KET050 Biodiesel Production from Microalgae Dept of Chemical Engineering, Lund University, Faculty of Engineering

Final Report on

Biodiesel Production from Microalgae
- A Feasibility Study –
Presented to StatoilHydro ASA Oslo, Norway May 16, 2008

Principal investigators:
Merit Lassing Peter Mårtensson Erik Olsson Marcus Svensson

Tutors: I
Christian Hulteberg, Lund University Hans T. Karlsson, Lund University Børre T. Børresen, StatoilHydro ASA Hans Eklund, StatoilHydro ASA

Disclaimer
This report was prepared as a project in the course ”Feasibility Studies on Industrial Plants, (KET050)”, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Lund University Sweden in cooperation with the Norwegian company StatoilHydro. Neither Lund University nor the authors of this report or StatoilHydro may be held responsible for the effects following from using the information in this report. Nor the authors, Lund university or StatoilHydro makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information. No reproduction is authorized without the written permission from the authors, or StatoilHydro or Lund University.

II

Abstract
This is a student assignment for the Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro, The aim of this study is to investigate the potential of large scale production of biodiesel from microalgae. Since the technology is new and no large facilities exist to date, this report focuses on suitable technologies for future biodiesel production. There exist many different algae strains with high oil content e.g. Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Nannochloropsis salina and Botryococcus braunii. The alga Botryococcus braunii was first selected for large scale biodiesel production, but after encountering many problems when looking into the process, the string of Nannochloropsis salina was chosen instead. The high hydrocarbon content of B. braunii was one of the key factors when this alga initially was chosen, together with the algae’s ability to produce hydrocarbons during growth without the use of methods such as nitrogen starvation. Difficulties encountered when using this alga strain were separation problems since B. braunii has its hydrocarbons on the outside connecting the colonies, hence it is quite slimy. At the same time the colonies could be an advantage since the larger size means an easier separation. The fact that B. braunii is a fresh water algae is a big disadvantage in large scale production of biodiesel, if not having fresh water readily available, since this require a large desalination facility. Nannochloropsis salina on the other hand is a halotolerant string that prefers saline water similar to common seawater and has characteristics of producing high oil content within its cells. Nannochloropsis salina is therefore the alga strain used in this feasibility study for large scale biodiesel production. It is concluded that the most promising reactor type is the closed photobioreactor, since the other main alternative, the open pond, suffers from contamination risks, high evaporative losses of water and diffusion losses of CO2. Among the different types of closed photobioreactors; tubular, flat and polyethylene bags, the tubular seems to be the best choice since it has a higher photoefficiency than the flat reactor. The polyethylene bag reactor still needs developing and is not yet a viable alternative. After the algae have been harvested it is suggested that an increased dry weight is accomplished by a flocculation and sedimentation stage. The chosen method for the disruption of the cells is the utilization of a hydrodynamic cavitation process, followed by a stirring settling tank, where the oil floats and the cell debris sediment. Since hydrodynamic cavitation is a relatively unknown method, an alternative process using a wet bead mill for the cell breakage is presented as an alternative. However calculations are only performed on the former process alternative. In order to minimize losses in further refining and fulfill the EN 14214 standard for biodiesel production, the algal oil will in most cases need some kind of pretreatment. The most important purification steps will be degumming, which removes phosphorous content, as well as reaction of free fatty acids into methyl esters in order to avoid soap formation in the transesterification process. Suitable plant locations for StatoilHydro to put up a large scale biodiesel production facility are Qatar, South Africa and Australia. All cost estimates are made for a plant location in South Africa where the most suitable conditions can be found.

III

The following factors showed to be most accountable in the cost estimates of this production facility:
The productivity of algae Lifespan of the photobioreactor Interest rate on capital for investment Harvesting concentration

Different scenarios were estimated and the production cost ranges from 0.38 €/L to 1.95 €/L between the best and worst case scenario with 0.87 €/L as the base case. An approximation that has been made is that nutrient/flocculant cost and algae meal revenue will balance each other. If the algae meal turns out to be worthless this will increase the algae oil price by 0.26 €/L and hence could be fatal to the biodiesel production from microalgae. The price of comparable bio-based crude oil is today 122 $ barrel (palm oil) (1), which is approximately 0.49 € per liter. This shows that even though profitability is still not achieved, it is concluded that profitability is not far away.

IV

............................................................... 14 2............................................5 Choosing the Right Algae............1.............................................................................5......................5 Botryococcus braunii .......................................................................................................3..................................................................................1 Flocculation ............. 1 1......................................................................................................................................................................................2..............6........................................2............................................................................. 2 1....................... 5 2.......................2 pH-value ..............2 Gravity Sedimentation ... 6 2............................................................................................................................................................. 5 2........................................................................................ 5 2.......................6...........................3 Brief Description of Production System .....................................................3 Closed Photobioreactors .......5.....................................................Separation of Particles from Water .......5.................................6 Harvesting of Algae ..................................................................3 Centrifugal Recovery....................... 9 2...........................2 Technology State-of-the-Art .............4 Ultrasound..................................................................................................................................... 13 2...................................... 11 2................3 Comparison of Different Systems of Closed Photobioreactors ........................ Nannochloropsis salina ........................................ 8 2............ 4 2..........5.....................................5.............................................. 6 2................................................................................................................. 9 2...................................................... 7 2..............2 Algae Strains with High Oil Content .4 Conclusions ...6.......................................................1 Advantages ..................................................... 14 2....................... 14 2..............1........................6 Dissolved Air Flotation ....................................................2 Open Pond System...............5.......... 7 2.....................................................1.......1 Why Algae for Production of Biodiesel?...................1 Problems in Photobioreactors ......5 Filtration .....................................................................................................2 Disadvantages ..............................................6............................Contents 1 Introduction ......................................1 Advantages ..............................................................................................................................................................................5..... 6 2... 2 2 Technology Suitable for Large-Scale Production ......1 Oxygen Oversaturation ........... 6 2.... 8 2...3 Phaeodactylum tricornutum ..3..... 12 2....................................................................................................................... 1 1.Type of Reactor .6......................................................... 4 2.................................................... 13 2..........3 Temperature .........................4 Chlorella protothecoides .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................1 General Aspects to Consider .......................................................................................6........................................................3.... 6 2... 6 2........................ 14 2........................................ 7 2.......................7 Choosing an Algae Strain ...................................................................................................... 15 V ........2 Disadvantages ................................................................6... 5 2...........

....................... 29 4..............................................12 Conclusion ......3 Solvent Extraction ......................................................2 General Assumptions ........................2 Pretreatment of Crude Oil.......................1 Main Process Alternative .. 38 4....................1 Total Annual Cost .............................................................................................................................Separation of Particles from Water ...........................................................................................4 Cost Estimates of Unit Operations ........ 19 2................ 26 3............4 Cavitation ......................................................11 Suitable Plant Location ..................................................................................................................................8 Termochemical Liquefaction ............................................................................4............................................. 19 2.......................1 Bead Mills ................ 26 4 Cost Estimates ......................................................10 Transesterification of Crude Oil to Biodiesel .................................................................................................................................................................. 18 2........................................................................................................3 Cost of Cavitation Equipment ........ 36 4........9............................... 31 4........................................................9 Post Processing – Crude Oil to Biodiesel ......................................................................................................... 26 3.... 31 4....an Alternative Path? .......................3 Mass Balances ...7.................................... 16 2.10.....................................................5 Less Known Methods........2.....................................................6......... 30 4............................................................2 An Alternative Process .................................................................................................5 Cost of Degumming Equipment.......1...........................................................................................7.....2 Supercritical Methanol .. 24 3 Flow Diagram ..... 30 4..................................................6 Cost for Removal of Free Fatty Acids ..............................10..................................................................................4............................ 29 4................................................2 Presses... 40 VI ................4.................................................................................................................6 Conclusion .......................................................................... 23 2.............4....................................................................................................................................................................7...1............1 Cost of Photobioreactor Facility...............7.........................................4 Cost for Separation of the Water Oil Algae Mixture .........................7............9.......................... 39 4................. 31 4..........2 Cost of Sedimentation Equipment ....................................................................................................................1 Capital Costs ................................................ 34 4.........................................................................7.................................2 Operating Costs......................................................................................................................................1 EN 14214 ......4.............. 17 2...................................................... 29 4....................................................... 23 2.................................................................. 19 2............................... 18 2............... 23 2..................................7 Extraction of Microalgal Oil from Biomass ............ 18 2..1 Heterogeneous Catalysis .......................................................... 15 2............................................................................................... 17 2....................................... 22 2...4.........7 Conclusion .......................................................... 17 2.................... 16 2....................Extraction of Microalgal Oil from Biomass ............................

..................................................................................... 56 Appendix 3 .............................................. 43 4...........5................ 69 Appendix 9 ...... 55 Appendix 2 .................................................................................................................................. 64 Appendix 7 ............ 80 Appendix 16 .........................................................................5...................... 43 4..............................................8 Conclusion ..................................................................... 72 Appendix 12 ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 42 4.................................................................................. 73 Appendix 13 .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 68 Appendix 8 ...3 Labor Costs .............................................................................. 45 4...................................................................1 The Production Rate of Algae .........4.................................. 42 4...................................................................................................................................................... 71 Appendix 11 .................................................... 79 Appendix 15 .......5 Revenues and Costs not Directly Derived from Unit Operations ..1 Byproducts.................................................................................... 42 4............................................................................................................ 48 Appendix 1 ................................................. 57 Appendix 4 ........................................7.....................................................................................................2 Concentration upon Harvest .. 47 5 Bibliography .....................................................2 Cost of Storage Tanks ........................................................................7 Cost for Spray Drying Equipment ...................7..... 44 4.................................................................................... 41 4........................................................................................................................................ 59 Appendix 5 .........................................................................................................4........................................................................ 63 Appendix 6 ..................................................................6 Summarized Costs for the Base Case ........................... 81 VII ...........................................................................................5.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................7............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 77 Appendix 14 ................................. 46 4................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 70 Appendix 10 ................ 46 4................................................................................................3 Assumed Life Span of Facility and Interest Rate on Capital Investment ........7 Sensitivity Analysis of Production Cost ........

the prices for production today is substantially larger. the calculation for the US biofuel replacement with biodiesel from microalgae states that only 3 % of the farmed area has to be used (2). Today the renewable biofuels are bioethanol produced mainly by sugarcane. concerning the price.1 Introduction Petroleum products as the source of transport fuels have to be replaced soon by renewable biofuels/energy sources due to problems with global warming and limited availability. Today the microalgae production plants are mainly used for production of high value specialty chemicals such as pigments and virtually no biodiesel is derived from algae: the reduction of the costs for microalgae production has to be reduced substantially if competitiveness compared to petroleum products. 1. The problem with microalgae for biodiesel production is the economics. about the same amount of agricultural land has to be used for total replacement as for oil palm. Algal biomass can be produced on lands not suitable for higher plants. and biodiesel by oil crops like oil palm. Microalgae production rates are much higher than land based crops. therefore resulting in a more effective use of global land surface (4). Bioethanol produced by sugarcane is a product that is competitive with petroleum products today. this report focuses on suitable technologies for future biodiesel production. can be achieved without the subsidies for renewable fuels found in Europe and the US (2). Since the technology is new and no large facilities exist to date. In an example with biofuels replacing the petroleum products in the US. higher biomass production and faster growth compared to other energy crops (3). as a student assignment for the Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro. This would lead to insufficient land to produce food and fodder for the animal production. To replace the world demand of petroleum products by these crops is not a sustainable alternative. The productivity per hectare of land based crops is not sufficient for large scale production. it is calculated that over 60 % of the agricultural land has to be used for biofuel production if the grown crop is oil palm. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential of large scale production of biodiesel from microalgae. heat or generating electricity. The waste products of the biodiesel production can be used to produce animal fodder.1 Why Algae for Production of Biodiesel? Microalgae have been suggested as very good candidates for fuel production because of their advantages of higher photosynthetic efficiency. almost ten times the price of petroleum diesel and even more expensive than biodiesel from oil crops. The productivity per hectare is however a problem for full scale replacement of petroleum fuels by bioethanol. Therefore 1 . One of the main reasons why ethanol and biodiesel is looked upon as an energy carrier in transport fuel is the possibility to use it with current drive trains and infrastructure.

Most of these are optimistic about further development of the algae industry. After the pretreatment the crude oil is ready to be used in a regular transesterification process for biodiesel production. Today the biodiesel is only an alternative in the US and Europe due to the high subsidies found on alternative fuel sources (2). including the system boundaries. The algae are then separated from the water. only small amounts of biodiesel are produced from microalgae (2). biodiesel from microalgae is even more costly than biodiesel from other sources. no commercial production is yet operating on their system. In this step the algae are crushed and the solid algae membranes and other solid constituents are separated from the algae oil. colorants or other substances that are highly valuable. but it seems that many problems have to be overcome before biodiesel from microalgae can become a commercial alternative for petroleum products derived from fossil fuel. 1. Earlier the industry has been specialized on producing high value products such as specific proteins. this is done in the pre-treatment. Many scientific papers have been written on the subject of microalgae. but commercial biodiesel feedstock production is a new path. The limiting growth factor is the incoming light. the separated water is recycled and the algae continue to the next separation step. Today.2 Technology State-of-the-Art The algae industry has been present for a long time. The core of the production unit is the photobioreactor.microalgae production does not compete with the production of food for a growing population and is the only viable alternative for a large scale biodiesel production seen today. The algae oil contains free fatty acids and phosphorous that needs to be eliminated before transesterification. Several manufacturers have produced pilot plants and demonstration scale production but on their homepages they say that they can or have built plants for large scale production but when contacting them.3 Brief Description of Production System In Figure 1 is a brief overview of the production system for biodiesel production from algae. 1. The main problem found with microalgae for biodiesel today is the economics. 2 . or other renewable fuel derived from land based crops. where the algae grow in a water environment enriched with carbon dioxide and nutrients.

the extraction of hydrocarbons from solid algae constituents (3). 3 . the water-algae separation step (2). the removal of free fatty acids and phosphorous (4) and the transesterification (5). The main steps is the photobioreactor (1).Figure 1 A block diagram showing the most important process steps in microalgal biodiesel production.

thus increasing the surface towards the algae culture compared to the incoming light surface. with the cone towards the solution. Other problems. Most of the solutions to this problem consist of partially shading the algae which leads to light loss. this high price per weight ratio has made the industry profitable in the past. Yet another method is to dilute the light by using a cone of transparent material.1 Problems in Photobioreactors There have been many suggestions of how to deal with the light saturation effect. The algae industry has been present for a long time but it has produced high price products such as specific proteins. how to maximize light utilization and production. while the closed photobioreactors are closed vessels made of a transparent material allowing the light to reach the microorganisms inside. 2. including oxygen oversaturation and pH will also be discussed. the main problem for reaching higher yields is to maximize the light utilization. as well as allowed some costly processes to still be profitable. Thus. From the articles read. The main problem is the light saturation effect. carbon dioxide.2 Technology Suitable for Large-Scale Production For algae to grow they need light. open and closed systems. the right temperature conditions. Therefore the main challenge is to make a large scale system that maximizes light utilization and that is economical. such as crude oil for biodiesel production or biomass for energy purposes. There have been much research done in this area. colorants or other substances that are highly valuable (5). (8) While all these methods might work in the laboratory or when producing high value products they seem too complex and expensive to use for this project where the product is a low value bulk material. Most of the closed systems can then be further categorized into one of the following two categories. the algae can efficiently use the short flashes of strong light (9) Subjecting alga to short flashes can be achieved by good agitation causing the 4 . tubular devices or flat panels (6). In this way. even though a few scaled up experiments and commercial systems exist. since this is the limiting factor in an efficient reactor. fresh or salt water dependent on the string of algae and the right nutrients. The new challenge for the algae industry is to get economy in a large scale production unit that produces bulk chemicals. the effect occurring when the microalgae get photo-inhibited due to solar irradiation above certain limits. but most is on the laboratory scale. This is not a preferred method since light is often the limiting growth factor and hence all light should be used. this will be explained further below. Other methods concentrate on moving the light into the solution by using fiber optics or other high-tech equipment (7). which means that the algae growth is inhibited by the incoming light if this is too strong. The light saturation effect can also be solved by exposing the alga with short flashes of strong light followed by long periods of darkness. The open ponds have their surface open towards the atmosphere. There are two main groups of systems for cultivation of microalgae.

