National Algal Biofuels
Technology Roadmap

MAY 2010

National Algal Biofuels
Technology Roadmap
A technology roadmap resulting from the National Algal Biofuels Workshop
December 9-10, 2008
College Park, Maryland

Workshop and Roadmap sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Office of the Biomass Program
Publication Date: May 2010

John Ferrell Valerie Sarisky-Reed
Office of Energy Efficiency Office of Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy and Renewable Energy
Office of the Biomass Program Office of the Biomass Program
(202)586-5340 (202)586-5340

Roadmap Editors:
Daniel Fishman, Rajita Majumdar,1 Joanne Morello,2 Ron Pate,3 and Joyce Yang2

Workshop Organizers:
Al Darzins, Grant Heffelfinger, Ron Pate, Leslie Pezzullo,2 Phil Pienkos,4 Kathy Roach,5 Valerie Sarisky-Reed,2 and the
4 3 3

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)

A complete list of workshop participants and roadmap contributors is available in the appendix.

Suggested Citation for This Roadmap:
U.S. DOE 2010. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy, Biomass Program.
Visit for more information

BCS, Incorporated 2Office of the Biomass Program 3Sandia National Laboratories

National Renewable Energy Laboratory 5MurphyTate LLC

this report could be “influential scientific information” as that term is defined in the Office of Management and Budget’s Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (Bulletin). Further.2 of the Bulletin.This report is being disseminated by the Department of Energy. As such. . This report has been peer reviewed pursuant to section II. 106-554) and information quality guidelines issued by the Department of energy. the document was prepared in compliance with Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law No.

Biomass Program U. Renewable energy lies at the intersection of some of our nation’s most pressing issues: our energy security. This Roadmap is intended to summarize the state of technology for algae-based fuels and document the research and development challenges associated with producing them at a commercial scale. Therefore. It is intended to serve as a resource for researchers.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Program’s National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap. and the stability of our global climate. DOE is investing in a variety of research. and supporting scientific literature. Department of Energy Preface  i . Achieving cost-competitive. Meanwhile. development. Prepared with the input of more than 200 scientists. engineers. private companies. These national challenges require near-term solutions as well as investments in nascent technologies that show promise for the future. and demonstration (RD&D) projects that seek to tackle key technical hurdles associated with commercializing algal biofuels. but their significant potential to serve as renewable transportation fuels warrants our thorough consideration of what efforts are necessary to make them a commercial-scale reality. and decision-makers by providing a summary of progress to date and a direction for future algae RD&D activities.Preface Welcome to the U. Valerie Sarisky-Reed Acting Manager. This Roadmap lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that will likely need to be surmounted for algae and cyanobacteria to be used in the production of economically viable. our economic wellbeing. and the academic community are also increasing their efforts to optimize and commercialize this renewable energy source.S. this document represents the synthesis of the Biomass Program’s National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop. comments gathered during a public comment period. DOE has recently revived its investment in algal biofuels in response to the increased urgency of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and producing affordable. engineers. Through appropriated dollars and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. other federal agencies. as well as the recognition that we will not likely achieve these goals via one technology pathway. environmentally sound biofuels. it remains committed to fostering technologies that could yield substantial benefits over time. industry representatives. research managers. and we hope it fosters and informs participation from existing and new stakeholders as the next steps are taken to advance algal biofuels. reliable energy. while DOE works to deploy renewable energy and energy-efficient projects across the country today. DOE looks forward to continuing its work with diverse partners in evaluating renewable energy options and facilitating development of those that carry the greatest benefits today and in the years to come. and other stakeholders. sustainable algal biofuels will entail years of research and careful planning.

and Renewal Act. and macroalgae (or While the basic concept of using algae as an alternative seaweed). The Energy Independence and Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Culture of Marine Phytoplankton Security Act of 2007 (EISA) established a mandatory (CCMP). weight). biomass-derived fuels have received increasing attention as one solution to our nation’s continued and growing dependence on imported oil. Rising petroleum prices and a Additional funding is being directed to algae-to-biofuel national mandate to reduce U. meet the new RFS feedstock resources. cyanobacteria (the so called “blue-green algae”). Photo courtesy of the our national security. provide environmental benefits. These include: the goal. which exposes the country to the risk of critical disruptions in fuel supply. These fuels can also be produced using other algae by DOE-EERE’s Biomass Program. announcing $800 million in new biofuel research activities I n recent years. While cellulosic ethanol is expected to play a large role There are several aspects of algal biofuel production that in meeting the EISA goals. This announcement included funds for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy The DOE-supported Aquatic Species Program. including advanced and products can be generated using algae precursors. cellulosic biofuels and biomass-based diesel. 2008. To accelerate the deployment of sources (fresh. 2) non-food based have the potential to help the U. and advanced biofuels. opportunities across the nation have renewed interest in developing algal feedstocks for biofuels production. to contain a minimum of 36 billion to fungible biofuels. and impacts A culture of the microalgae Botryococcus. an effort Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Biomass undertaken from 1978 to 1996. the end of the program. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requiring transportation sugars from cyanobacteria and macroalgae. These characteristics give great potential for The National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap an immediate pathway to high energy density.S. engineers. brackish. Much has changed since deployment of commercial algae-to-biofuel processes. 2009. saline.S. by 2022. sustainable of lipids (more than 50% of their ash-free cell dry and commercially viable system has yet to emerge. The term algae can refer to microalgae. and of algae as a biofuel feedstock. a scalable. while at the same time moving the nation ever closer to non-arable land. and create economic and programs. produced. President Obama and Secretary of wastewater). 3) use of otherwise non-productive. creates economic and social uncertainties for businesses and individuals. held December 9-10. including starches and brought together more than 200 scientists. marine. 5) production of both biofuels and valuable Energy Steven Chu announced the investment of $800M co-products. dependence on foreign research both in EERE and other government agencies oil. fungible Workshop. some microalgae and renewable source of biomass feedstock for biofuels have the potential to accumulate significant amounts has been explored previously. was convened fuels.S. a number of next generation have combined to capture the interest of researchers and biofuels show significant promise in helping to achieve entrepreneurs around the world. illustrated the potential Program to invest in the research.Executive Summary “ ” Developing the next generation of biofuels is key to our effort to end our dependence on foreign oil and address the climate crisis – while creating millions of new jobs that can’t be outsourced — Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at the White House ceremony on May 5. biofuels derived from algae 1) high per-acre productivity. In addition fuel sold in the U. development. 4) utilization of a wide variety of water energy independence. The two-day event feedstocks and intermediates. ii Executive Summary  . Of these candidates. Under certain conditions. a variety of different biofuels and gallons of renewable fuels. and 6) potential recycling of CO2 and other in new research on biofuels in the American Recovery nutrient waste streams.

