Tag Archives: algae

Microalgae Utilisation in Wastewater Treatment

The Poultry Site – Since the inception of the Clean Water Act and subsequent creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the early 1970s, industrial, institutional and commercial entities have been required to continually improve the quality of their process wastewater effluent discharges. At the same time, the rise in population and production rates has increased water use, creating a corresponding rise in wastewater quantity.

This increased water use and process wastewater generation requires more efficient removal of by-products and pollutants that allows for effluent discharge within established environmental regulatory limits.

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Marine fertilizer

logoBy Yuri Vasconcellos
FAPESP – The solution for Brazil increasing its sugar and ethanol production by up to 50%, without needing to plant one more additional square meter of sugar cane may lie at the bottom of the sea. The amount that the country is likely to produce this year is 37 million tons of sugar and 23.6 billion liters of ethanol. Studies carried out by the Federal University of Lavras (Ufla), in Minas Gerais State, in partnership with TWB Mineração, whose headquarters are in Guarujá, on the coast of São Paulo, have revealed that the use of biofertilizer made from calcareous marine algae, called bioclastic granulate, is capable of generating a significant gain in productivity in sugar plantations because it raises the plant’s sugar concentration, or sucrose.

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Source and Photo: FAPESP, July 2012
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Agricultural nutrient surpluses as potential input sources to grow third generation biomass (microalgae): A review

Biofuel consumption is increasing and in order to meet EU targets, alternatives to first and second generation biofuels are being examined. The use of micro-algal biomass in the production of biofuel is an area of research which has received attention in recent years. Traditionally, microalgae are commercially grown using synthetic fertilisers, the price of which is linked with rising oil prices. An alternative to the use of inorganic fertiliser is to use surplus agricultural manures in their raw state, bi-products of anaerobic digestion, or runoff and artificial drainage waters, all of which have variable nutrient contents within and across source types. Many studies have shown that manures containing a high nutrient content e.g. pig and poultry manures, or bi-products from anaerobic digestion, are potentially viable sources of nutrients to grow algae. Feasibility issues prevail such as variable nutrient contents amongst and across source types, transparency issues and early and sustained nutrient losses during the storage phase. Agitation and efficient nutrient testing before use are important. In Ireland, pig and poultry manures, dairy dirty water, artificial drainage or runoff waters where coupled with agitation during storage to prevent P precipitation and a CO2 source, all have potential to be used in the future.

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Source: Elsevier, May 2012
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Biodiesel – Feedstocks and Processing Technologies

The book “Biodiesel: Feedstocks and Processing Technologies” is intended to provide a professional look on the recent achievements and emerging trends in biodiesel production. It includes 22 chapters, organized in two sections. The first book section: “Feedstocks for Biodiesel Production” covers issues associated with the utilization of cost effective non-edible raw materials and wastes, and the development of biomass feedstock with physical and chemical properties that facilitate it processing to biodiesel. These include Brassicaceae spp., cooking oils, animal fat wastes, oleaginous fungi, and algae. The second book section: “Biodiesel Production Methods” is devoted to the advanced techniques for biodiesel synthesis: supercritical transesterification, microwaves, radio frequency and ultrasound techniques, reactive distillation, and optimized transesterification processes making use of solid catalysts and immobilized enzymes. The adequate and up-to-date information provided in this book should be of interest for research scientist, students, and technologists, involved in biodiesel production.