1. This has been reported to be true for the microalga Phaeodactylum tricornutum. 5 . in which the problem with photo-inhibition is minimized by having more optically dense cultures and thereby decrease the irradiance inside the reactor. 2. either by a colder climate or an emergency cooling systems for days when the temperature are too high.3 Temperature Different alga strings prefer different temperatures. e. in closed bioreactors this can be a problem since the oxygen is trapped in the solution and create an oversaturation that is harmful for the algae culture. The additional CO2 that needs to be added for the alga culture to grow rapidly lowers pH. seems to be a good alternative (10). 2. while the respiration and usage of CO2 increases pH. This together with the solution conducted by J. High temperatures can cause the culture to collapse.1. This indicates that the temperature should always be kept under a certain limit.g. but most high producing algae prefers temperatures around 25 °C. where the growth rate decrease when oxygen saturation levels approaches 400% compared with the levels reached by equilibrium with air.algae to be at the surface of the closed system only a short period of time before being shielded by other algae again.1 Oxygen Oversaturation During the photosynthesis the microalgae produce oxygen. Phaeodactylum tricornutum collapsed at temperatures above 35 degrees in experiments done by Acién Fernández et al 2003 (11). Values over 400 % caused the culture to collapse (11). keeping the stirring continuous and at the right rate.M Fernandez et al. but the artificial open pond has specific engineered solutions to deal with problems such as keeping the algae from sedimentation. Nutrients also have to be added without affecting the pH value too much.2 pH-value The pH value needs to be controlled within certain limits.1.2 Open Pond System The open pond can be compared with the natural shallow lake. 2. This indicates that the oversaturation must be solved in a closed photobioreactor. 2.

2. 2. The reactors are designed to maximize the absorption of the incoming light and to minimize negative effects such as oxygen oversaturation. Small evaporative losses of water compared to open systems. Diffusion of CO2 to the atmosphere. Problems due to oversaturation of oxygen (5) Cleaning problems due to bio-adhesion on the inside of transparent surfaces. 2. The system can easily be contaminated by other microorganisms. the way these are made should always be examined. (12) 2. High loss of water through evaporation from the open surface.3 Closed Photobioreactors The closed photobioreactor system consists of a number of transparent reactors. 2. High algae content per volume makes separation easier and cheaper.2 Disadvantages Low productivity per area and volume (8).1 Advantages Low cost construction that is easy to build.2.2. due to the fact that the system is closed to the environment.3.3 Comparison of Different Systems of Closed Photobioreactors The comparison between different types of reactors are hard to do. The usual comparison is made on one of the 6 .3. Therefore when comparisons are made. No cooling needed.1 Advantages High productivity per areal of land and per volume (5). Easier to prevent contamination from other microalgae.3. due to the low light over volume ratio. which can harm the cultivation of the desired alga string.2 Disadvantages Cooling needed to prevent the system from overheating (5). because less water per kg dry biomass has to be removed. No problems with solutions oversaturated with oxygen. 2. Expensive construction that is complex to build. since they have different forms and thus also volume to surface ratio.

Type of Reactor The preferred reactor will be the closed photobioreactor. These experiments have been done by Ephraim Cohen et al but since the sleeves in this case are very thin 0. which occurs at mid day. Size and oil composition are also important in order to achieve a simple separation and post 7 .5. The photo efficiency of the tubular reactor was greater due to the dilution effect caused by the curved surface area. For large scale production this would be very expensive. When a tubular and a flat reactor are compared with reference to the photo efficiency during the day. 2. For this reason and also that only a few articles has been found on this reactor type. But in the future it might be an interesting possibility. the tubular reactor is chosen. this supports the closed reactor. Another reactor type with promising experiments is a reactor in polyethylene sleeves. flat and in polyethylene bags. The tubular reactor had a significantly higher production and growth rate because of the higher photo efficiency. due to dense cell cultures. Furthermore there are many advantages in having a robust species of alga since the system will be less sensitive to variations in parameters like temperature. The experiments conducted by Tredici et al shows that the photo efficiency drops for the flat reactor during maximum illumination. oil content has to be balanced against growth kinetics. this method is not investigated further at the moment. this shows how hard general conclusions are to make. This means that the investment cost will be significantly higher. and that many of the comparing values depend on the specific details of the reactor. but also that the separation step will be easier. the flat reactor had a higher volumetric productivity (7). Of the different kinds of closed reactors.following parameters: volumetric productivity. However.4 Conclusions . The research on polyethylene bags is not sufficient for the bags to be an alternative. Land area unsuitable for agricultural activities are generally sparse on fresh water.5 Choosing the Right Algae 2. 2. and will be the preferred choice. pH and salinity. since the open ponds suffer from contamination risks together with high evaporative losses of water and diffusion losses of CO 2.2 mm they would most likely deteriorate from the forces of climate unless a protective greenhouse was build to shield from these forces (13).1 General Aspects to Consider There are many aspects to consider when choosing the right algae for biodiesel production. The tubular reactor has a better photo efficiency than the flat reactors. why the loss of water should be minimized. In order to achieve the highest possible production rate of oil. irradiance area productivity and land area productivity. tubular. it can be seen that the flat reactor suffers more from the light saturation effect.

Mixotrophic growth. extensive research on this alga.Algae: Utility for industrial applications by Anders S Carlsson et al 2007 (14) were investigated. nutrient limitation must be prevented and oxygen saturation kept at less than 350 %. Temperatures above 35 °C are lethal for the algal culture. 2. temperatures above 30 °C severely affect the growth rate but. by keeping the temperature below 28 °C.5-23 °C.3 Phaeodactylum tricornutum Phaeodactylum tricornutum has been considered as a possible algae strain for biodiesel production. The growth rate and fatty acid composition of Phaeodactylum tricornutum is greatly affected on growth conditions such as nitrogen source and other inorganic nutrients. This alga is a fresh water strain that is affected drastically with increased salinity. In order to achieve maximum productivity of 1. Chlorella Protothecoides and Botryococcus braunii.processing. how to achieve maximum productivity and the composition of this strain. 2. These characteristics lead to a more detailed search where the main interest was the conditions for cultivation. a combination of heterotrophic and photoautotrophic. After a conversation with the commercial company Algae Link the algae Nannochloropsis salina was also investigated. Last but not least.3 g/L in batch mode the following measures needs to be taken: pH must be kept at 7.5.7 by automatic CO2 injection. ability to grow to high cell densities and high productivity. Many nutrients will change the pH of the growth media from the optimum pH. significant growth occurs. productivity of 1. When considering important parameters it resulted in further evaluation of the following three algae: Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Generally the options which give the highest productivity give the lowest fatty acid content. (15) Photoautotrophic growth in outdoor pilot scale photobioreactors give the following results. in general gives higher productivity than 8 .4 g/L d was achieved (10). This will be a problem since the change in pH affects the production negatively. The reasons for this can be summarized by the following: relative high oil content (15-20 % of dry weight).2 Algae Strains with High Oil Content Algae with high oil content from the list in Micro.5. For a continuous mode. it is important that the alga strain is well known and that sufficient research and information exists. The report by García et al 2004 examines how the carbon and nitrogen sources affect biomass production and fatty acid composition in mixotrophic growth. Temperature differences also affect the production rates significantly. the preferred temperature is in the range of 21.and Macro.

05-0. The fatty acid concentration of the algae is also increased as well as the photosynthetic efficiency because of the higher algae concentrations (10).photoautotrophic growth. up to 1.5. this alga is not used in this study. which is comparable with that of conventional diesel (17). 9 . Because of this and the lack of information on phototrophic growth of Chlorella p. 2.5 Botryococcus braunii Botryococcus braunii is a green colonial microalga which produces high levels of lipids.87 g/L and day. (18) Botryococcus braunii is an alga that forms colonies.2 mm and are strongly dependent on light intensity in the experiments (19). This increase in productivity was 9-fold compared to photoautotrophic growth (16). However because of the many favourable characteristics of this strain and more research being done the Phaeodactylum tricornutum could in future be a viable feedstock for the production of biodiesel from microalgae. another alga has been chosen to be used in this feasibility study. where the carbon sources can be constituted of acetate or glucose. therefore the energy requirement for fertilizers are smaller (4).4 Chlorella protothecoides Chlorella protothecoides can grow both photoautotrophic and heterotrophic. Heterotrophic growth of Chlorella p. The biomass concentration supported in the reactor can be almost tenfold. mainly hydrocarbons and ether lipids. 4 times more than what can be achieved with photoautotrophic conditions. Due to the low oil content of this algae strain. Most literature found on Chlorella protothecoides was about heterotrophic growth. In the García report the results show that the combination of glycerol as carbon source and urea as nitrogen source gives the highest productivity in mixotrophic growth. When grown under heterotrophic conditions.5. followed by transesterification resulted in biodiesel with a high heating value. 41 MJ/kg. there is a disappearance of chlorophyll in the cells and therefore the algal cannot utilize the available energy from the sun (17). When growing Chlorella protothecoides the lipid content in the cells reaches values about four times higher under heterotrophic. The sizes of these colonies have a wide range with volume average diameters ranging from 0. Botryococcus braunii contains lower contents of nitrogen and phosphorus than many other algae on an organic basis. 2.than under phototrophic conditions. Metzger and Largeau define lipids as “all compounds that are readily soluble in organic solvents but only sparingly soluble in water. By comparing mixotrophic and photoautotrophic growth in an outdoor pilot scale plant the following results were achieved: The results show that the growth rate increases with mixotrophic growth.

continental. braunii strains can be found in all climate zones except the Antarctic. The classification into different races depends on the hydrocarbon production. It has been reported that B. braunii (21) (22). There are three races. 10 .: 0. temperate and tropical lakes and L which has only been found in tropical conditions. It has been showed that air enriched with 1 % CO2 enhances growth. the doubling time of the biomass was approximately 2.7 days instead of about 7 days with non-enriched air. (20) In fact hydrocarbon production does not take place during nitrogen and phosphorus starvation of B. which is a tetraterpenoid hydrocarbon. Algae of race B produce polymethylated triterpenoid hydrocarbons. compared to many other microalgae like Chlorella. braunii requires light intensities in the range 40-90 W/m2 for optimal hydrocarbon production (24) (25). Factors important for growth are CO2.406 ρ – Production rate of hydrocarbons μ – Specific growth rate The growth related hydrocarbon production is a special feature of B. Other hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon contents of up to 61 % in algae of race A have been discovered. which means hydrocarbon production kinetics is growth associated. braunii. which the B race synthesizes in trace amounts. which mainly produce fatty acids during nitrogen starvation. Race B usually gives hydrocarbon contents of 30-40 % while the L race has a hydrocarbon content of maximum 8 %. Hydrocarbon production also increased five times with CO2 enriched air. This also indicates that the optimal operating conditions are when maximum growth rate is obtained. A and B which grow in alpine. Race L produce only lycopadiene. Race A produce C23-C33 odd numbered n-alkadienes. from mono. braunii. (18) For B. where oleic acid is found to be precursor of the dienes and trienes. as well as temperature conditions and pH. found a slow growing Japanese strain that was not affected in growth or lipid content at the irradiance 300 W/m2 (25). Several studies have been performed on Botryococcus braunii to investigate the ability to affect growth rate and hydrocarbon yield by changing different parameters. called botryococcenes which range from C30 to C37.B. light. In the linear growth phase the following empirical expression was obtained by Kojima et al.to tetraenes. (23) B. are squalene and C31-C34 methylated squalenes. nutrients and water. hydrocarbon productivity is optimal when growth is in the exponential or early linear phase. braunii accepts irradiances between 15 and 180 W/m2 (24) although Li et al.