this document will serve to commercial scale. The ability techno-economic challenges associated with scaling to quickly test and implement new and innovative up of processes. research. development. supporting scientific literature. policymakers. Executive Summary  iii . algal biomass production systems at commercial financiers. the Roadmap Workshop effort suggests document is intended to provide a comprehensive state that many years of both basic and applied science and of technology summary for fuels and co-products from engineering will likely be needed to achieve affordable. and regulators from across the country to scale. lawyers. and sustainable algal-based fuels.research managers. industry representatives. guide researchers and engineers. This document also seeks to explore technologies in an integrated process will be a key the economic and environmental impacts of deploying component to accelerating progress. and comments received during a public comment period. and deployment efforts. federal agencies. By documenting the challenges across the algal discuss and identify the critical challenges currently biomass supply chain and highlighting research and hindering the economical production of algal biofuels at coordination needs and gaps. and the private sector in implementing national This document represents the output from the Workshop. The Roadmap In summary. algal feedstocks and to document the feasibility and scalable.

and hyper-saline environments to soil and in symbiotic associations with other organisms. macroalgae (seaweed). and cyanobacteria (formerly called “blue-green algae”). and taking advantage of the biology of algal strains selected for use in production systems is the foundation for processing feedstocks into fuels and products. Isolating new strains directly from unique environments will ensure versatile and robust strains for mass culture needed in biofuels applications. managing. and sustainability of algae to biofuel systems. Macroalgae (or seaweed) has different cultivation needs that typically require open off-shore or coastal facilities. scalability. Algae occur in a variety of natural aqueous and terrestial habitats ranging from freshwater. Choices made for the cultivation system are key to the affordability. to generate new biomass). Fermentation Tanks MICROALGAE CYANOBACTERIA MACROALGAE Algae as feedstocks for bioenergy refers to a diverse group of Closed Photobioreactors organisms that include microalgae. marine. brackish waters. Open Ponds Example Cultivation Systems POLICY SITING AND RESOURCES iv Executive Summary  Development Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis: Guiding Path Toward the Research and a .FROM ALGAE FROM TO TO ALGAE BIOFUELS BIOFUELS An Integrated Systems An Integrated Approach Systems to Renewable Approach Energy to Renewable that is E nergy ALGAE FEEDSTOCKS CULTIVATION Microalgae and cyanobacteria can be cultivated via photoautotrophic methods (where algae require light to grow and create new biomass) in open or closed ponds or via heterotrophic methods (where algae are grown without light and are fed a carbon source. Understanding. Designing an optimum cultivation system involves leveraging the biology of the algal strain used and inegrating it with the best suited downstream processing options. such as sugars.

Some algal biomass production processes are investigating options to bypass extraction.g. and proteins. 3) Processing of direct algal secretions.. in water and can require process steps to concentrate 2) Extraction of algal metabolites. fertilizers. animal feed.g. End Uses: • Biodiesel • Biogas • Renewable Hydrocarbons • Co-products • Alcohols (e. and Sustainable HARVESTING / DEWATERING CONVERSION Some processes for the conversion of algae to liquid Conversion to fuels and products is predicated on a basic transportation fuels require pre-processing steps such as process decision point: harvesting and dewatering. Most challenges in extraction are associated with the industrial scale up of integrated extraction systems. and surfactants) REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS Executive Summary  v Commercially Viable Algal Biofuel Industry . industrial enzymes. gasoline. or a 2-O-C EXTRACTION combination of these approaches.. carbohydrates.g. biodiesel and jet fuel). or harvested algal biomass prior to extraction and conversion. Affordable. Focusing on biofuels as the end-product O poses challenges due to the high volumes and relative low CH2-O-C R1 values associated with bulk commodities like gasoline and O diesel fuels. biochemical. While lipids and carbohydrates are fuel precursors (e. These steps can be energy-intensive and can entail siting Conversion technology options include chemical. Abundant. The end products vary depending on the conversion technology utilized. CH-O-C R2 O CH2-O-C R3 Bio-Crude Algal Lipid: Precursor to Biofuels Three major components can be extracted from algal biomass: lipids (including triglycerides and fatty acids). animal/fish feeds). issues. optimizing extraction systems that consume less energy than contained in the algal products is a challenge due to the high energy needs associated with both handling and drying algal biomass as well as separating out desirable products. Algal cultures are mainly grown 1) Conversion of whole algal biomass. While many analytical techniques exist. though these are also subject to a number of unique scale-up challenges.. bioplastics. and thermochemical processes. proteins can be used for co-products (e.

vi Executive Summary  .