To read the interested Chapter click on title.
Chapter 1. Non Edible Oils: Raw Materials for Sustainable Biodiesel
Chapter 2. Biodiesel Production from Waste Cooking Oil
Chapter 3. Animal Fat Wastes for Biodiesel Production
Chapter 4. Getting Lipids for Biodiesel Production from Oleaginous Fungi
Chapter 5. Microbial Biodiesel Production – Oil Feedstocks Produced from Microbial Cell Cultivations
Chapter 6. Algal Biomass and Biodiesel Production
Chapter 7. Microalgae as Feedstocks for Biodiesel Production
Chapter 8. Eco-Physiological Barriers and Technological Advances for Biodiesel Production from Microalgae
Chapter 9. Advantages and Challenges of Microalgae as a Source of Oil for Biodiesel
Chapter 10. An Integrated Waste-Free Biomass Utilization System for an Increased Productivity of Biofuel and Bioenergy
Chapter 11. Production of Biodiesel via In-Situ Supercritical Methanol Transesterification
Chapter 12. Transesterification in Supercritical Conditions
Chapter 13. Alternative Methods for Fatty Acid Alkyl-Esters Production: Microwaves, Radio-Frequency and Ultrasound
Chapter 14. Transesterification by Reactive Distillation for Synthesis and Characterization of Biodiesel
Chapter 15. Gas-Liquid Process, Thermodynamic Characteristics (19 Blends), Efficiency & Environmental Impacts, SEM Particulate Matter Analysis and On-Road Bus Trial of a Proven NOx Less Biodiesel
Chapter 16. Biodiesel Production with Solid Catalysts
Chapter 17. Heterogeneous Catalysts Based on H3PW12O40 Heteropolyacid for Free Fatty Acids Esterification
Chapter 18. An Alternative Eco-Friendly Avenue for Castor Oil Biodiesel: Use of Solid Supported Acidic Salt Catalyst
Chapter 19. The Immobilized Lipases in Biodiesel Production
Chapter 20. Progress in Vegetable Oils Enzymatic Transesterification to Biodiesel – Case Study
Chapter 21. Adsorption in Biodiesel Refining – A Review
Edited by Margarita Stoytcheva and Gisela Montero
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New Technology in Biomass Conversion to Crude Oil

Lance Schideman, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) at Illinois, has done significant research in the area of integrated algae systems for water purification and biomass production. Yuanhui Zhang, also a professor in ABE, has spent almost a decade researching the conversion of swine manure into crude oil. Now they have combined their efforts to develop a system that will use biowastes such as swine manure to grow algal biomass, purify wastewater, recycle nutrients, capture carbon dioxide and produce biofuels.

“With this system, we will first convert swine manure into crude oil in a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) reactor,” Professor Schideman said. “The resultant wastewater contains nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which can be used to grow algae. These fast-growing algae will remove the excess nutrients and capture carbon dioxide. Finally, the algae will be fed back into the HTL reactor to be converted into additional biocrude oil.” Schideman said that the first stage of the project should allow them to produce up to two gallons of crude oil per day, using manure and algae grown on site. A second phase is also being planned that will produce up to two barrels of oil per day.

Professor Schideman said that while they have shown that all parts of this process are viable, “we haven’t brought them together in one continuous process, so that’s the main goal of the current project.”

The facility will be located at the Swine Research Center (SRC) on the U of I South Farms, and developed in collaboration with the Department of Animal Sciences. “They have about 3,000 pigs at the SRC, and right now the manure lagoon is currently discharged to the local sanitary sewer at significant expense,” said Professor Schideman. “One immediate benefit for them would be a substantial reduction in their sewer bill, but hopefully, the longer term benefit would be value-added co-products from their residuals management system.”

Professor Zhang said the research theme is called Environment-Enhancing Energy, or E² Energy, because it is an effort to meet the challenge of energy production in a way that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

“This synergistic process is extremely advantageous,” Professor Zhang said, “because it brings together two rivals, energy production and environmental protection, to complement rather than compete with one another.”

Ultimately, Professor Schideman said they hope the laboratory at the SRC will become a cutting-edge facility for applied research and education on novel processes that convert agricultural residuals into valuable bioenergy and biochemical resources, while also providing significant environmental benefits. “Right now we are developing strategic partnerships with stakeholders including producers, equipment manufacturers, academics, extension specialists and co-product end users, to maximise the impact of this new research and extension facility,” said Professor Schideman.

Professor Schideman and Professor Zhang are co-PIs on a grant sponsored by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center for characterizing water quality impacts of algal wastewater treatment combined with hydrothermal liquefaction. Additionally, Professor Schideman has received a Focal Point grant from the UIUC graduate college for building interdisciplinary research capabilities in algal biomass and bio-products.

Source: ThePigSite News Desk
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Sun, sewage and algae: a recipe for success?

The Guardian – There’s not much that’s more renewable than sewage. So the idea of turning human waste into algae and then into biofuel is an attractive one and is now going to be put to the test on a commercial scale in southern Spain.

The €12m project will see the sunny skies of Cadiz beaming down on open ponds in which algae suck up the nutrients from the waste water. If all goes to plan over the next five years, the plant will produce about three tonnes of algae a day from 10 hectares of ponds, enough to run about 200 vehicles  ……  >> Read More<<

Source and Photo: The Guardian, Damian Carrington’s Blog
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