6 % (w/w) after four weeks of incubation. Total fat content was 24-28 % w/w where palmitic and oleic acids were the major fatty acids compared to the control culture where the major fatty acids were stearic and linoleic acids. This in turn will depend on many factors such as light regime. is 8. differences between different strains and races are possible. Halophilic algae that need salt to enhance growth and halotolerant algae which can survive in salinity. braunii (race A.3 pg. This composition gave a biomass yield of 0. Furthermore most studies on B. braunii can be found in most climate zones. were examined on a race A strain. potassium dihydrogen phosphate. there is a possibility to use treated wastewater as a source of nutrients.0185 g/l respectively.3 and width of 1. especially since B. The effects of four major nutrients in this medium. 0. using B.95 g/l after 12 days cultivation.5 g/l and hydrocarbon levels of 0. strain LB 572 from University of Texas. The best combination was found to be concentrations of 0. The dry weight of N. nutrients supply etc. potassium nitrate. Li et al. braunii indicate that to achieve optimal growth the temperature of the medium should be around 25°C. Depending on the algae’s ability to adapt to salinity. 0.2 and 0. however. see Appendix 1 (18) (28) (30).65 g/l and a hydrocarbon production of 50. hydrocarbon content and fat. (28) 2. Nannochloropsis salina When talking to Algae Link. braunii. One has to bear in mind that these data are not absolute and changes with the algae’s physiological state when harvested. (30) Nutrients are also an important factor in growing the algae. Ranga Rao et al showed that B. braunii races is a modified Chu-13 medium. the most commonly used growth medium in different studies of the different B. while maximum biomass was achieved in 20-30 mM salinity. gave a dry cell weight of 8. A study of the ability to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from secondarily treated piggery wastewater. magnesium sulphate and ferric citrate.6. information was received that they are using an algae strain of Nannochloropsis salina. although optimal growth seems to occur at pH 6. they are categorized in two groups. (27) Furthermore. The lower salinity levels also give an increased production of biomass. However. USA) is adaptable to lower levels of salinity. braunii are performed at 25°C (26) (27) (28) (20). made a comparison between three different strains from temperate to subtropical climate zones which all exhibited optimal growth at 25°C (25). Both groups. growth temperature. (29) B.5. Maximum hydrocarbon content is 28 % w/w in the salinity range of 50-70 mM. salina cells reported by Volkman et al. Considering the problems encountered when using Botryococcus braunii and the fact that useful data was accessible for Nannochloropsis salina the decision was made to use the alga Nannochloropsis salina in the suggested process. This alga belongs to the class Eustigmatophyceae and is a yellow-green unicellular microalga with a cell shape of an ellipsoid and an average length of 3. (31) 11 .05. produce metabolites to protect them from the salt.9 μm. braunii does not seem to be particularly sensitive to changes in pH in the range of pH 6-11.0195.Studies on B.

Nannochloropsis salina has the following advantages over Botryococcus braunii: Nannochloropsis grows in seawater. The fact that the alga grows in colonies has several positive but also negative effects. it is possible to use urea as a nitrogen source. in calculations in this report the oil content used will be 40% (dry weight) since it is more consistent with other studies conducted on this subject. The results from this study also pointed out that seawater did not have any effect on the lipid content of the cells. Decreased productivity was observed only at the higher pH conditions in the permitted range of growth.5. expert knowledge and extensive research are required to produce necessary data concerning oil composition and to properly dimension the equipment. The negative effects are problems caused by the extracellular matter causing clogging. A supplier of photobioreactors for commercial use is Algae Link. hence a more accurate approximation can be done concerning yield in these specific photobioreactors. Nannochloropsis salina is therefore the preferred algae strain in this feasibility study for use in large scale biodiesel production and the calculations in the report will be based on Nannochloropsis salina.A study conducted by Boussiba et al. also reports that to avoid contamination in a monoculture of Nannochloropsis salina with diatoms. the need for fresh water as well as difficulties determining if the algae cellular material ends up in the water or oil phase. However.5. This fact that it’s well known and thoroughly researched is one of its strengths. 2. The high hydrocarbon content of race B and the fact that the alga produces these hydrocarbons during growth and not starvation was one of the key factors for choosing this alga at first. For biodiesel purposes they use the algae strain Nannochloropsis salina. pH 5-10. which means there is no need for desalination Nannochloropsis is no colony forming microalga (see Appendix 2).7 Choosing an Algae Strain B. If an unknown alga strain is chosen. One positive effect is easy separation since big particles (colonies) are easier to separate than small (cells). showed that permitted growth temperature for Nannochloropsis salina (in laboratory experiments) ranged between 17-32 °C with optima at 28°C. The same is true when considering the pH of the culture. braunii is one of the most known hydrocarbon producing algae. and has no extracellular matter Nannochloropsis is used in the photobioreactors produced by Algae Link. 12 . The study by Boussiba et al. (32) From personal communication with the sales office at Algae Link the oil content of the cells when harvested is 50 % (dry weight).

5 grams dry algal biomass per litre broth. Some of these flocculants may not be acceptable when the biomass is to be used in certain ways. The water-algae mixture is then recirculated and hence no major loss of algae occurs. Excessive shear force as can be found in centrifugation can disrupt the flocks (34). To aggregate microalgae cells the net negative charge of the cells must be neutralized or reduced by adding a so called flocculants such as multivalent cations or cationic polymers. For many algae such as Botryococcus braunii the most efficient method of flocculation seems to be to change pH to around 11. These chemicals are chosen since the salts they produce will function as nutrients which are needed downstream in the process. The level of moisture is dependent on the harvesting method. Changing the pH of the solution by adding acids or bases can also act as a flocculent since the ionization of functional groups on the algal cell surface are highly pH dependent. The harvesting method must handle large volumes due to dilute culture broths. 13 .6 Harvesting of Algae . A method suggested is to change pH to 11 with potassium hydroxide to flocculate 85 % of the algae. such as feedstock for animals. Since mechanical dewatering is less expensive than thermal drying.6. and then treat the water and remaining 15 % of algae back to appropriate pH with nitric acid after the removal of the flocs. filtration and centrifugation.Separation of Particles from Water Harvesting of microalgae is a major contributor to the total cost of algal biomass and might contribute as much as 20-30 %. sometimes less than 0. Higher cell concentrations and gentle mixing helps flocculation since this makes the cell encounters more frequent.1 Flocculation Flocculation is a method that can be used to aggregate particles to increase the particle size and thereby easing other separation methods such as sedimentation. cell density and culture conditions (13). The small size of microalgae. A combination of cat ions and pH can also be used. (34). typically ranging from 3-30 microns in diameter makes the process complex. 2. the choice of method depends on a number of parameters such as algal species. any thermal drying should be preceded by an effective mechanical dewatering step (33). Many separation processes could be used for the harvesting of microalgae.2.

6. The ultrasound process is based on acoustically induced aggregation and enhanced sedimentation. two of the main groups of filters may be used to recover algal cells from a broth. in which the suspension flows across the filter medium at high velocities and pressure.04-0. The 14 . leaving a more concentrated suspension behind.6.3 Centrifugal Recovery Centrifugal separation uses the same principles as gravity sedimentation but enhances the settling rate by centrifuging the particles. is a unicellular alga culture. since their higher efficiency and smaller apparatus size for a given capacity (34).07 % of total suspended solids (36). This method often replaces the gravity separators. Nannochloropsis salina. 2. The chosen alga. 2.2 Gravity Sedimentation Gravity sedimentation is a process that separates particles from liquids on the base of their density difference and the particle diameter. has less efficiency and lower concentration factors. since the flocks are porous the rate of sedimentation will not be as fast as non porous particles would be. These are: cake filtration in which the broth is filtered through a filter.5 Filtration There are three main groups of filters.6. In the experiments conducted by T. Centrifugal recovery is a rapid method but also an energy intensive method (33). However. If the solids that are to be separated consists of individual particles of sizes of only a few micrometer in diameter the settling rates will be low (35). the energy demand is 1.2. leaving a cake behind and cross flow filters. 2.6. The use of centrifugation for harvest of low concentration of suspended solids is limited by the power cost of handling large quantities of water. Centrifugal recovery is often a preferred method for recovery of algal cells. High concentration factors as well as high percentages of solids in concentrate can be obtained. due to the water content.3 kWh/m3 of pond water in order to produce 4-5 % of dry solid content by weight from pond water containing 0. This method uses more energy than centrifugation.-S Sim et al.4 Ultrasound Ultrasound is a method that can be used to harvest microalgae. Concentration factors of 20 can be reached with low biomass concentrations and low flow rates. Some benefits by using ultrasound compared to centrifugation can be found at lab or pilot scale when other parameters are important than for industrial scale (35). After flocculation the cells aggregate which makes the sedimentation faster due to the larger effective diameter.

Separation of Particles from Water First flocculation as a pre-treatment method is used to increase the particle size by aggregating the algae cells. Gravity sedimentation is used since it is a method that has low capital costs even if large scale basins are needed. but not satisfactory when the algae size approaches bacterial dimensions. air bubbles are passed into a solution in order to increase the buoyancy and cause the particles to float by adhering themselves to the algal particles. but these do not suit the need of the harvesting methods. Cross flow filtration can be useful for suspensions of very small particles as an alternative to normal filtration since cakes formed by small particles give a high resistance to flow and thereby low filtration rates (37). 2. Centrifugal separation of dilute solution is rejected due to the large energy 15 . since they are used to remove small amounts and the particles get trapped inside the filter (37). In cake filtration the particles get immobilized in the filter and soon a cake is formed on the filter surface. This is necessary since Nannochloropsis salina grows in a unicellular manner.-S Sim et al. Their experiments suggest insignificant or small improvement in performance when flocculants were used.6. Cake filtration can be performed continuously or discontinuously with pressure applied either upstream (positive pressure) or downstream (vacuum) (37). this cake has to be removed periodically. but that filtration is a better method when the size of the algae is not a problem (36). they found that dissolved air flotation is an economical method. the power consumption is thereby much lower than their experiments with a centrifuge. From the results of T. Both filter presses and rotary drum filters operating under pressure or vacuum are satisfactory for recovering relatively large microalgae. With small algae the filter can clog and the flow through can get much lower (36). the size is therefore often increased by flocculation. Cross flow filtration may be applied to concentrate suspensions of fine particles. For this method the particle-size is crucial.5 kWh per m3 broth giving about 3 % solids. but not suitable when contamination of the biomass cannot be tolerated (36).3-0. In experiments conducted by T.6 Dissolved Air Flotation In dissolved air flotation.7 Conclusion .third main group is clarifying filters. Pre-coating the filter with filter aid is possible to make the filtration easier..S Sim et al tests.6. the power requirement ranged from 0. 2. using 12 µm mesh filter. Cross flow filtration is not an economical method for larger production volumes where centrifugation is a more economic method (34).

For choosing the right extraction method for the large scale recovery of algal oil from the cells certain parameters have to be considered. concerning flotation experiments conducted on unicellular algae where the micro bubbles did not stick to the algae. The used method is flocculation followed by gravity sedimentation. Lund University.7. but Wimpenny among others refers that this is not true. cellular walls and membranes. the speed of the extraction method applied etc. (39) Most of the cell disruption methods developed for use with non-photosynthetic microorganisms can also be applied to microalgae (39). Microorganisms are in fact more robust than is generally believed. For example Wimpenny points out that the internal pressure inside the organisms (studied organism were Micrococcus lysodeikticus and Sarcina lutea) can be as high as 20 atmospheres. The structures. (39) 16 . The use of ultrasound is not a viable option for large scale operations because of the extremely high operating costs. The chamber is filled to the desired level of beads which provide the grinding action. as reinforced concrete.costs. to gain the highest yield possible and at the same time not to interfere with the economy of the process. In the following sections some of the more promising extraction methods are discussed. Faculty of Engineering. are in fact about as strong. Department of Chemical Engineering. Cross flow filtration as a harvest method rejects due to the large scale of harvesting.1 Bead Mills One way to disrupt the cells is by agitation in presence of small glass. all separation methods of oils and fats from animal and vegetable materials share the following common objectives: to obtain the fat or oil intact and free from undesirable impurities. weight for weight. steel or ceramic beads. in bead mills (39). this is not used. to produce a residue with as high value as possible. 2. 2. These mills consist of either a vertical or a horizontal cylindrical chamber with a motor-driven central shaft supporting a collection of off-centered discs or other agitating element. Although. the cost of method. Cell disruption in bead mills is regarded as one of the most efficient techniques for physical cell disruption. such as algae. Dissolved air flotation is a good and economical method for harvest of microalgae. (38) To disrupt microorganisms. after a discussion with Professor Jes la Cour Jansen. approximately 0.5 mm in diameter. Among those are: the ease with which the cells disrupt.7 Extraction of Microalgal Oil from Biomass In general. may at first seem as an easy task to be done. which resist this high pressure.

The other is 17 . Metzger showed an extraction yield of up to 70 % of the total hydrocarbons contained in the cells (18).3 Solvent Extraction Solvent extraction of oil in algae can be performed with a two solvent system. 2. the time allowed for oil drainage at full pressure. but also the risk for the solvent used to contaminate the products. Ultrasonic cavitation utilizes sound to create the oscillating pressure. screw. causing the formation and collapse of cavities. Among those is the rate at which pressure is applied. piston. (38) Screw presses are used for extracting oils and fats from soybeans.2 Presses There are a many different presses available on the market. peanuts and are possible to use with almost any other variety of oil seed.7.7. cottonseed. expeller. since there is a vast variation among different strains in their physical attributes such as cell dimensions. The collapses cause high shock waves in the micro environment and this causes the algae’s cell membranes to break. thereby limiting the options for their end use. rigidity in the cell structures etc. and the temperature or the viscosity of the oil. the maximum pressure attained. When allowing algae to be in short contact with hexane experiments conducted by P. The disadvantages when using solvent extraction in commercial large scale is that the process requires an extra energy input because the solvent needs to be distillated of.7. i. The amount of oil recovered from the cells depends on many factors. but could emerge as a viable alternative if the low oil content in the cake is true when applying this technique on microalgae instead. This would eliminate the large energy input needed to distillate the solvent but also solve the problem related to contamination of the product – biodiesel. one using ultrasonic cavitation and the other hydrodynamic cavitation.4 Cavitation Cavitation is a method that uses pressure differences and the resulting cavities collapses as a result of the shifting pressures. (38) Information about applying this extraction method to algae cells is missing in literature. There are two types of cavitation. This method for extraction can give as low oil content as 3-4 % in the resulting cake. Suitable press configuration for the extraction is largely dependent on which algae strain that is being used.e. 2. distillation would not be necessary since the biodiesel can follow the crude oil through pretreatment and transesterification. (40) One way to overcome the problems mentioned above could be to use the final product biodiesel as the solvent. By recirculation of the final product to be used as the solvent.2.