.................................11 Carbon Partitioning and Metabolism..........................................7 References....................................................................11 Algal Carbohydrates....................................................................................................................................................................................... Algal Biology................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Contents 1.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................7 Public-Private Partnerships.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................3 Research from 1996 to Present...................................................................................................................................................................................................................9 Selecting Algal Model Systems for Study.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Enabling Technologies: “Omics” Approaches and Bioinformatics......................................................................5 1............................................................................................................................................................................................ 16 The Genetic Toolbox...........................1 About the Roadmap................3 Algal Biotechnology..................................................................................................5 Technology and Analysis Challenges.......................................................................................................... 12 Lipid Synthesis and Regulation............... 11 Photosynthesis and Light Utilization.....................................................1 Strain Isolation............................. 29 Microalgae and Cyanobacteria..............................................................5 Regulations and Standards......................2 A History of Domestic Algal Biofuels Development.....................................................8 Isolation and Characterization of Naturally Occurring Algae ...............1 America’s Energy Challenges................................................... 22 References......................................3 Early Work to 1996................................2 Algal Physiology and Biochemistry................... 19 Applications of Biotechnology to Algal Bioenergy..............................................................................................................................................................................3 Algae-to-Biofuels: Opportunity and Challenges Today......................................................................................... .......... Overview........ 31 Contents  vii ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................7 2................................................................................................................................................................................................................................1 Advantages of Algal Feedstocks........8 2..............................................................................................................................................................................................................20 Considerations of Genetic Modifications....................................... 31 Stability of Large-Scale Cultures ............ 23 3...30 3..........................................................................................................................8 Role of Culture Collections as National Algae Data Resource Centers............... 12 Biohydrogen ..2 Scale-Up Challenges.................29 3..................................3 1..................................................................................................10 2........... 15 2...................................................1 1.......... Screening and Selection ................................................................................................................................................... Algal Cultivation................................................... 29 Macroalgae.............................................................1 Cultivation Pathways..................................................................................

.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 33 References........................................... 42 Organic Co-solvent Mixtures............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 42 Mechanical Disruption (i................................. Cell Rupture).................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................46 6......................................................2 Challenges......................................................................................... Extraction of Products from Algae ............. 49 Alkanes.......................................50 6................................ 53 Chemical Transesterification.......................................... 52 Supercritical Processing........................................................................................................................................................................37 Drying......... and Recycling.....................................................................................................................................................40 5...................... 54 viii Contents  ............................................................................... 49 Hydrogen..............................................................................................................................................1 Current Practices for Lipid Extraction...... 38 4............................................................................. 45 5..................................................................................................................................................................... 39 References......37 Harvesting......... 39 4........e............................... 32 Water Management............................................ 45 Heterotrophic Production...................................................................................................................................................................................... 38 Harvesting............................................................................................................................................. 43 Accelerated Solvent Extraction............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 37 4.........................................................1 Approaches for Microalgae.. 53 6..............................................3 Systems Engineering ............ 51 Liquefaction..................................................... System Productivity......................42 5......................................................................................................................................................46 References......................................................................................................................................................................................50 Gasification.................................................... 53 Anaerobic Digestion of Whole Algae........ 45 Supercritical Fluid Extraction...................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................................... 38 Preprocessing.... Downstream Processing: Harvesting and Dewatering......................................................................................................................................................................................................48 6......................................... Conservation................2 Processing of Whole Algae.... and Management.......................................................................................... 32 Nutrient Sources...................................................................................................................44 Subcritical Water Extraction.....................48 Alcohols... 35 4.................................................................................................................................3 Conversion of Algal Extracts.................44 Selective Extraction...................................................50 Pyrolysis...............................................................................................................................................2 Approaches for Macroalgae ......................................................................................... Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies ....................................................................................................................................................1 Direct Production of Biofuels from Algae............................................................................................................ ..............................................................................40 Preliminary Look at Energy Balance .......................................................................................... Sustainability........................................................

....................................................................................... 70 Algal Blendstocks for Alcohol and Gasoline-Range Petroleum Products.........................73 Heterotrophic Microalgae Approach............................ 88 References................................... 58 7......................4 Processing of Algal Remnants after Extraction..............................................................................64 7............................................. 84 Main Research Needs for Algae Production with Wastewater ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... Resources and Siting ........................................................................................................................................................... 73 9...80 Land...................................................... 83 Algae Production Techniques for Wastewater Treatment Plants...................64 References.............................................................................................................................................................. 55 Catalytic Cracking.................................................................57 References............. 88 Directions for Research and Development.................................................. 56 6................................................................................................................ 69 8....................1 Distribution......................................................................................................................................... and Jet Fuel ......................................................................................................... 70 Algal Blendstocks to Replace Middle-Distillate Petroleum Products............................................................................................. 73 Photoautotrophic Microalgae Approach........90 Contents  ix .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................74 Photoautotrophic Macroalgae Approach..............4 Integration with Water Treatment Facilities ...................................................................................................3 Potential Options for the Recovery of Co-products............................................................................................................................................. ...............................................................................................................................75 Water.............................................. 86 9..............69 8...................................................................................................1 Commercial Products from Microalgae and Cyanobacteria................................................................................. 83 Wastewater Treatment and Recycling Applications.......75 Climate ......71 References.............................74 9.. 81 9..................................................2 Resources Overview................................................................................................................................................................................................... Distribution and Utilization...................................................................................................................................................................1 Resource Requirements for Different Cultivation Approaches.......................................................5 Co-location of Algal Cultivation Facilities with CO2-Emitting Industries........................................................................................................................... ..................... 67 8.............................................................................................. 61 7.................................................................................................... Gasoline.......................................................... Biochemical (Enzymatic) Conversion... 86 The Opportunity in Co-Locating with CO2-Emitting Sources..................2 Commercial Products from Macroalgae........2 Utilization................................................................................................... 87 Barriers to Co-Location of Algae Production with Stationary Industrial CO2 Sources ..........................................................................................72 9................................................................................77 Carbon Dioxide......... Co-products ... 55 Conversion to Renewable Diesel............................................ 61 7............................

