva lactuca? Is there any company doing ethanol extraction using this strain?
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby guru » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:03 pm

Hi cacofonix,

I'm not having the data for ethanol yields for Ul, but here's a nice link you might find useful - http://news.mongabay.com/bioenergy/2007 ... d-for.html
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby Sagaa » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:16 pm

Hi all,
Interesting discussion here.... I want to know about the pretreatments required for macroalgae fermentation. I want to know the exact temperature and pH? Is it possible to get higher yield of ethanol by altering pH or temperature? Suggestions pls....
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Re: Macro-algae to ethanol

Postby phyco » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:25 pm

Hi Cacofonix,
I heard that some researchers from denmark is actually working on this seaweed (Ul). You can get the info from Michael Bo Rasmussen of the National Institute of Environmental Research at the University of Aarhus.

Cheers....
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