6 Conclusion . it is possible to obtain greater amount of liquid fuel than just the hydrocarbons. some of which are supercritical CO2 extraction. Thermochemical liquefaction is best conducted at 300 °C. This method also eliminates the need of adding solvents. Solvent extraction is used to separate the oil and water phase. since this is a safer and requires less energy than the ultrasonic cavitation. However.an Alternative Path? By thermochemical liquefaction. such as sodium carbonate (4). With higher temperatures than 300 °C. osmotic shock. The solvent is separated from the oil by evaporation under low temperature and pressure (4). with water contents above 60 % based on total weight. enzymatic and chemical lysis. The reaction mixture from the liquefaction is separated in a series of steps. In the thermochemical liquefaction the algal mass is treated in a sealed autoclave with 20-30 MPa. meaning no drying process is needed (5). which thereby lower the costs. the highest yield of fuel over mass achieved in this process. There is a possibility to save money by reusing the waste water from the liquefaction stage since it contains large parts of many of the inorganic nutrients supplied to the algae as a fertilizer (5).hydrodynamic cavitation. 2. Solid energy yield of the liquefaction process can be as high as 5 %. The most suitable method of cavitation would be hydrodynamic cavitation. mainly consisting of CO2 that could be sent back to the process. The reaction can be performed in the temperature range of 200-350 °C with or without a catalyst. The gas mixture. 18 . 2. Thermochemical liquefaction has the advantage of being able to treat wet material.8 Termochemical Liquefaction . thermochemical degradation occurs (4).5 Less Known Methods In lab scale there exists many ways to disrupt microbial cells. where the pressure drop over simple geometrics like venturi pipes or orifice are used. since this is the most viable method to disrupt the algae cell membranes.7.Extraction of Microalgal Oil from Biomass The chosen method for the extracting the oil is the utilization of cavitation.7. The reason for this is probably due to the high processing cost. is well above the maximum yield in any extraction step. the solid residues are filtered and may be dried if necessary. The solids should be taken care of to increase the total energy yield of the process. the yield decreases with increased catalyst and increased temperature (42). (41) 2. is easy to collect. since other materials in the algal cells such as protein and fiber can be converted to liquid fuel. none of these have been object for further studies for large scale production of micro-algal-oil.

9. The first two fractions are suitable as energy feedstock. Thermochemical liquefaction might be an alternative to more conventional extraction steps. 2. (44) 2. It is important to remove the phospholipids. The third fraction might be suitable for a feedstock for boiler fuel (43). No further calculations were made on this alternative due to the complexity of this process step with multiple purification steps. oil from microalgae contains phosphorus in the form of phospholipids.1 EN 14214 The common European standard for biodiesel is EN 14214.1 Degumming – Removal of Phospholipids Just like vegetable oils. One fraction is hydrocarbons with mean molecular weights in the range of 200-300. The phospholipid content will differ depending on which algae strain is used.2. Since phosphorous will cause losses due to formation of emulsions in the further refining of the oil (46) and a decrease in the efficiency of the catalytic converters in diesel vehicles (47). This standard sets specific demands on the physical and chemical properties on the biodiesel for use in compression ignition motors.2 Pretreatment of Crude Oil In order to minimize losses in further refining and fulfill the EN 14214 standard the algal oil will most likely need some kind of pretreatment. The standard can be seen in Table 1. the oil produced from the algae. otherwise the phospholipids will settle out in the containers when the oil is stored (46). just after the extraction step. Phospholipids consist of hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails and will form reversed micelles in non-aqueous systems (45). The third fraction is fairly large polar substances. phosphorous content of more than 10 mg l-1 is not allowed according to the EN 14214 standard.When conducting thermochemical liquefaction on Botryococcus braunii. high temperature and pressure as well as problems finding any data concerning the needs of this process. 2. this fraction is probably degraded products from the oil substances. which will remove phosphorous content.9. The higher yield possible in this step as well as ability to threat wet materials might make this process step a viable alternative even though large amounts of heat energy has to be supplied.9 Post Processing – Crude Oil to Biodiesel 2. The most important purification steps will be removal of free fatty acids and degumming.9. 19 . The second fraction is the botryococcenes. three separate fractions are formed.

Initial degumming of crude solvent extracted oil is performed by adding a small amount of water (4 %) or a weak acidic or salt solution to the oil at 80 °C (46). It is also important to dry the oil if it contains water since hydrolysis will produce free fatty acids (46). After this step the oil will still contain about 0.Table 1 EN 14214 Biodiesel standard with courtesy of Christian Hulteberg (44) In the removal of phospholipids it is important to minimize formation of free fatty acids. this first degumming step has to be followed by another 20 . These centrifuges are hermetical.5 % of phospholipids. which is important in order to avoid oxidation of the oil at the required temperature. In order to obtain a higher purity. The phospholipids will then coagulate (47) and can be removed through centrifugal separation in continuous centrifuges. Formation of free fatty acids occurs when the heated oil comes in contact with oxygen.

2 Purification of Free Fatty Acids Oil derived from algae such as Botryococcus braunii might contain high levels of free fatty acids (FFA). This will deactivate the catalyst or cause a lower production yield. Although it is disputed that this particular strain belongs to B. Neutralization is performed by adding the oil to a 0. There is also a possibility of removing the phospholipids through ultrafiltration of crude oil.25-0. In regular transesterification of the oil into biodiesel by using base catalysts and methanol. (46) Another way of degumming the oil is to use acetic anhydride. Batch reactions with catalysts in powder form showed that the catalysts which gave the highest FFA conversion were WO3/ZrO2 and 21 . To remove all of the acetic anhydride. Citrate has to be removed in a bleaching step. small amounts of free fatty acids and sodium citrate are formed instead of citric acid and soap. When drying the oil. Kalacheva et al.3 % (v/v) of 85 % phosphoric acid.75 kg/m2h with 3 MPa pressure and roughly 95 % removal of phospholipids (48). braunii. the oil has to be washed with water. the free fatty acids will react with the base catalyst to produce soap. (50) This reaction will cause problems at levels as small as 0. the remaining impurities will form a precipitate that is removed by a separator. (47) 2. Reported numbers are. before it is vacuum dried. since phospholipids have a higher molecular weight than the crude oil they will remain in the residue from the distillation. Studies have been made to convert the FFA to fatty acid methyl esters through esterification using heterogenic acid catalysts and methanol. the FFAs should be either removed or converted into an inert or useful material. (51) To prevent this reaction. sudeticus. A final possibility would be to remove the final phospholipid content by distillation. Then. 20 l/m2h with 5 bar pressure and a retention on phospholipids of 73 % (48). This process will produce oil which needs no neutralization with alkalis to obtain a stable product (38).05 % (w/w) citric acid before drying the oil.9.3 M sodium hydroxide solution in a neutralizing column.degumming step. analysis of the oil composition suggests that this strain instead belongs to B. The solution is heated before the hydrated gums are centrifugally separated. Fluxes achieved in experiment are however too small for large scale production. A small amount of acetic acid is added to the oil together with water to hydrate the gum. the oil is treated with 0. After this step neutralization is necessary to get stable oil. Therefore it will not be possible to use ultrafiltration in this case.5 % of total lipid content. It is recommended to use wiped-film short-path evaporators with 10-200 Pa operating pressure. (49). braunii Kützing contains about 10 % of total lipid content. 0. The neutralized oil will then contain traces of soap which will be removed by adding a water solution containing 0.2.1-0. has shown that B.

Powder catalysts gave a FFA conversion of 85-90 % for both catalysts and the pellet-type WO3/ZrO2 catalyst a conversion of 65 %. (54) 2. Due to these major drawbacks of the homogenously catalyzed transesterification step. either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.60 w/w methanol-to-oil ratio and using 1 % w/w H2SO4 as catalyst. Heterogeneous catalysts such a WO3/ZrO2 catalyst give a conversion of 65-70% at one hour residence time and a high methanol to FFA ratio and a 75 °C (51) Higher conversions can be achieved by increasing the residence time in the reactor.SO42-/ZrO2. increased temperature would lead an increased catalyst activity. The longer operation test lasted for 140 hours and showed an FFA conversion of 65 %. The reaction takes place at atmospheric pressure. (51) Many different catalysts can be used for the esterification reaction. FFA is converted into esters by mixing the crude oil with methanol in a 0. catalyst activity only rose by 5 % between 75 C and 200 C due to the vaporization of methanol.10 Transesterification of Crude Oil to Biodiesel The most common process for transesterification today uses a base catalyst. The downside with this reaction is that the catalyst has to be separated from the reaction mixture to be recirculated. and this reaction setup can produce conversions up to 97% at 3 hours residence time and 95 °C (52). This means it is possible to regenerate the catalyst. 3 hours give a yield about 80% and 10 hours almost 100% yield for a tungsten-zirconia catalyst at 120 °C (53) Another solution to the problem would be to have a pre-treatment process using a homogeneous catalyst. the reaction time is about two hours. The WO3/ZrO2 catalyst was chosen for a longer operation test in packed-bed since loss of SO4-2 from the SO42-/ZrO2 catalyst was likely. which improved the miscibility of oil and methanol. just below the boiling temperature of methanol. Normally. which is regenerable. in this case however. which rose to 85 % after 20 hours just to decrease back to 65 %. With reaction time the catalyst structure changed. Another drawback is the complicated purification when the products and catalyst has to be separated (56). and not due to W leaching. (55) This process has some major drawbacks like the undesired saponification reaction in which the base catalyst is consumed by the free fatty acids present in the oil. in a homogenous phase reaction. many other methods have been investigated and some seem promising. although this was due to deposition of soybean oil. the best homogenous phase catalyst choice might be ferric sulfate due to the easier separation and lower cost than for sulfuric acid. The main types of processes 22 . The increase after 20 h was due to the generated biodiesel. The reaction takes place at a temperature of 50 C and reaction time is one hour.

price and temperature of cooling water. Since microalgae need large amounts of carbon dioxide and other inorganic nutrients. Possibility to cool the growth medium to optimal temperature is an extremely important parameter when choosing the location.2 Supercritical Methanol Transesterification can be conducted by a supercritical methanol process. But due to diffusion. This leads to the following: no saponification.11 Suitable Plant Location Biodiesel production of microalgae can be cultivated in many different environments. no problems with corrosive environment and fewer waste products. Supercritical processes have some advantages compared to catalytic processes that make them interesting. the three phase system often gives low reaction rates in experiments. this process is conducted at high temperature in the range of 200-350 °C and at pressures around 35 MPa. Most microalgae prefer water temperatures around 25 °C but need to have water temperatures below 30 °C to survive. as well as the availability. the availability and price of these products are important. 2. together with easier post treatment and no catalyst cost.possible for transesterification described in the literature are base catalyzed. The reaction time for the supercritical process is extremely short. less sensibility to water content. 2. One of the most striking differences is the absence of a catalyst. only 4 min (58). less after-process separation. in order to achieve this. may compensate for the more expensive process equipment and costs for higher temperature and pressure. compared to other transesterification processes (59). food production for a growing population might be affected if farmland is used for fuel production. acid catalyzed. 2. Large industrial complexes can supply carbon dioxide as flue gas from combustion of various organic 23 . In closed photobioreactors the temperature of the system increases by the incoming sunlight and cooling of the growth medium is therefore extremely important.10. enzyme catalyzed and supercritical processes. This means that a smaller reaction vessel is required which. If biodiesel from microalgae are to be the large scale solution for our growing energy demand. The daily variation and seasonal changes in weather. sunlight must be readily available. if the natural temperature is not optimal. limits the location to coastal areas or inland areas with readily available water. The production facilities are costly and therefore it is important to have a high total production of the plant.1 Heterogeneous Catalysis One of the main reasons for considering heterogeneous catalysis is that the post processing with heterogeneous catalysis is less complicated than for homogenous catalysis. Therefore the location should preferably be land with no major farming opportunities. oxides and alkoxides (57). Compounds suitable as catalysts are alkaline earth metal hydroxides. Microalgae. as all photosynthetic life forms need sunlight to grow.10.

When considering other options South Africa seems like a favorable alternative. Three suitable places for algae cultivation are Qatar. When considering the factors above South 24 . if not acquired for free as partially treated waste water from a large city. The main reasons for choosing these places can be summarized by the following factors: Suitable climate. The location should also be next to a power plant which is a source of free carbon dioxide. There are aluminium smelting plants in South Africa as well. Future molecular level engineering of the algae strain can possibly solve this problem through increased temperature tolerance (2). One alternative would be to locate the facility in Qatar. South Africa and Australia. Production facilities that releases CO2 Access to water Non-expensive land 2. The Persian Gulf might also have a too high temperature in order for Qatar to be a perfect choice for a plant location. but the sunlight must be the most important factor closely followed by the possibility to cool the growth media with sufficiently cool water. Firstly Hydro is building two large aluminum smelting plants in Qatar which solves the problem with free access to carbon dioxide. Is there such a place on earth? Probably not. Locations that might be suitable are coastal areas in Qatar. desalination must be performed since the used algae can be freshwater strains which do not grow optimally and sometimes not at all in saline water.substances. The perfect location has many hours of sunlight per year and low seasonal variations in temperature.12 Conclusion The location of the production facilities for microalgae cultivation needs land with suitable characteristics such as many sunlight hours and cooling possibilities if the temperature gets too high. Other necessary nutrients must be purchased and transported to the site. though a big drawback would be the high day temperatures from March to December. South Africa has lower air and sea temperatures than Qatar although one downside is less hours of sun. suitably a desert. Readily available carbon dioxide as well as excess energy from other industrial processes is also important aspects to consider when choosing the location. It is also one of the best places in the world when comparing sun-hours. for microalgae production. Many algae strains suitable for biodiesel production are fresh water strains. sunlight and temperatures. South Africa and Australia. There is also need for a secure source of water for both cultivation and cooling. Secondly Qatar has a lot of land area that would not compete with areal for food production. If no freshwater is available.

where the crude oil from the microalgae is derived. oil from oil palm or crude oil from micro algae. The pre-treated crude oil is converted to biodiesel through homogenous phase base catalyzed transesterification. This is a well known process and is the same whether upgrading soybean oil. The crude oil contains free fatty acids. these are removed by converting the FFA to fatty acid methyl esters through esterification using heterogenic acid catalysts and methanol.Africa was chosen. The chosen method is the most common method of using phosphoric acid. The cultivation should be carried out in closed tubular photobioreactors since they provide the most favorable characteristics. Qatar has too high temperatures and it is concluded that it would be difficult to find a cooling system that would handle such large quantities of water without affecting the overall feasibility. The separation step is carried out through flocculation and sedimentation. considering the dilute solutions which will make other separation techniques energy consuming. is hydrodynamic cavitation. However. if this problem is solved Qatar would be the best alternative considering the number of sun-hours. it is assumed that the crude oil needs some pre-treatment to remove phospholipids. The method of choice for the extraction. Since the phospholipid content of Nannochloropsis salina is unknown. This is the most suitable alternative. 25 .

