Biomassa & Bioenergia – A project developed by the Agronomic Institute of Paraná (Iapar), with the support of Companhia Paranaense de Energia (Copel), seeks viability of cultivation of microalgae to produce biodiesel from oil extracted from aquatic microorganism that can also generate other substances of commercial interest.
According to the researcher Diva de Souza Andrade, cultivation of microalgae has several interesting features: relatively low costs for harvesting and transportation and lower water usage compared to cultivation of other plants. Microorganisms also have greater photosynthetic efficiency than traditional plants and can be grown in fresh or salt water.
Further, the microalgae are effective fasteners and can use CO2 as a carbon source the emitted CO2 in industrial processes and thermal generation. “The cultivation can be done in conditions not suitable for the production of conventional crops and microalgae can fix carbon dioxide, which reduces air pollution,” says the researcher.
Diva de Souza says that research done sequencing the complete genome of a strain of microalgae isolated in Paraná continental waters “is one of the great advances of the project. These data will be very valuable for future work to improve the species, aiming to increase productivity, “she says.
PILOT – The researcher Adriano Rausch Souto developed a pilot plant for cultivation of microalgae. There are four interconnected tanks coated vinyl with 9000 liters capacity and agitation continues, with recycling of the culture medium. The model tests the growth of microalgae and their potential for producing biomass for extraction of oil and other compounds of economic interest.
As the cultivation of microalgae requires high spending on nutrients, an alternative for cost reduction is the use of residues from agricultural sources, livestock or industrial. “The residue liquid swine biodigested may be a viable option in the cultivation of microalgae in order to produce biomass and lipid production for bioenergy. This can be an economical option for this activity and environmental sustainability,” says researcher Iapar Antonio Costa.
Biologist Elisangela Angelo Andrade, Copel said that company is a partner in the project because it meets the company’s strategic direction to invest in research, development and innovation with value added. “There is great interest in microalgae as these are promising sources of biodiesel and biogas, which can be used to generate electricity,” said Diva de Souza.
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