................................................................................................................................ 97 10.....................................................................................3 Forums for Public-Private Partnerships............................................................................................................ 93 10................ 109 11.......................102 Life Cycle Analysis......................................... Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis.................................. 104 10............................................94 10..................................................................122 Appendix 3: Respondents to Request for Information on the Draft Roadmap.............................................................99 Overview................................................................................................................................................................................4 Systems Analysis.......2 TEA Scope and Methods.......................5 Algae Production Costs and Uncertainties.................................110 11.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................4 Partnership Challenges in the Algal Biofuels Industry........ 111 References...............................................................................................................................6 Preliminary System Dynamics Modeling .............................................................................................................. 104 10............................................................................................................................................. 104 10...........................................................1 Objectives of Techno-Economic Analysis ......................................................5 Modeling Partnerships for Technology Development............................................... 115 Appendix 1 : Workshop Participants...................124 x Contents  ...........3 Suggestions for TEA and LCA Approach (Workshop Results and Discussion).........................7 Potential Directions for R&D Effort .........................110 11....................... 111 11............................................ 100 Impact of Geographic Variability of Inputs on Algal Biofuel Production Costs.......................................... Public-Private Partnerships ...........................................93 10..............115 Appendix 2: Contributors..............................................114 Appendices ..............................................................................99 Engineering Analyses and GIS Assessments.............................................................................................10.............................................2 Components of Successful Public-Private Partnerships.......................... 105 11............................... 109 11............1 The Benefits of Algal Biofuels Public-Private Partnerships.....

Following the release of the initial draft of the Roadmap. approximately two-thirds of its petroleum. and industry. gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. and policy perspectives that can support billion gallons can be produced from corn-based ethanol. commercial. held December 9-10. The Program’s goals are driven by various federal policies and laws. the production of economically viable biofuels. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to rising energy demand in many rapidly developing discuss and identify the critical challenges currently countries around the world is beginning to create hindering the development of a domestic.S. which set new standards for More than 200 stakeholders were convened at the vehicle fuel Standard (RFS) that increase over time (Exhibit 1.1). government and new energy technology research and development. and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. and sustainable algal-based biofuels. academia. in partnership fidelity and incorporate new information.orau.S. provides environmental benefits. industry. Furthermore. representing a diverse range of expertise from promote the use of renewable fuels. sustainable domestic biomass industry that The outcomes from the Workshop provided key inputs produces renewable biofuels. A major objective of the reserves. the United The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology States is becoming increasingly dependent upon foreign Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels sources of crude oil. with national laboratories. bioproducts and biopower. In doing so. Overview The Workshop was able to capture the participants’ The Biomass Program (Program) of the U. academia. Overview  1 . 1. All comments are noted in the Appendix of this document. the state of technology the current status of algae RD&D. as well as made provisions that Workshop. the combustion of petroleum- Workshop was to gather the necessary information based fuels has created serious concerns about climate to produce an algal biofuels technology roadmap change from the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. reduces our dependence Roadmap. Algal biofuels offer great promise in contributing to Every attempt was made to ensure that the Roadmap the Program’s vision. energy supply for transportation liquid transportation fuels. and criticisms not captured during the Workshop. viewpoints. The United States currently imports Technology Roadmap Workshop.S. The which is used for producing transportation fuels. economic opportunities across the nation. scalable. In 2007. to the development of this Algal Biofuels Technology enhances U. Department experience and expertise during a series of technical of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and break-out sessions that spanned critical aspects of the Renewable Energy is committed to advancing the vision algal biomass supply chain and cross-cutting issues. and non-governmental organizations. the Roadmap describes fuels. The RFS mandates blending of 36 billion This Roadmap presents information from a scientific. energy security. energy efficiency. agencies. it lays for producing algal biofuels is regarded by many in the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely the field to be in its infancy and there is a considerable need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in amount of RD&D is needed to achieve affordable. 60% of 2008. the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) was enacted. Despite their potential. While Biofuels derived from algae can meet these l onger-term addressing the potential economic and environmental needs of the RFS and represent a significant opportunity benefits of using algal biomass for the production of to impact the U. as well as helping to meet the development process was transparent and inclusive. development. Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate established within EISA.1 America’s Energy Challenges About the Roadmap As global petroleum supplies diminish.1. that both assesses the current state of technology and provides direction to the Program’s RD&D efforts. and creates be found at http://www. including the Energy Independence and Security Act a 60-day public comment period was held to allow of 2007. To accomplish its goals. The full proceedings of the Workshop can on oil. of a viable. the national laboratories. intense competition for the world’s dwindling petroleum scale algal biofuels industry. Workshop participants to evaluate the Roadmap for and deployment (RD&D) activities. The The legislation establishes production requirements for Workshop provided a stimulating environment to explore domestic alternative fuels under the Renewable Fuels topics affecting the development of algal biofuels industry. the Program has undertaken a diverse portfolio of research. 1. at the University of Maryland-College Park. of which only 15 economic.