3. while in the chosen process the flue gas in the dryer is used to dry the byproduct constituted of crushed cell walls. The algae cells are disrupted by a hydrodynamic cavitation unit. only used for small scale disruption of microalgae. 85% of the algae is separated. Because a wet bead mill operates with a dry weight of approximately 50 %. salina consists of a number of unit operations. a larger amount of water has to be removed. the water containing the remaining algae is recirculated and hence no major loss of algae occurs.3 Flow Diagram In Flowsheet A. It could have been interesting to compare the two processes’ cost effectiveness. the disrupted cells and water are separated from the oil phase in a stirring settling tank unit followed by an oil water separator. The algae are cultivated in a closed photobioreactor consisting of multiple pipes and the algae-water mixture is separated by a flocculation-sedimentation unit. This process can be seen in Flowsheet B. 3.1 Main Process Alternative The chosen method for producing algae oil from N. The main unit operation differing from the chosen process seen on Flowsheet A. but it is not investigated through calculations in this report. but no calculations of the alternative process have been made.2 An Alternative Process Before the disruption method of algae cells using hydrodynamic cavitation emerged as an alternative way for disruption of algae cells. Today wet bead mills are. this is the process that was designed and cost estimated. The phosphorous content of the oil is removed in a degumming step and the free fatty acids are reacted with methanol in order to esterify the FFAs into methyl esters. both on the wet bead mill’s ability for large scale operation but also the lack of data for making it possible to calculate the energy needed for operating the unit. Here the spray dryer is used to increase the dry weight of the algae before disruption occurs. 26 . where high value products are extracted. All these main unit operations can be seen in Flowsheet A. the process chosen in the conclusion of the chapter above “Technology Suitable for Large-Scale Production” is presented. One of the main reasons why it was not the chosen process was due to missing information. is the use of a wet bead mill instead of a cavitation equipment. Another process alternative is also presented in Flowsheet B. an alternative process including a bead mill was looked upon. this mostly due to the limited time available for the project. Equipment for this task have been suggested to include a centrifuge operating parallel with a spray dryer using the flue gas from the facility feeding the photobioreactor with carbon dioxide. to the principal investigators’ best knowledge.

88 ton/h Algae oil = 12.58 ton/h Ftot = 1372 ton/h Algae = 31.920 ton/h [T] [L] 9 Algae oil = 12. Degumming 8. 4.44 ton/h [Q] 7 8 Crude oil = 12.8 ton/h Water = 318 ton/h [B] 4 [I] Ftot = 334.8 ton/h Cell walls = 16.920 ton/h Ftot = 24.44 ton/h Dry cells = 1.44 ton/h + MeOH + water = approx.1 ton/h Cell walls = 18.28 ton/h Figure 2 Flowsheet A over the main process 27 .44 ton/h 6 [S] Flue gas = 1.12 ton/h [P] MeOH = approx.46 ton/h [H] [R] Cell paste = 38. Removal FFA 9. water = 36.28 ton/h [M] Phosphorus acid and NaOH [N] Phospholipids = 0. 4. Photobioreactor 2.74 ton/h Flue gas = 1. Centrifuge 7.38 ton/h Cell walls = 1. Cavitation 5. Stirring Settling Tank Biodiesel from microalgae – FLOWSHEET A Ftot = 7774 ton/h Water = 7768 ton/h 6. Spray Dryer [V] Flue gas 5 3 Disrupted algae [C] 1 2 [D] [E] [U] Ftot = 8760 ton/h Water = 8754 ton/h [G] Cell paste = 373.425 million Nm3/h.1.44 ton/h Nutrients Ftot = 9145 ton/h Algae = 36. Sedimentation 3.425 million Nm3/h [O] Algae oil = 12. Pump 4.66 ton/h Water = 973.09 ton/h [A] [F] [F] [J] [K] Water = 12.

Sedimentation 3. Centrifuge 5. Photobioreactor 2. Centrifuge 8. Wet Ball Mill Biodiesel from Microalgae – FLOWSHEET B Flue gas + water 6. Degumming 9.1. Stirring Settling Tank 7. Removal FFA Algae + water 50 % w/w 5 3 Water + algae recycled 7 Algae + water Algae + water Crushed algae Water Algae + water Algae + water Water recycled 1 2 6 Cell walls 4 Water recycled Crude oil + MeOH + water Algae oil Phosphorus acid and NaOH 9 Flue gas 8 MeOH Phospholipids Figure 3 Flowsheet B over alternative process 28 Algae oil Nutrients Algae + water Water recycled . Spray Dryer 4.

the adding factors were contingency and contracting (15%) and on site infrastructure/auxiliary facilities (5%). In the estimations of capital costs for the different equipment in the process a method described in Ulrich. contractor. land improvement. land improvement. different add-on factors are used to the bare module costs. The results are summarized in Appendix 4. Wiley. transportation and insurance. 4. A guide to Chemical engineering Process Design and Economics. G. Cp the purchased equipment cost and finally which is a factor taking into consideration both the type of material and deviations from normal temperature and pressure as well as including installation. The depreciated capital cost for the algae oil production facility is calculated with the well know annuity factor model (62). For the non-turnkey equipment. The results are summarized in Appendix 6. is calculated using Equation 1.1. CBM . Installation. contingency and support equipment. building. all add on factors described in the book “Projekteringsmetodik” (60) with the given rule of thumb approximations were used. The tanks and equipment built in metal should have a positive value at the end of its useful life 29 . 1984 is used (61).1 Total Annual Cost The total annual cost for algae oil production facility is summarized as the capital cost and the operating cost. D.1 Capital Costs The capital investment is calculated by summarizing the cost of all process equipment found in Appendix 3. These factors include. In this method the equipment’s total contribution to both the direct and indirect construction cost. transportation and insurance as well as social benefits and overtime. where the cost was given by a commercial company.. social benefits and overtime and engineering. engineering. buildings. Equation 1 (1) CBM is the installed bare module cost.4 Cost Estimates 4. For turnkey equipment and module factors calculated by the Ulrich method. Depending on the method used for cost estimation or the status of the equipment. The total value of the factory at the end of its expected useful life span is set to zero when calculating the capital cost. the results are summarized in Appendix 5.

span, but the main cost that is the photobioreactor mainly built in plastics could well result in a net negative value. 4.1.1.1 Cost Estimation of Land Requirement Estimations on cost of land requirement are usually not done, due to the increasing value of the land making compensation for decreasing value unnecessary. A brief estimation also shows that it is negligible. A search for available land in South Africa in the province Kwazulu Natal gave a price of 9.950 000 ZAR for a land area of 350 Ha (63). This is less than half of what the photobioreactors require (750 Ha). Considering that the price of 350 Ha of land is 896 658 Euro and the difficulty to set an exact valid price due to large uncertainties on location, the cost of land are seen as negligible at this stage. The cost of land is only a few percent or smaller of the total capital cost. For exchange rates, see Appendix 9. 4.1.2 Operating Costs The operating costs for producing algae oil is calculated by the method described in the book “Projekteringsmetodik” (60) with the given rule of thumb approximations (60). The results are summarized in Appendix 6.The major energy consumption units can be found in Appendix 3 and are summarized in Appendix 4. The electricity costs for large scale consumption in South Africa can be approximated as 0.1 ZAR/kWh according to Dr. Christian Hulteberg (64). The total energy consumption of the facility is calculated by multiplying the energy consumption of the large scale consuming equipment with a small factor. Extra equipment adds a total of 2 % to the total energy consumption.

4.2 General Assumptions
In order to make a cost approximation, certain assumptions have been made regarding our base case. The algae contain 40% (w/w) oil Nannochloropsis salina is possible to flocculate No loss of algae biomass, since the water containing 15% of the algae is recirculated from the sedimentation into the photobioreactors The production in our photobioreactor is 500 g/(m3) day Facility operating 335 days a year Useful life span of factory is 15 years

30

The production facility is in close proximity to a 400 MW NGCC plant providing carbon dioxide as well as support equipment Production costs are calculated for South African conditions Algae cultivation are performed in Algae Link’s photobioreactors All process units are viable for their operation, for example the cavitation equipment can process high dry weight content and disrupt the algae cell The rate of interest for the capital investment is 10 %. It should be noted that if any of these assumptions prove to be false this will have extensive effects on the overall process. Therefore, a sensitivity analysis is performed and presented later in this feasibility study,

4.3 Mass Balances
Calculations of the different flow rates in the process were performed on the base case, 0.4 % concentration of algae when harvesting and a daily production rate of 500 g m -3 day-1. The oil content of the algae was set to 40 %. The calculated flow rates in the process, needed to meet the required yearly production of 100 000 ton crude oil, can be seen on Flowsheet A and in Appendix 7. Assumptions made in the calculations of the flow rates are: Degree of separation of algae from water in the flocculation/sedimentation step is set to 0.85 Flow ratio stream [D]/[E] = 0.85 Oil content in dry algae is set to be 40 % (dry weight) Dry weight of cell paste in stream [H] = 0.05 100 % degree of separation in the centrifuge step (6) is assumed Stream [N] is assumed to be 1 % of stream [L], resulting in 0.12 ton/h of phospholipids Flow rates of H3PO3 and NaOH needed in the degumming stage (7) are not calculated and neglected due to no large quantities are needed

4.4 Cost Estimates of Unit Operations
4.4.1 Cost of Photobioreactor Facility No estimations are performed regarding the system for sterilization of the incoming seawater. This might lead to an underestimation of the production costs. The cost of the photobioreactor system is based on the commercial company Algae Link’s photobioreactors. This technology is not yet proven in large scale facilities, why production 31

estimates are seen as future technology performance. The performance estimated in this feasibility study therefore compensates for differences between future and current technology by dividing the future performance value by 3. Using this estimation from a commercial company with the current technology gives a more accurate price than if the facility should be estimated without any commercial connection. If the cost should be estimated without using Algae Link’s tubular photobioreactors, a number of questions arise; questions which are very hard to answer without extensive laboratory and pilot scale experiments. The questions involve: suitable diameter on the tubing, how agitation in the tubing is solved, how cleaning of the inside of the photobioreactor is secured. Further questions are; how the produced oxygen is removed to prevent the algae culture from suffering from oxygen oversaturation and how the insertion of CO2 is solved. These are just a few of the questions encountered while looking at tubular photobioreactor systems. Therefore the estimates will be carried out as follows: Algae Link, has given an approximate price for a facility producing 100 tons of dry algae mass per day. Algae Link stresses the fact that they cannot give a real price until a pilot plant has been run on the chosen location. This is due to the fact that the algae growth and hence the size of the facility varies greatly dependent on the growth conditions on site. Information on Algae Link’s homepage estimates a 100 tons facility to have a photobioreactor volume of 66 667 m3. Simple calculations give that the growth rate per m3 and day should be in the order of 1500 grams/(m3·day). This is theoretical values which is not possible to achieve today. When talking to Algae Link the following estimations were given.
Table 2 Table showing growth rates of the algae at different sun radiation

Sun radiation Intermediate (production indoors, in the Netherlands) Good Very Good Exceptionally good Theoretical

g/m3 day 300 600 900 1200 1500

An assumption of reaching 500 g/m3·day is made, thus the growing facility needs to be three times as big as the theoretical value given by Algae Link. This gives the approximate values for a 100 ton/day dry algae mass facility: Purchase price: 15 million Euro · 3 = 45 million Euro Energy demand pumps: 327 kW · 3 = 981 kW 32

Volume: 66 667 m3 · 3 = 200 000 m3 Meters of piping: 213 864 m · 3 = 640 000 m Installation area: 332 700 m2 · 3 = 1 000 000 m2 Price and numbers recalculated for a facility producing 746 tons of dry algae mass per day: Volume: 200 000 m3 · 7.46 = 1 490 000 m3 Price: 45 million Euro · 7.46 = 336 Million Euro Energy demand: 981 kW · 7.46 = 7320 = 7.3 MW Meters of tubing: 641 592 m · 7.46 = 4 810 000 m Installation area: 998 100 m2 · 7.46 = 7 490 000 m2 Area specific production: 99.6 g/m2day To compare Algae Link’s given cost for the photobioreactors, the raw material cost for polycarbonate which is used in the photobioreactor tubes, was calculated. The tubes were estimated to consist of pipes with 1.2 cm thick, 5 m long with a circumference of 2 m. This gave a total material volume of 58 000 m3 polycarbonate for the entire system. The density for polycarbonate is 1200 kg/m3 (65), thus giving a weight of 69 500 ton. The price of moulding polycarbonate in Hong Kong was $2800 CIF (cost, insurance, freight) in November 2007 (66). This means the total cost of the polycarbonate material in the system is €268 million. This price compares well with the €336 million calculated above and shows that the profit made by Algae Link is reasonable. 4.4.1.1 Nutrients Data of necessary amounts of nutrients were found at Algae Link’s homepage (67), see Appendix 8. In seawater there are low contents of magnesium (0.128%), calcium (0.041%) and potassium (0.040%) (68). If ca 350 tons of seawater is added every day, the magnesium content in the seawater will be sufficient to grow the algae and no further addition of magnesium will be necessary. Furthermore, the potassium and calcium levels will cover 25% and 35% respectively of total amount required. The cost of the nutrient was calculated in two different ways, one by calculating the required amount of fertilizers and another by calculating the required amount of suitable chemicals.

33

When calculating with prices of basic chemicals. A similar. 114 tons of N27 and 145 tons of 21-3-10 per day is needed. The most economic solution would therefore be using base chemicals for nutrition. In order to achieve sufficient amounts of nitrogen. prices from 2005 were found in Chemical Market Reporter (72) and were recalculated to the price value today using a fertilizer index for the U. magnesium is assumed to be sufficient in the added seawater. better suited fertilizer can most likely be found at a similar price. The total fertilizer cost will be 104 000 €/day which gives a cost of 0. information given by Lantmännen direkt (71).2 Cost of Sedimentation Equipment The equipment necessary for dewatering of the algae broth by flocculation followed by sedimentation is approximated as a facility to produce drinking water using factors from Ulrich (61). (73).4. potassium.348 €/kg algae oil. Nitric acid and potassium hydroxide are used when flocculating the algae and the main part of this water is recycled. The price of Yara Suprasalpeter N27 was 0. phosphorous and iron were added. see Appendix 9. See Appendix 8 for calculation of nutrients from chemicals. When using base chemicals the cost was 84 500 €/day giving a cost of 0.S.283 €/kg when using the prices of base chemicals and sufficient amounts of nitrogen. The calculations are performed with 85% recirculation. the following chemicals are used. since current market prices for these fertilizers were available. The price of Yara OptiCrop 21-3-10 was 449 €/ton. The compositions of N27 and 21-3-10 were found at Yara’s homepage (69). calcium. and our calculations of fertilizer cost are therefore based on the prices above. found at ATL’s homepage (70). turn-key Operating costs Energy demand Nutrients 335 733 500 €/year 501 043 28 307 500 4. if possible. This will also cover the required amount of potassium and magnesium and most of the calcium and phosphorous.Fertilizers used were Yara Suprasalpeter N27 and Yara OptiCrop 21-3-10. 34 . Table 3 Photobioreactor – Capital Cost and Operating Cost Purchased equipment cost [€] Capital cost Photobioreactor.341 €/kg in 750 kg bags.