0 36. but no less than 1.0 26.5 2016 4.0 33.15 2015 3..0 2023 b b b b a To be determined by EPA through a future rulemaking. Overview  ..95 2011 0.0 2020 10. Significant acreage and productivity will be required • Minimizes competition with conventional agriculture for biomass production to generate sufficient feedstock • Utilizes a wide variety of water sources to meet the RFS mandates.35 13. advanced biofuels must demonstrate GHG emissions UNIQUE ADVANTAGES OF ALGAL FEEDSTOCK FOR across their life cycle that are at least 50% less than GHG ADVANCED BIOFUELS emissions produced by petroleum-based transportation • High area productivity fuels.75 16. Algal biomass may per acre of land on an annual basis (Rodolfi et al. and approximately 5 times that of oil palm fuels for aviation and ground transport.0 a 5. while algae may co-products within biorefineries offer comparable biomass productivity as lignocellulosic feedstocks – the key biomass resource factored in the study.6 11.5 a 13. Cellulosic feedstocks were • Recycles stationary emissions of carbon dioxide identified by the Billion Ton Study as a significant source • Compatible with integrated production of fuels and of biomass (Perlack et al. the study did not explore the potential of algae.5 20.25 0.25 a 7.75 a 3.65 0.95 12.0 a 21. As required by EISA.0 28.0 30. The most promising among these are routes from soybeans.55 2014 1. 2009).5 a 9.25 2017 5.5 0.0 2022 16.0 24.80 1.1 Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements (billion gallons) Cellulosic biofuels and biomass-based diesel are included in the advanced biofuel requirement.2). For example.1 0. approximately 15 times more productive to advanced biofuels such as high energy density fungible than jatropha.5 a 18.5 a 15.0 2021 13. b To be determined by EPA through a future rulemaking. 2 1.1 2010 0.Advanced biofuels face significant challenges in meeting the ambitious targets set by EISA.2 2013 1.0 2.0 billion gallons.0 2019 8.0 15.95 2012 0.0 a 2.5 1.75 18. offer significant advantages that complement traditional feedstocks towards these fuels. 2005). microalgae have demonstrated potential oil yields that are significantly higher than the yields of oilseed crops Many pathways are currently under consideration for (Exhibit 1. Potential oil yields from certain algae production of biofuels and bioproducts from components strains are projected to be at least 60 times higher than of biomass.25 22. oleaginous Exhibit 1. CELLULOSIC BIOMASS-BASED ADVANCED BIOFUEL TOTAL RENEWABLE BIOFUEL DIESEL REQUIREMENT FUEL REQUIREMENT REQUIREMENT REQUIREMENT 2009 N/A 0.0 a 11. However.0 2018 7.

The collection was narrowed approaches to the technologies being explored today. to the 300 most promising strains. process development. The discovery that • Algae cultivation strategies can minimize or avoid many species of microalgae can produce large amounts of competition with arable land and nutrients used for lipid as cellular oil droplets under certain growth conditions conventional agriculture. comprehensive research efforts to date on fuels from microalgae. A detailed engineering analysis by Benemann et al. genetic Jatropha 202 engineering. such saline water. inland saline habitats that typically The advantages of algae as a feedstock for bioenergy undergo substantial swings in temperature and salinity. pH. and temperature. Many of the strains were isolated from shallow. and and 1960s indicated that starvation for key nutrients. a comprehensive overview Algae 1. • Algal biomass is compatible with the integrated biorefinery vision of producing a variety of fuels and The Aquatic Species Program represents one of the most valuable co-products. gained serious attention only during from stationary sources. Various reports during the 1950s • Algae can utilize waste water. however. but the focus changed to Camelina 62 liquid fuels (biodiesel) in the early 1980s. representing a diversity of aquatic Algal Biofuels Development environments and water types.2 A History of Domestic and southeastern U. thereby reducing competition for limited as nitrogen or silicon. Advances were made through algal strain isolation and characterization. have been apparent since the mid-twentieth century. The isolates were screened for their tolerance to variations Although. with projected costs for fossil fuels.000-6. and demonstration- scale algal mass culture. Sunflower 102 studies of algal physiology and biochemistry. primarily green algae (Chlorophyceae) and diatoms (Bacillariophyceae). 1998). The Aquatic Species OIL YIELD Program also funded research at many academic CROP (GALLONS/ACRE/YR) institutions through subcontracts. and also for their ability not yet emerged.. including power plants and the oil embargo of the early 1970s and the energy price other industrial emitters. northwestern. There are several started in the late 1950s when Meier (1955) and Oswald aspects of algal biofuel production that have combined to and Golueke (1960) suggested the utilization of the capture the interest of researchers and entrepreneurs around carbohydrate fraction of algal cells for the production of the world: methane gas via anaerobic digestion. 1998) was invested during the 18-year Soybean 48 program. Approximately $25 million (Sheehan. (1978) indicated that algal • Algal productivity can offer high biomass yields per systems could produce methane gas at prices competitive acre of cultivation. a scalable. the emphasis was on using algae to produce hydrogen. formerly the Solar Energy Research Institute). freshwater supplies. produced water. The concept of utilizing the lipid stores as a source of • Algae can recycle carbon from CO2-rich flue emissions energy. The program lasted from 1978 until 1996 and supported research primarily at DOE’s National Exhibit 1. a Adapted from Chisti (2007) b Estimated yields. Techno-economic analyses Oil palm 635 and resource assessments were also important aspects of the program. 1.000 strains of microalgae over a seven-year period from various sites in the western. Proposals to use algae as a means of producing energy fungible liquid transportation fuels. commercially viable system has in salinity. surges through the decade. Some of the highlights are described briefly below. earlier studies have laid foundational to produce neutral lipids. In 1998.2 Comparison of oil yields from biomass feedstocksa Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.S. this report The Aquatic Species Program researchers collected more than 3. Overview  3 .Advantages of Algal Feedstocks Early Work to 1996 Algae can be preferred feedstock for high energy density.500b of the project was completed (Sheehan et al. dates back to the 1940s. 1. this idea ultimately became a major push of DOE’s Aquatic Species Program. During the early years. could lead to this phenomenon.

smaller ponds for inocula production. and New Mexico under conditions of insufficient silicon (a component of (Sheehan et al. issues associated with such methods.After promising microalgae were identified. and the efficiency of CO2 1995). as biosynthesis of these compounds competes for fixed carbon units that might otherwise be used for Several resource assessments were conducted under the lipid formation. Extraction of oil droplets from the cells and algal oil were determined to range from $59 . Low attempts at metabolic engineering identified a pathway to nighttime and winter temperatures limited productivity in modify the gene encoding in the ACCase enzyme. 1990). depth research. 1996). (Weissman et al. the Roswell area. These initial to be more than 90% with careful pH control. A Test Facility in Roswell. chrysolaminarin saline water. Detailed techno-economic analyses underlined process steps. With the advent of the first successful in that long-term. In addition. such and dewatering algal biomass and lipid extraction. however.. enzymes involved in the Aquatic Species Program. further Aquatic Species Program focused on solvent systems. New Mexico. ACCase activity was found to increase deep). biological productivity was shown to have commercialization of the technology. was the focus demonstration-scale outdoor microalgal cultivation of many of the biochemical studies. In this species.. but no further fuel much as 60% of their dry weight in the form of lipid. Inc. and conversion to fuel are critical to successful In addition. purification. plus several under the nutrient stress conditions (Roessler. Cost-effective methods of harvesting the necessity for very low-cost culture systems. petroleum consumption. but Among various techniques. strains from the wild. The systems were characterized (Roessler. cryptica were characterized (Roessler. 2007). but lower oil producing. 50 g/m2/day. and other needed for biological productivity and various problematic issues. 1990). the commercially viable strains for oil production. Different cost process step that is highly energy. but overall biomass productivity averaged no effect was seen on lipid production in these preliminary around 10 g/m2/day with occasional periods approaching experiments (Jarvis et al. Under inducing conditions. but studies examined the ability of many strains to induce failed to fully address the scale. One serious problem encountered was that the desired starting strain was often outgrown by faster Additional studies focused on storage carbohydrate reproducing.. biomass was demonstrated. estimated costs for unextracted 1998). harvesting via flocculation even with optimistic assumptions about CO2 credits and was deemed particularly encouraging (Sheehan et al. The 4 1.$186 per purification of the oil are also cost-intensive steps. 1999. analyses led to differing conclusions on fuel cost. and CO2 resources (power plants). Harvesting is a the single largest influence on fuel cost.g. shallow (10-20 cm for TAG synthesis. conversion of lipids to gasoline) species in the collection were shown to accumulate as were evaluated (Milne et al. production. Hawaii. as unlined open ponds (Benemann and Oswald. other biofuel of lipid biosynthesis.. 1988) with the hope of eventually turning down the Sufficient resources were identified for the production flow of carbon through these pathways. 1987 and in desert regions of the Southwest (Maxwell et al.. distance from CO2 point sources. operated by key enzyme is acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase). primarily in C. 1988). primarily triacylglycerides (TAGs) (Chisti. However. paddlewheel-mixed raceway ponds. Under Aquatic Species Program subcontracts. productivity improvements. The termination of many billions of gallons of fuel. and thus the enzyme was extensively University of California-Berkeley. 1985). Sheehan et al. 1998). 1998).or methyl-esters (biodiesel) was overall rate of oil production in a culture (because of the successfully demonstrated in the Aquatic Species concomitant decrease in the cell growth rate). it became possible to manipulate the expression of utilization (bubbled through the algae culture) was shown ACCase in an attempt to increase oil yields. suggesting that the of the Aquatic Species Program in 1996 halted further technology could have the potential to have a significant development of these potentially promising paths to impact on U. For example. scale-up. cost. costs of these resources can vary widely depending During the course of the Aquatic Species Program upon such factors as land leveling requirements. Conversion of Although nutrient deficiency actually reduces the algal oils to ethyl.. 1989). and environmental lipid accumulation under conditions of nutrient stress.000 m2 outdoor. The raceway design suggesting that it may play a role as a “spigot” controlling was based on the “high rate pond” system developed at lipid synthesis. growth was conducted in California. biosynthesis of the storage carbohydrate. which Microbial Products. studying Program and shown to be one of the less challenging this response led to valuable insights into the mechanisms aspects of the technology.S. This catalyzes the first step in the biosynthesis of fatty acids used facility utilized two 1. Of particular note was the Outdoor the cell wall) is a trigger for increased oil production. Overview  .. Cyclotella cryptica. Studies focused on suitable land. or engine testing was carried out. an oleaginous diatom. it became clear that novel solutions would be of aquifers..and capital-intensive. stable production of algal successful transformation of microalgae (Dunahay et al. some process options (e. characterization..