The calculations and results shown are calculated with the Ulrich method (61). or 1.The following assumptions were made in the flocculation and sedimentation steps: 85 % of the algae are separated in this step 85 % of the water is removed from the algae broth The added flocculants does not contribute to the liquid volume The algae concentration in the dilute algae broth is set to.in the dilute algae broth is neglected The same amount of H+ ions is needed to neutralize the water after sedimentation No buffering capacity is observed by the initial salts The activity of the OH.4. The following assumptions were made in the chemical price calculation of the flocculants: The same assumptions as for the flocculation sedimentation equipment The strong acid and base deprotonate completely The added flocculants does not contribute to the liquid volume The initial OH. since both potassium and nitrogen is needed as nutrients. A small decrease in the harvesting concentration lead to a large increase in the facility costs. After the flocculation.4% algae Module Cost [€] 26 900 000 1% algae 11 100 000 As can be seen. either 0. A suitable base in this case would be potassium hydroxide and a suitable acid would be nitric acid.1 Consumption of Flocculants One easy way to flocculate microalgae is to increase the pH of the solution to around 11. Table 4 Cost comparison for different harvesting concentrations 0. the size and cost for this equipment is extremely sensitive to the algae content. This means accumulation of byproduct from this step is avoided in the same time as nutrient costs are somewhat lowered.0 kg/m3 according to Algae Link. 35 . the solution has to be neutralized by a strong acid before recycling the water and nutrients.ions needed per m3 for pH 11 equals 0. The byproduct in the flocculation is the salt produced from the strong acid and strong base.ions equals the concentration The amount of OH. a base is added to the solution.001 kmole. To do so. 4.2.4 kg/m3 according to literature. and the costs for the different concentrations are compared.

To conclude. since the hydrodynamic cavitation is relatively new in this context and extensive research is missing. 4. the most similar process found. Some research was found on extracting proteins from a kind of brewer’s yeast (77). as an approximation. Hielscher (78).3 Cost of Cavitation Equipment As this project has progressed. Gunnar Lidén and Algae Link. Due to the fact that they currently have a patent pending in this field they did not give any more details. (76) The two references.4% algae kmole/day 200 1% algae 80 The price of the flocculation chemicals are calculated as nutrients. an idea of using pressure differences to disrupt the algae has emerged. The cavitation process for disruption of microalgae is seen as a black box operation where the cost is estimated from a process from the German commercial company. The calculations and results shown are calculated with the Ulrich method (61). This idea came from a conversation with Professor Gunnar Lidén (74). and also from an article using ultrasonic cavitation for cell disruption (75). the cost of ultrasonic cavitation is used.Table 5 Total amount of OH. but it will be revealed soon when they build and show their large scale plant in Spain (2 tons a day). but this experimental setup was not suitable for large scale processes.4. Unfortunately no extensive research was found when searching on cavitation on microalgae and specifically hydrodynamic cavitation since this is the method most likely used by Algae Link. have set us on the path of cavitation. except that it’s not ultrasonic cavitation. When later inquiring some specific details regarding Algae Link’s (76) photobioreactors they revealed that they use cavitation technology for cell disruption.ions 0. 36 . Table 6 Flocculation and Sedimentation – Capital Cost and Operating Cost Module cost [€] Capital cost Flocculation and Sedimentation Operating cost Energy demand Flocculants * €/year 26 900 000 neglected not calculated* Assumed to be included in the nutrient costs. This process is an ultrasound cavitation process.

Equation 2 This gives when assuming an electrical efficiency of 0.85. will clogging and other problems occur? How effective is the cell disruption? To solve these issues it is necessary to start with a laboratory or pilot plant facility. but how much cheaper is unknown at this stage. Module cost is estimated to 15 000 dollar mid 1982 and the bare module factor is estimated to (61). Other issues that need to be considered is how the equipment reacts to a large percent of dry weight content. Pumps delivering a pressure of 2 barg are also required. However as mentioned before this is not calculated in this study due to lack of data. Thus will the total price be 15 000 · 7 = 105 000 dollar in 1982 value. the main cost should consists of pumps to build the necessary pressure. The result is a capital investment of 32 923 617 € only for the cavitation equipment. This is translated into Euros in current value. however. This cost can most likely be reduced in a large scale facility but as a conservative estimate the full cost is used. Total cost 32 923 617 + 166 148 ≈ 33 100 000 € and this is only the equipment for generating the ultrasonic cavitation and the pump for giving the required pressure for this step only. 37 . Walter Staudenrauss (79) gave the approximate price of 12 000 € for an ultrasonic equipment that can handle approximately 200-750 liters per hour. Considering that the flow is 1370 m3/h a number of 2744 units are required if used at 500 liters/hour. by first translating to SEK 1982 exchange rate 6 SEK/dollar and then corrected for the Swedish price index and finally translated into Euro at current exchange rates. The cost of the required pumps is estimated using Ulrich’s method (61) (60). This shows that ultrasonic equipment is very expensive and that hydrodynamic cavitation is cheaper (80).Personal communication with Mr.

4% 80 000 150 000 MF 4. The cost of this apparatus is approximated as the cost of one process vessel used for sedimentation. Table 8 Cost estimation for a settling tank Module cost $ 1982 Algae 1% Algae 0. followed by one centrifuge.Table 7 Cavitation – Capital Cost and Operating Cost Purchased equipment cost [€] Capital cost Cavitation Operation cost Energy demand 33 090 000 €/year 195 500 4. the oil phase contains 50% water to be removed by a centrifuge The calculations and results shown are calculated with the Ulrich method (61).50 FBM 8.4.50 Total cost $ 1982 680 000 1 280 000 Table 9 Cost estimation for an oil-water separator Module cost $ 1982 30 000 FBM 5 Total cost $ 1982 150 000 38 .50 4.4 Cost for Separation of the Water Oil Algae Mixture The separation of the oil. water and algae mixture from the cavitation unit is performed in a mixing settling tank followed by a centrifuge.50 8. The following assumptions were made in the calculation: 85% of the initial water in the algae broth is removed by the sedimentation The density of the mixture is the same as for pure water 30 minutes residence time is sufficient for the oil-water separation After the settling tank.

Table 10 Separation of oil from water – Capital Cost and Operating Cost. Westfalia Separator AB Sweden was contacted and an approximate cost of €1. Energy required to heat wash water was set to be 1/3.3 Million was given for their TOP degumming process.75 ton/h is 18 kW (82). see Appendix 10. the impurities are separated and the oil is washed with water and dried. piping and tanks.0 kJ/kg·°C (83). 39 . heating of the oil and the wash water as well as mixing and pumping the fluids. To get a fairly accurate assessment of the cost of this process. The following assumptions have been made when calculating the total costs of this step. The energy consumption in the degumming stage is due to the separators. The phospholipid content is assumed to be 1% (47) The cost for tanks needed is neglected since it is much smaller than the cost for the heatexchanger. ΔT was assumed to be 40°C.5 of the energy required to heat the oil (81). Module cost € Capital cost Settling tank Centrifuge Operating cost Energy demand settling tank Energy demand centrifuge 2 020 000 237 000 €/year neglected 2 540 4. 2.4%. considering that the oil is heated from 28°C to 60-90°C in the degumming reaction (47). conversion has been made from $1982 to €2008 for the algae concentration of 0. Then lye is added to neutralize the oil. For calculations see Appendix 11.4. not including installation. separators and vacuum-dryers Costs for installation and piping are added according to the Ulrich method (60) Energy consumption due to mixers and pumps is neglected since this is relatively small compared to the power required for the separators (81) Power required running a PX 80 separator handling 18. Energy required for heating the oil was calculated using the heat capacity of soybean oil at 60°C.5 Cost of Degumming Equipment The degumming is performed by adding phosphorous acid in order for the phospholipids to form a precipitate.

92 ton/m3 (83) The algae oil is considered to consist of only saturated c18 triglycerides for the calculation No density changes occurred due to the reaction The amount of free fatty acids in the oil is not taken into account when calculating the volume of the reaction vessel The calculations and results calculated with the Ulrich method (61) are found in Appendix 14.4. braunii 10 hours would be sufficient. The following assumptions were made as a base for the calculations: The algae oil is considered to have the same density as rapeseed oil. 80 kW to heat the wash water. Power usage of approximately 36 kW derives from the two separators. For the economic calculations a 10 hour residence time is used. calculations are presented at both 3 and 10 hours of residence time. since the final concentration is dependent on the initial concentration. Energy spent in this process is 279 kW to heat the oil. salina can’t be calculated since the amount of FFA in the produced oil is unknown. For B. Table 11 Degumming – Capital Cost and Operating Cost Purchased equipment cost [€] Capital cost Degumming Operating cost Energy demand 1 300 000 €/year 27 110 4.The cost of the degumming unit is €1. Since the initial concentration of FFA from N. 0.6 Cost for Removal of Free Fatty Acids The residence time needed for treatment of algae oil from N. salina is unknown. Table 12 Removal FFA – Capital Cost and Operating Cost Module cost [€] Capital cost Removal FFA Operation costs Energy demand 941 500 €/year neglected 40 .3 Million.

These calculations show that the total drying capacity of 1. The temperature after leaving the spray tower is approximately 58°C. This is less than the facility’s total need for drying. after the oil has been extracted.8 million Nm3 per hour. If the gas has to be cooled it can be done by using it as drying media in a spray tower. Calculations can be seen in Appendix 12. The temperature of this exhaust is estimated to 90°C and the water content to 8% by volume. With this assumption.9 million € for 7 spray dryers calculated with the Ulrich method. calculations will be based on having access to exhaust from a 400 MW NGCC plant. the power is 1000 MW of the NGCC (84). A typical 400 MW NGCC (Natural Gas Combined Cycle) has exhaust volumes in the dimension of 1.8 million Nm3 of flue gas per hour is approximately 36 tons of water per hour.4. supplying large amount of low grade heat and carbon dioxide for “free”. this is calculated by using a psychometric chart for humid air. If the plant location should be near the Aluminum smelting plant in Qatar operated by Norsk Hydro. Considering how a spray tower works the slurry entering the spray tower should be dried until surface dry. spray drying seems like a good alternative for drying part of the flow consisting of water and algae waste. Considering the fact that there are other problems that make Qatar a doubtful choice concerning plant location. The exhaust gas used in the spray tower needs to be cooled before it can be used to enrich the algae culture with carbon dioxide. The benefits are: the equipment is cheap compared to other process choices. The calculated cost is 5. Table 13 Spray dryer – Capital Cost and Operating Cost Module cost [€] Capital cost Spray Drier Operating cost Energy demand 5 980 000 €/year neglected 41 . hence at the same time getting benefits of drying the algae. Therefore the flow is split into two before the spray tower in order to send an appropriate amount to the spray dryer.4. but this can be used as a part of the drying need.7 Cost for Spray Drying Equipment The plant location is planned to be close to a larger industry facility. to prevent problems in the outward transport of the algae in the bottom.

5. They are rubber lined to be able to withstand the growing medium seawater. Nutrients can be recirculated back into the process. which can be investigated thoroughly first when the properties of the flour are known.5. remaining lipids and micro nutrients. Use the algae flour to produce methane by anaerobic bacteria.2 Cost of Storage Tanks 4.5. The general assumption in this report is that the income from the byproducts cancels the cost of fertilizers/flocculants.2.1 Byproducts When producing oil from microalgae. The cost for this oil storage tank 42 . The required volume is 7 300 m3 and the construction material stainless steel. why 15 rubber lined tanks of 50 000 m3 each are used. 4. Therefore tanks of this volume are accounted for.2 Product Storage Tank The product will be transported by boat to the biodiesel refinery. Which one of these steps that are the most economical alternative and the economy of these steps are not investigated. The three main alternatives are: Dry the algae flour and sell it as animal fodder Dry the algae flour and use it in direct combustion. 4. the main byproduct formed is the algae meal. This algae meal consists mainly of proteins.1 Algae Culture Storage Tank Algae Link recommends a tank capacity equal to half of the photobioreactor culture volume. the heating value will affect the energy production. Information on exactly how many and their individual volume are missing.4.2.5. and in case of delays 1 week extra storage is calculated for. but the alternative is that trucks have to transport the product that cannot be contained in the tanks in case of delays. but the revenue from the byproducts should at least cover the cost of fertilizer.5 Revenues and Costs not Directly Derived from Unit Operations 4. carbohydrates. calculations are made that 2 weeks production should be able to be kept in storage. For calculations please see Appendix 13. The price for animal fodder depends on the available energy and nutrients. Nutrients can be re-circulated back into the process. The cost of these are 28 400 000 €. The algae meal has a range of income bringing process alternatives. If this is a good solution can be discussed.

co. As can be seen in Appendix 15 the salaries in South Africa are low.3 Other Tanks Needed Other tanks for storage of fertilizer.6 Summarized Costs for the Base Case The estimated capital cost was depreciated using an expected useful life span of 15 years and an interest rate of 10%. 4. The estimated operating cost was then added to the depreciated capital cost to obtain the total annual cost. which contributes to keeping the costs of running the factory down. they are given a slightly higher salary than the day personnel. are not specified at this stage. The summarized cost is based on the assumption that the cost for nutrients/flocculants is covered by the income from sold algae meal. flocculent chemicals etc. This is without any additional costs added for installation and other expenses connected to the tank. 43 . Further due to the large scale of the factory some of the tanks calculated above may be available for these purposes. these are considered to be small in comparison and not specified. Due to their uncomfortable working hours.5. The process operators are assumed to be working in shifts of 5 persons in each.3 Labor Costs Personnel required for running the factory have been estimated to be 30 persons. All salaries are estimated using information from the web page mywage. 4. see Appendix 15.2.za (85).is 98 700 €. Total personnel costs for the plant will be 27 200 €/month.5. Table 14 Costs not directly derived from operation – Capital Cost and Operating Cost Module cost *€+ Capital cost Algae culture storage tank Product storage tank Other tanks Operating cost Labor cost 28 400 000 99 000 neglected €/year 330 000 4.

cost Ulrich module cost Ulrich module cost Purchased equip.21 1.45 1. dry weight in % Additional cost estimations on capital investment using higher factors from the rule of thumb. are: Production rate of algae.21 3.21 1.87 4. 44 .Table 15 Total cost including add on factors for the different unit operations Origin Photobioreactor Flocculation + Sedimentation Ultrasound Settling tank Centrifuge Degumming Removal FFA Spray dryer Storage tanks product+algae culture Total capital investment: Table 16 Summary of base-case costs Cost turnkey equipment Ulrich module cost Purchased equip. Assumed life span of facility and the interest rate on investment Income from byproducts The calculated production cost for all the cases varied can be seen in Figure 2 and in Appendix 16.21 Cost including add on factors 405 000 000 32 500 000 114 000 000 2 440 000 287 000 4 480 000 1 140 000 7 220 000 34 300 000 603 000 000 Estimated costs Capital cost [106€] Operating cost [106€ / year] Depreciated capital cost [106€ / year] Total annual cost [106€ / year] Production cost [€/L] 603 17 79 97 0.45 1. g/(m3 day) Concentration upon harvest.21 1.21 1. and to be included in the sensitivity analysis.7 Sensitivity Analysis of Production Cost The main factors considered to affect the profitability of this project. cost Ulrich module cost Ulrich module cost Ulrich module cost Add on factor 1. given by Hans Karlsson.21 3.