Office of Science. Primary efforts were focused on open ocean culture of Abundant. a number of U. national labs are developing a viable and sustainable algal biofuel industry. these activities must be accompanied with DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy conducive developments on the non-technical fronts – (ARPA-E). researchers concluded that algal-derived Algae must be considered as part and parcel of the SNG would not be cost-competitive with fossil fuel gas. DOE sponsored the Marine Biomass 1. the Department of Defense. and Biomass Program are all funding research activities By reviewing the technology gaps and cross-cutting needs.S. particularly to substitute natural gas Today (SNG) via anaerobic digestion (Bird and Benson. Also from 1968-1990. it was Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) algal bio-jet determined that a great deal of RD&D is still necessary program. needed to support commercialization activities. macroalgae for biofuels and beneficial re-use of CO2. Species Program. from algal feedstocks and to document the feasibility and techno-economic challenges associated with commercial scaling up of processes. and the Roadmap aims to guide researchers and engineers. Office of Fossil Energy.barrel (Sheehan et al. cyanobacteria. the National to tackle the challenges of algal biofuels is thus Science Foundation. Further. the Air Force Based on the information provided at the Workshop. suggest that the algae-to-biofuels process so it can be commercialized. that include investigating microalgae. A sizable and strategically structured investment from DOE. Courtesey of CCMP. 1987). 1998). the Aquatic Species Program was successful in demonstrating the feasibility of algal culture as a source of oil and resulted in important advances in the technology. federal funding for algal research has come scale. and several DOE Small Business Innovative to reduce the level of risk and uncertainty associated with Research (SBIR) request for proposals. and the private sector in implementing a nationally coordinated effort toward Additionally. State funding programs and research support from private Technology and Analysis Challenges industry also make up a significant proportion of research funding. significantly outpacing government funding. cost-effective solutions for the culture and process engineering challenges. the work highlighted the need to understand and optimize the biological mechanisms of algal lipid accumulation and to find creative..nrel. Overall. regulations and standards. 1. However. which was trading at less than $20/barrel in 1995. Overview  5 . funding levels are beginning to increase. policymakers. and the Department of Agriculture.3 Algae-to-Biofuels: Program. Similar to the findings of the Aquatic lifeblood of the burgeoning biofuels industry today. federal agencies. In contrast to the development of cellulosic biofuels which benefit from a direct agricultural and process Research from 1996 to Present engineering lineage. It was concluded that algal biofuels would not be cost-competitive with and sustainable feedstocks are the California kelp. Recent initiatives. a research initiative to determine the technical and economic feasibility of macroalgae cultivation and Opportunity and Challenges conversion to fuels. and public-private partnerships. there is no parallel agricultural Since the end of DOE’s Aquatic Species Program in enterprise equivalent for cultivating algae at a similar 1996. Cyclotella cells. increasingly focusing on algal biofuels research. Additionally. Private investment in algal biofuels This Roadmap seeks to lay down the first comprehensive has been increasing at a dramatic rate over the last few state of technology summary for fuels and co-products years. Detailed results from the Aquatic Species Program research investment are available to the public in more than 100 electronic documents on the NREL Web site at www. feedstock mix for producing advanced biofuels. such as a major Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency solicitation. it also became clear that significant barriers would need to be overcome in order to achieve an economically feasible process. affordable. In particular.

FEEDSTOCK and mixotrophic growth) Algal • Achieve robust and stable cultures at a commercial scale Cultivation • Optimize system for algal productivity of fuel precursors (e. direct fuel production. water & nutrient reuse.g. heterotrophic. water. 6 1. biochemical conversion. such as operational temperature. weather impacts. sonication. and mechanized seaweed harvesting) Harvesting and • Minimize process energy intensity Dewatering • Lower capital and operating costs • Assess each technology option in terms of overall system compatibility and sustainability • Investigate multiple approaches (e. high-throughput screening technologies Algal Biology • Develop open-access database and collections of existing strains with detailed characterization • Investigate genetics and biochemical pathways for production of fuel precursors • Improve on strains for desired criteria by gene manipulation techniques or breeding FEEDSTOCK • Investigate multiple approaches (i. and coastal/off-shore systems. and durability Conversion • Reduce contaminants and reaction inhibitors • Minimize process energy intensity and emissions over the life cycle • Achieve high conversion rates under scale-up conditions • Identify and evaluate the co-production of value-added chemicals. filtration. energy balance. activity.g.g.. OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO ALGAL BIOFUELS: TECHNOLOGY GOALS PROCESS R&D CHALLENGES STEP • Sample strains from a wide variety of environments for maximum diversity • Develop small-scale. water.g.. and nutrient resource requirements for siting of microalgae Resources (heterotrophic & photoautotrophic) and macroalgae production systems and Siting • Integrate with wastewater treatment and/or CO2 emitter industries (in the case of heterotrophic approach) • Address salt balance. phototrophic. energy... closed. bioplastics. pressure. biogas.. Overview  . climate. industrial enzymes. including quality and safety trials to meet applicable standards • Characterize algal biomass. and materials from algal remnants (e. microwave. energy. and thermal management PURSUING STRATEGIC R&D: TECHNO-ECONOMIC MODELING AND ANALYSIS Given the multiple technology and system options and their interdependency. flocculation. intermediates. carrying capacity. biofuel. engine performance and material compatibility) • Assess and characterize land. lipids) • Sustainably and cost-effectively manage the use of land. and bioproducts under different storage and transport scenarios for INFRASTRUCTURE INFRASTRUCTURE Distribution contamination. and secretion) Extraction and • Achieve high yield of desired intermediates. thermochemical/catalytic conversion. an integrated techno-economic modeling and analysis spanning the entire algae to biofuels supply chain is crucial in guiding research efforts along select pathways that offer the most opportunity to practically enable a viable and sustainable algae-based biofuels and co-products industry. open. solvent systems. dissolved air floatation. stability. hybrid. subcritical water. sedimentation.e. animal/fish feeds.. and separations CONVERSION CONVERSION • Investigate multiple approaches to liquid transportation fuels (e. selective extraction.g.. side reactions. centrifugation. and end-product variability and Utilization • Optimize distribution for energy and costs in the context of facility siting • Comply with all regulatory and customer requirements for utilization (e. and nutrients • Identify and address environmental risks and impacts • Investigate multiple harvesting approaches (e. preserve co-products Fractionation • Minimize process energy intensity • Investigate recycling mechanisms to minimize waste • Address scaling challenges. fertilizers.g. and anaerobic digestion) Fuel • Improve catalyst specificity. and surfactants) Co-products • Optimize co-product extraction and recovery • Conduct market analyses. supercritical fluid.