This can be expected sooner or later due to aging of the plastic material they are made of. the low factors presented in the sensitivity analysis are the lowest value from the span and the high factors are the highest value from the span.2 0 Base case 1 500g/(m3 day). The rule of thumb factors given by Hans Karlsson (60) has a wide span. If no income from selling the byproducts is possible to achieve.€/L 2 1.4% harvest.may vary from year to year Temperature .4 0. 4. 15 years. 15 harvest. However. including: Type of algae string Sun conditions .4% harvest. 15 harvest. expected useful life spans using lowest and highest adding factors according to Hans T. Karlsson As can be seen in Figure 2.7. the production will decrease. if the possibility to sell algae flour at a higher price than expected.2 1 0.optimum for Nannochloropsis salina is 28°C (32) If the tubes would lose some of their transparency. production rate.26 €/l for all process alternatives.6 0. for instance due to oversaturated market and the recycling of chemicals is impossible or non profitable. 10 % intrest Base case 2 Best case Best case 2 500g/(m3 900g/(m3 900g/(m3 day). interest rate. 45 .1 The Production Rate of Algae The production rate of algae depends on a number of variables. the production cost varies greatly dependent on the factors investigated in the sensitivity analysis. the production cost shown in Figure 2 will increase by 0. the production price can be decreased substantially. 5% years. 15 years. 10 years 15% High Factors Low Factors Figure 4 Sensitivity analysis with regard to harvesting concentration. 10% intrest Worst case 300g/(m3 day). 0. A number of other conditions which can be controlled to give the maximum production such as nutrients etc.8 1. 0.6 1. 1% harvest. 10 % years.8 0. 1% day).4 1. 1% day).

the base case with 0. This estimation is from a number of articles that give concentrations in the interval 0. 4. A case with only 10 years life span is also calculated. 46 .3 Assumed Life Span of Facility and Interest Rate on Capital Investment The life span of the polycarbonate pipes used in Algae Link’s photobioreactor is 10-15 years. An interest rate of 10 % is used in the base case since this is the standard used in chemical industry (87). Cases with 5 % and 15 % interest rate are also investigated. calculations are also made for the case of 900 g/(m3 day). In the calculations made.2-0.7. making a 15 year life span a reasonable approximation for the base case. the production is estimated to be 500 g/(m3 day) which the principal investigators regard as a conservative number that most likely will be possible to attain. Two cases are calculated. Table 17 Productivities dependency on weather conditions Weather conditions Intermediate (indoors.7.8% dry weight. To check how an increase in production affects the production cost. this information was given by Algae Link’s sales office (76). In the sensitivity analysis. One with a harvesting concentration of 1 % dry algae weight.4% and the 1% case: One with a harvesting concentration of 0. 4. the calculations from the base case are multiplied by 500/900.4% dry algae weight.2 Concentration upon Harvest The concentration upon harvest has a large effect on the downstream costs associated with the separation of algae from the growth medium. in the Netherlands) Good Very Good Exceptionally good Theoretical g/m3day 300 600 900 1200 1500 Algae Link’s calculations are made on the theoretical value and are hence very optimistic. and other processing equipment will most likely last longer. giving a new lower cost if the 900 g/(m3 day) growth conditions are attained. This concentration was given by Algae Link’s sales office and should be viewed with caution. Considering the whole facility. This growth rate directly affects the size of the photobioreactor which is a large part of the overall cost. However a pilot plant has to be built to verify this. the pipes can probably last for 15 years.The following information regarding productivity was received through personal communication with Algae Link (86).

The increasing climate threat is another big issue that favors projects like this one.38 and 1. Another issue that should be addressed is the approximation that nutrient/flocculant cost and algae meal revenue will balance each other. a more accurate estimation can be made. Therefore. Another important factor will be the productivity. the effect of increasing oil price on the construction cost has to be kept in mind. from an environmental perspective. since this directly affects the size of the photobioreactors and thereby the capital cost. No income from biomass residues were considered in Chisti’s approximation. increase biomass growth rate. However.26 €/L.8 Conclusion This feasibility study of large scale biodiesel production shows large variation of production cost depending on some key factors. which is approximately 0. The production of biodiesel from algae grown in photobioreactors could become a reality. Chisti (2) where the production cost was approximately a factor nine higher when compared to fossil fuel ($100 per barrel). 47 . such as temperature and sun availability. This shows that even though profitability is still not achieved but it is concluded that profitability is not far away. For this an LCA of algae biodiesel originating in a plant similar to this one is suggested. Molecular level engineering of the algae may have the answers to lowering the cost. When these values are given. The large variation in production cost is to a large extent dependent on the weather conditions present at the plant location. The production cost in this study lies in an interval between 0. This means that the life span of the plant. with increasing fossil fuel prices and a maturing algae technology the future might be a bright one. the yield these conditions give cannot easily be estimated.49 € per liter. photosynthetic efficiency. If the algae meal turns out to be worthless this will increase the algae oil price with 0. The calculated costs are considerably lower than the estimation earlier made by Y. From the result of this feasibility study some general conclusions can be drawn. additional analysis has to be made to verify if and how much this production method really decreases greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel. The price of comparable bio-based crude oil is today 122 $ barrel (palm oil) (1). When estimating the capital and operating cost it was found that the capital cost is the major part of the total cost.95 €/L with the base case of 0. for details please see sensitivity analysis above. However. as well as the interest rates paid on the initial investment will have a large impact on the estimated costs. increase of oil content and improved temperature tolerance are some of the areas that would lower the cost if solved (2).87 €/L.4. it is vital to build a pilot plant to verify growth rates and harvest concentration.

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81 0.22 0.39 0.86 1.05 55 .08 0.Appendix 1 Table 18 Contents of modified Chu-13-medium (28) Substance KNO3 K2HPO4 MgSO4*6H2O CaCl2*2H2O Fe-citrate Citric acid (1 ml microelement solution per l of Chu-13) Substance H3BO3 MnCl2*4H2O ZnSO4*7H2O Na2MoO4*2H2O CuSO4*5 H2O Co(NO3)2*6 H2O mg per l Chu-13 371 80 200 107 20 100 g added per l microelement solution 2.

Appendix 2 Figure 5 Picture of Nannochloropsis salina from Plankton Net (2008-04-24) Calculation of the Cell Density: The shape of the cell can be seen as an ellipsoid and hence as a prolate spheroid due to the fact that the equatorial radius are roughly the same. 56 .

9 1 097 13 300 000 35.4 % 335 700 000 7 318 500g/m3 day for 1 % 335 700 000 7 318 900g/m3 day for 1 % 186 500 000 4 065 300 g/m3 day for 0.7 2 744 33 100 000 17 000 000.Photobioreactor cost energy demand 2.Flocculation + Sedimentation $1982 Cost for 0. .7 2 744 33 100 000 13 300 000 35.Ultrasound cost for 0.4 % cost for 1 % 1 280 000 680 000 € 2008 2 020 000 1 080 000 1 080 000 2 020 000 33 100 000 13 332 000 € 2008 kW 89.9 1 097 89. .4 % Cost for 1 % energy demand 3+4.4 % 559 500 000 12 197 57 .Settling tank $1982 cost for 0. .00 7 000 000.00 neglected € 2008 € 2008 neglected 26 900 000 11 100 000 neglected 11 100 000 neglected neglected 26 900 000 335 700 000 7 318 € 2008 kW for 0.Appendix 3 Table 19 Cost per unit operation Cost per unit operation 500 g/m3 day 1. .4 % cost for 1 % energy demand pump energy demand sonification 5.

Degumming cost (without tanks.Storage tanks product + algae culture Cost € 2008 28 400 000 28 400 000 28 400 000 28 400 000 € 2008 5 980 000 5 980 000 5 980 000 5 980 000 595 000 942 000 neglected 942 000 neglected 942 000 neglected 942 000 neglected 1 300 000 359 36 neglected € 2008 kW kW kW 1 300 000 359 36 neglected 1 300 000 359 36 neglected 1 300 000 359 359 neglected 1 300 000 359 359 neglected 150 000 37. .00 € 2008 kW 237 000 37 237 000 37 237 000 37 237 000 37 58 . . pipes and installation) energy demand heating energy demand centrifuges energy demand vaccum dryer 8.Continuing Table 19 6.Spray dryer cost 10. . .Removal FFA $1982 € 2008 cost (residence time 10 h) Energy 9. – Centrifuge $1982 cost PX90 energy demand 7.

70 10 350 000 4 392 000 4 392 000 10 350 000 0.70 On direct cost 7-10 % 0.13 69 470 000 29 470 000 29 470 000 69 470 000 Total sum: 34 390 000 14 590 000 14 590 000 34 390 000 59 .Appendix 4 Table 20 Cost per unit operation – minimal costs MIN Process equipment NON Ulrich On Process equipment auxiliary equipment Installation Buildings Land improvement Direct cost Process equipment and auxiliary equipment Transportation and insurance social benefits + overtime Engineering Module cost Contractor contingency Direct and indirect cost 4-11% 0.04 0.07 4 863 000 86 130 000 2 063 000 36 540 000 2 063 000 36 540 000 4 863 000 86 130 000 0.06 0.15 102 500 000 43 490 000 43 490 000 102 500 000 3-5% On installation 0.40 0.43 0.15 0.03 1 444 000 612 800 612 800 1 444 000 40-160 % 43-63 % 6-70 % 13-16 % 0.

Continuing Table 20 Support equipment TOTAL COST NON Ulrich apparatus Total COST photobioreactor TOTAL Capital COST Total energy consumption of unit operation equipment kW Total energy consumption of unit operation equipment kWh (335 days 24 hours) 17-25% 0.17 119 900 000 483 300 000 603 200 000 10 580 85 090 000 50 880 000 463 000 000 513 900 000 8 883 71 420 000 50 880 000 282 800 000 333 700 000 5 953 47 870 000 119 900 000 753 500 000 804 400 000 15 790 126 900 000 60 .

70 0.16 140 700 000 59 680 000 59 680 000 140 700 000 Total sum: 34 390 000 14 590 000 14 590 000 34 390 000 3-5% On installation 0.70 0.60 0.70 On direct cost 7-10 % 0.10 4 471 000 15 170 000 14 070 000 174 400 000 1 897 000 6 435 000 5 968 000 73 980 000 1 897 000 6 435 000 5 968 000 73 980 000 4 471 000 15 170 000 14 070 000 174 400 000 61 .11 0.Table 21 Cost per unit operation – maximal costs MAX Process equipment NON Ulrich On Process equipment auxiliary equipment Installation Buildings Land improvement Direct cost Process equipment and auxiliary equipment Transportation and insurance social benefits + overtime Engineering Module cost Contractor contingency Direct and indirect cost 4-11% 0.15 219 700 000 93 210 000 93 210 000 219 700 000 40-160 % 43-63 % 6-70 % 13-16 % 1.63 0.05 0.15 0.

Continuing Table 21 Support equipment TOTAL COST NON Ulrich apparatus Total COST photobioreactor TOTAL Capital COST Total energy consumption of unit operation equipment kW Total energy consumption of unit operation equipment kWh (335 days 24 hours) 85 090 000 71 420 000 47 870 000 17-25% 0.91 10 580 463 000 000 579 500 000 8 883 282 800 000 399 400 000 5 954 753 500 000 1 028 000 000 15 790 126 900 000 62 .25 274 600 000 116 500 000 116 500 000 274 600 000 483 300 000 757 861 818.

1295 0.1627 0.1993 15 years 0.Appendix 5 Table 22 Annuities and Capital Costs per Year Annuity 5% 10 % 15 % Capital cost per year EUR 2008 5% 10 % 15 % 10 years 0.0963 0.1315 0.171 10 years 78 110 000 98 130 000 120 200 000 15 years 58 080 000 79 320 000 103 100 000 The annuity factors are taken from the book “Investeringsbedömning – en introduktion” (62) 63 .

004 Best Case 1 1 % 900 g/m3 15 years 5 % Best Case 2 1 % 900 15 years 10 % Worst Case 0.4% 300 10 years 15 % 4 380 256 000 1 210 000 2 190 49 100 667 000 4 380 12 400 667 000 6 570 20 800 1 610 000 2 280 000 2 280 000 -2 280 000 -2 280 000 neglected neglected 609 000 726 000 Neglected Neglected Heating degumming calculated as electricity neglected neglected 12 000 000 327 000 12 100 000 327 000 2 280 000 -2 280 000 neglected 408 000 Neglected neglected 6 670 000 327 000 2 280 000 -2 280 000 neglected 408 000 Neglected neglected 6 670 000 327 000 2 279 000 -2 280 000 neglected 1 080 000 Neglected neglected 16 100 000 327 000 Licenses Land interest 515 000 neglected 519 000 neglected 294 000 neglected 293 000 neglected 678 000 Neglected 64 . solvents Electricity Water Steam Disposal Maintenance and reparations Labor Normal conditions 0.Appendix 6 Table 23 Costs for running the factory using the lowest estimation Lowest factors Harvest concentration Bound capital Keeping of raw material Keeping of products Spare parts Direct mobile costs Raw material Byproducts help chemicals.01 Euro/year 4 380 256 000 1 210 000 Normal conditions 0.

27 8 390 000 43 900 000 53 600 000 212 243.76 0.10 979 306.38 0.87 0.48 1.39 167 067.10 975 287.46 81 632.Continuing Table 23 Indirect mobile costs Overhead Administration Distribution and sales R&D Sum almost all MOBILE costs Capital investment annuity 15 years 10 % Sum ALL costs Annual production tons Annual production kilos Annual production liter Production price (€/liter) 100 000 100 000 000 111 111 111 0.32 72 429.50 8 420 000 32 100 000 41 900 000 212 243.61 19 400 000 160 000 000 183 000 000 65 .65 212 000 81 600 1 720 000 127 000 14 800 000 67 600 000 84 700 000 212 000 81 600 1 730 000 128 000 14 900 000 79 300 000 96 600 000 212 243.46 81 632.46 81 632.10 2 258 891.64 72 132.

004 Best Case 1 1 % 900 g/m3 15 years 5 % Best Case 2 1 % 900 15 years 10 % Worst Case 0.01 Euro/year Normal conditions 0. solvents Electricity Water Steam Disposal Maintenance and reparations Labor Heating degumming calculated as electricity Licenses Land interest 634 000 neglected 638 000 neglected 482 000 neglected 481 000 neglected 367 000 neglected 66 .Table 24 Cost of running the factory using the highest estimation Highest factors Harvest concentration Bound capital Storing – raw material Storing product Spare parts Direct costs mobile 2 280 000 -2 280 000 neglected 609 000 Neglected Neglected 15 200 000 327 000 2 280 000 -2 280 000 Neglected 726 000 Neglected neglected 15 200 000 327 000 2 280 000 -2 280 000 neglected 408 000 Neglected Neglected 11 600 000 327 000 2 280 000 -2 280 000 Neglected 408 000 Neglected neglected 11 600 000 327 000 2 280 000 -2 280 000 Neglected 1 080 000 Neglected neglected 7 990 000 327 000 Normal conditions 0.4% 300 10 years 15 % 4 380 256 000 1 520 000 4 380 256 000 1 520 000 2 190 49 100 1 160 000 4 380 12 400 1 160 000 6 570 20 800 799 000 Raw material Byproducts help chemicals.

62 1.88 1.Continuing Table 24 Indirect mobile costs Overhead Administration Distribution and sales R&D Sum almost all MOBILE costs Capital investment annuity years 10 % 212 000 81 600 2 110 000 156 000 18 200 000 212 243.10 2 130 000 157 000 18 300 000 212 000 81 600 1 610 000 119 000 13 800 000 212 000 81 600 1 600 000 119 000 13 800 000 212 000 81 600 1 220 000 90 400 10 500 000 15 76 200 000 Sum ALL costs 97 300 000 99 700 000 121 000 000 38 500 000 54 500 000 52 500 000 68 500 000 205 000 000 217 000 000 Annual production tons Annual production kilos Annual production [l] Production price [€/l] 100000.49 0.09 0.00 100000000.95 67 .11 0.00 111111111.46 81 632.

58 5.49 8759. stage (2): Flow ratio stream [D]/[E]: Flow ratio stream [E]/[D]: Oil content in dry algae: 0.81 354.74 12.66 12.09 31.44 24.73 548.44 334.61 8754.40 Dry weight of cell paste: 0.43E+06 not calc.02 12.88 0.02 14.63 1371.44 318.09 31.88 3272.15 0.38 36.82 3658.46 4.73 18. se Appendix 8.18 3109.72 354.87 7768.92 1.09 36.75 373.12 12.01 no large quantities are needed.85 0.45 7773.02 12.63 150.39 3267.14 1340.44 4.44 36.49 5.4% algae [ton/h] Flow rate Flow rate with 1% cell walls algae [ton/h] [ton/h] Flow rate cell walls + water [ton/h] Flow rate water [ton/h] (0.63 517.72 1340.44 3621.44 1. See FLOWSHEET A Separation grade of algae.92 5.82 1371.44 318.45 548. For calculations of required amount of nutrients.12 38.48 12.49 31.44 16.60 3103.4%) Flow rate water [ton/h] (1%) Flow rate Flow rate Flow rate crude oil + methanol Flue gas water [ton/h] [Nm3/h] [ton/h] Flow rate phospholipids [ton/h] STREAM [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] 318.28 12.85 0.49 31.63 12.09 9145.48 12.28 1.72 973.13 9108.58 5.97 517.46 36. 68 .Appendix 7 Mass balance calculations Flow rate crude oil [ton/h] Flow rate algae [ton/h] (0.05 Flow rates of phosphorous acid and NaOH 100% separation in centrifuge is assumed are not calculated and neglected due to 1 mass-% of stream [L] is assumed to be phospholipids: 0. [letter] = refers to the stream in the process.4%) Flow rate algae [ton/h] (1%) Flow rate with 0.

398 Total price 2005 [$/day] 25 300 1 500 1 400 25 800 13 900 3 200 630 71 800 Total price 2008 *€/day+ 29 800 1 800 1 600 30 400 16 400 3 800 740 84 500 Table 26 Chemicals needed per day.198 0.248 0.83 1.2 2. producing 746 tons per day Nutrient CO2 N K Ca P Mg Fe Zn Mn Cu Mo * * Amount required [kg/day] 2 150 000 60 600 13 700 9050 7 840 2 140 540 270 223 52. Table 25 Nutrients required.Appendix 8 Nutrients required per day to grow 746 ton of dry algae according to Algae Link.74 0.80 The required amount of CO2 is 2881 kg / ton dry algae Chemical substance Urea Nitric acid Lime Monobasic sodium phosphate Tetrabasic potassium pyrophosphate Potassium hydroxide Ferric chloride TOTAL Added [kg/day] 130 000 7 860 16 700 13 900 23 100 9 330 1 570 202 000 Price 2005 [$/kg] 0.344 0.082 1. cost per day 69 .

The indexes can be seen in Table 27 and 28 below.50 298.Appendix 9 Cost Calculations All prices in the final calculations in this report are given in Euro [€] for 2008. Table 27 Cost index for calculation of process equipment From US$ of year 1982 to € of 2008 Exchange rate [SEK/$] KPI KPI KPI factor Exchange rate [SEK/€] US$ 1982 to € 2008 Exchange rate ZAR to € Table 28 Cost index for calculation of nutrients 6. When recalculating a process equipment cost from $1982. Costs from earlier years will be recalculated using cost price indexes.74 70 . a currency rate from 1982 of 7 SEK/USD was used.0853 mid 1982 mid 1982 march 2008 factor Price index regarding nutrients Fertilizer index (USA) Currency rate *€/$+ 2005 164.45 9.00 121.00 feb 2008 260. Process equipment costs have been recalculated using the Swedish consumer price index (88). Finally the cost was converted from SEK into € using current exchange rate.30 1. Nutrient costs have been calculated using the U. The price in SEK from 1982 was then transferred into current price using the Swedish consumer price index.S.58 0. in order to consider the price development on the chemical market. fertilizer index (73).00 0. Two different cost indexes have been used in this study. considering the uncertain rate of the USD today. Costs in other currencies will be recalculated into €.00 2.

with courtesy of Westfalia Separator 71 .Appendix 10 Figure 6 TOP Degumming process from Westfalia Separator.

75 18 2 36 Cost of equipment 2008 *€+ 1 300 000 72 .56 12560 PX80 18.Appendix 11 Table 29 Degumming – Calculations of heating energy and power consumption Degumming Amount of oil / year [ton] Operating days / year Hours / day Oil flow [ton/h] Part phospholipids Phospholipid content Total inflow [ton/h] Total inflow [kg/h] Heating Heat capacity [kJ/kg*K] DeltaT [K] Energy consumption heating [kJ/h] Energy consumption heating [kW] Rate energy consumption washing/heating Energy consumption washing [kW] Separation Separator Capacity [ton/h] Energy consumption [kW]/separator Number of separators Total consumption [kW] 2.00 40 1 001 000 279 0.01 0.8 100 000 335 24 12.12 12.44 0.286 79.

50 1.3 6.56 ~7 Done below Neglected Neglected Neglected 2.33 3. Hans T Karlsson (87) Gas velocity Nm3/s Meter in diameter Meter high Residence time of seconds on Nm3 Ulrich’s method Estimate as process vessel Transporter bottom Atomizer with air Pump delivering the necessary pressure Available exhaust gas 400 MW NGCC Nm3/h Nm3/s m2 to achieve 2.Appendix 12 Calculations of spray dryer Rules of thumb by Prof.7 Nm3/s corresponds to m3/s at 90 degrees centigrade 1.55 5.59 3 3 Conversion factor dollar 1982 to euro 2008 Euro march 2008 1. in m2 Number of spray dryers 3 m in diameters residence time in spray dryers per Nm3 Calculation of Capital cost Ulrich method has no process vessels of this size (6 m).00 73 .7 m/s Area of cylinder radius 3 m.58 5 981 472. see reference (61) Interpolate Material factor Nickel clad Pressure factor (normal pressure) Number of spray towers Total investment dollars mid 1982 120 000 4.00 7.00 3 780 000 1 800 000 500 185 28.70 6 15 5-6 Conversion from Nm to m (pV=nRT) From 0 to 90 degrees centigrade conversion factor (Volume) 2.

00 4.02 740.00 18.Calculation of drying capacity of exhaust gas Constants Gas constant J/(K mol) Conversion Celsius to Kelvin + 273.05 28.02 21. This way the estimation is very conservative.24 1 000 From Psychometric chart for humid air Diagram moist air kg/kg in Diagram moist air kg/kg out absorbed kg per kg (difference in-out) in kg 0.00 28.02 74 .01 1.13 0.00 44. Composition % M g/mol 1 Mol exhaust gas weight Re-scale to 1 kg number of moles per kg Weight per substance in 1 kg (g) Part of total Kg water/kg exhaust gas C02 4.06 0.76 62.11 0.04 0.6 N2 75.15 101 325 Calculations based on e-mail communication with Hans Ragnar Eklund.80 100. no consideration is taken to the high temperature at the site which might increase the exhaust temperature.16 146.02 1.56 H2O 8.31 273.00 32. Statoil Hydro (84).11 O2 13.00 122.38 35. The exhaust composition from a 400 MW NGCC plant Exhaust temperature 90 °C.44 50.15 1 atm in Pa Value 8.

75 .016 kg/kg see the psychometric chart below.11 kg/kg for the first point. Using 90 degrees and 0. These two point give a difference of 0. and then picking the second point at 95 % humidity.From a psychrometric chart for humid air the following values were obtained.

8 million Nm3 Mol/Nm3 (pv=nRT) Molar mass Density kg/Nm3 Absorbed per Nm3 Drying capacity ton/h based on 1 800 000 Nm3 44.38 1.46 Need of CO2 per 100 tons a day facility (kg/day) Total need (746 tons a day) of CO2 kg/dag Number of kilos exhaust gas kg/day Number of Nm3 day Number of Nm3/h Assume 25 % excess Total need Nm3/h 288 100 2 149 000 34 640 000 27 360 000 1 140 000 1 425 000 76 .02 36.27 0.Drying capacity of 1.61 28.

86 0.01 100 000 335 299 21 6 270 0.Appendix 13 Table 30 Tank for storage of crude oil to be shipped Concentration upon harvest annual production days of production per year Production/production day A tanker arrive every second week + 1 week of marginal Size of tank needed for crude oil storage Density biodiesel (EN14214) Density biodiesel (EN14214) Size of tank (m3) 0.86 7 300 0.004 100 000 335 299 21 6 270 0.86 7 300 ton days ton/day days ton g/ml ton/m3 m3 ULRICH 5-61 bin stainless steel gives the cost 62 400 62 400 $1982 or 98 700 € 2008 Description of tank: Stainless steel tank with a capacity of 7300 cubic meter 77 .86 0.

large scale effect may also make it possible to use some of these tanks for other purposes although their construction material and hence the cost will change.40 17 900 000 28 300 000 US $ 1982 Description of tanks: approx 15 tanks of 50 000 cubic meters each. 78 . Total cost for storage tanks crude oil + production tank euro 2008 28 400 000 28 400 000 Other tanks are neglected do to their very small size compared to these.40 17 900 000 28 300 000 1 492 000 746 000 50 000 500 000 15 2.Continuing Table 30 Tank requirements for production unit Total volume Algae Link recommends half the production volume (89) Size of tanks Rubber lined cone roof 50 000 m3 cost Number of tanks Material factor rubber lined at atmospheric pressure Total cost re-calculated to euro 2008 1 492 000 746 000 50 000 500 000 15 2.

44 10 hours 189 3.12 Economy 10 Hours Vertically oriented 20m length 3m diameter Basic cost $ 70 000 MF 4.5 Tot 1982 $ 127 500 Methanol 0.28 3 hours 56.73 79 .5 Tot 1982 $ 595 000 Oil 0.Appendix 14 Table 31 Calculations – FFA removal FFA Removal Density [ton/m3] Molar weight [kg/kmole] Moles / ton Mole ratio Amount [ton/h] Residence time Volume [m3] W [ton] Economy 3 Hours Vertically oriented 10m length 1.791 32 31 250 10 4.92 855 1 076 1 12.5 FBM 8.8 1.8m diameter Basic cost $ 15 000 MF 4.5 FBM 8.

Appendix 15 Table 32 Labor costs calculated using South African salaries Personnel Number Salary (ZAR/month) ∑ Salary (ZAR/month) Salary (€/month) ∑ Salary (€/month) Head of factory Process operators Engineer Electrician Mechanic Laboratory assistant ∑ 1 25 1 1 1 1 30 30 000 10 000 15 000 8 000 8 000 8 000 79 000 30 000 250 000 15 000 8 000 8 000 8 000 319 000 2 559 853 1 280 682 682 682 6 739 2 559 21 325 1 280 682 682 682 27 211 80 .

76 0.09 0.88 0.48 0.010 0.004 Production rate [g/(m3 day)] 500 500 900 900 300 Annuity factor 15 years.87 1. 10% 15 years. 10% 15 years.010 0.95 81 .38 0.65 1.Appendix 16 Table 33 Sensitivity analysis Base case 1 Base case 2 Best case 1 Best case 2 Worst case Harvest concentration [w/w] 0.010 0.62 1. 10 % 10 years. 5 % 15 years.49 0. 15% Factors lowest factors highest factors lowest factors highest factors lowest factors highest factors lowest factors highest factors lowest factors highest factors Production cost 0.004 0.

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