. structuring public- biofuel developers need to foresee and understand the private partnerships for successful ventures is a challenge potentially applicable legal requirements early on in the in itself given the myriad issues and interests.. Meier. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. & Roessler. 1978. References Benemann. L. 1993. 11. 1960. Final Report to the US Energy Department. However. Pursoff. 1990. Biological transformation of solar energy. 91. Being a nascent industry. Perlack.e. Oak Ridge. 394–400. et al. 1. P.. regulation.G. E. 31(6). Appl. R. consumption standards. & Oswald. there are no existing standards for various aspects of algal biofuels production.. RD&D activities can inform further development of applicable laws and standards. Dunahay. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Overview  7 . P. J. & Nagle. 219-232. Biological cycles in the transformation of solar energy into useful fuels. Microalgae for oil: strain selection. However. Available at: [Accessed November 3. Catalytic conversion of microalgae and vegetable oils to premium gasoline. Jarvis. Milne.J. Rodolfi. Biodiesel from microalgae.Regulations and Standards Public-Private Partnerships While the Roadmap’s primary objective is to highlight A collaborative framework of public-private partnerships the technical challenges and opportunities associated offers an opportunity to jointly address the technological.A. Algal from multiple entities. Journal of Phycology. 1999. it is recognized economic. with algal biofuels commercialization. Adv. such as research and development process to help ensure algae intellectual property rights. Genetic transformation of the diatoms Cyclotella cryptica and Navicula saprophila. and policy and regulatory challenges as that RD&D activities need to be carried out under a resolution of these issues will likely require participation framework of standards. Biomass as feedstock for a bioenergy and bioproducts industry: the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual supply. 102(1). J. with shape-selective zeolites..G. P. C. 179–183. J. Also. Microbiol. 1988. NTIS# H CP/ T.D. Biotechnol Bioeng.. 24.L. Oswald. Biotechnology Advances. 1605(UC-61). biofuels and co-products) comply with applicable workforce needed to allow this industry to grow. 1995. 2008.R. N. Engineering Design and Cost Analysis of a Large-Scale Microalgae Biomass System. & Golueke. & Ohlrogge. Roessler. Biomass.G.. Jarvis. Roessler.G.. et al. 223–242. ORNL/TM-2006/66. W. Chisti.J. 21(3). 2007. 2009]. supporting education are legally and safely developed and the end-products will be critical to create intellectual talent and the (i. TN. & Roessler. induction of lipid synthesis and outdoor mass cultivation in a low-cost photobioreactor.. Evans.E.J. E.. Phycol.B. Cloning and characterization of the gene that encodes acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase in the alga Cyclotella cryptica.G. Solar Energy Research. W.. P. R. and policy. 1955. R. Effects of silicon deficiency on lipid composition and metabolism in the diatom Cyclotella cryptica.. 25(3). 100–112. 2005. T.. 294–306. Isolated gene encoding an enzyme with UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and phosphoglucomutase activities from Cyclotella cryptica . Y.. P. T.. 1004–1011..US Patent 5928932 Abstract.

Because all of these parameters habitats ranging from freshwater to brackish water. be isolated by traditional methods (for a comprehensive review of algal culturing techniques. coordinated to ensure broadest coverage of environments and to avoid duplication of efforts. versatility possible. which includes fresh. (seaweeds). maps. Because of Isolation and Characterization of morphological similarities when comparing many algal Naturally Occurring Algae species. algae are organisms from different kingdoms of life. Algae can be in suspended mass cultures. macroalgae For isolation of new strains from natural habitats. The selection of specific locations can be determined by sophisticated site Screening for metabolite production may involve selection criteria through the combined use of dynamic determining the cellular composition of proteins. can include public lands as well as various sites within many strains also secrete metabolites into the growth our national and state park systems. products. streams. 1984). Natural Habitats maximum cell density. The term growth physiology encompasses a number of parameters such as maximum specific growth rate. metabolite production. Due to their diverse characteristics. Algae include Isolation Techniques microalgae (unicellular eukaryotic organisms). this is not always the case. and new approaches are needed to develop Sampling strategies should not only account for spatial screening methods for extracellular materials. and Algae can be isolated from a variety of natural aqueous nutrient requirements. The exact screens employed would depend geothermal springs. they typically live in aquatic environments and are capable of photosynthesis. lakes. and though find application in biofilm-based production facilities. In all cases. salinity. other gene markers. distribution but also for the temporal succession brought about by seasonal variations of algae in their habitats. For large-scale sampling and isolation efforts. see Anderson. on the cultivation approaches and fuel precursor desired. and soil (Round. 8 2.e. or identify and maintain promising algal specimens for in the case of closely related strains. and measuring the productivity of analysis tools. within an aqueous habitat. marine require significant experimental effort. oxygen levels. Ecosystems to be sampled could include the organism regarding metabolites useful for biofuels aquatic (i. 2005). and strain robustness. lipids. Some of these could prove to be valuable co- of ownership of isolated strains should be considered. the development and hyper-saline environments. tolerance to environmental variables (temperature. cultivation and strain development. large-scale sampling efforts should be all parameters simultaneously would be helpful. acidic and alkaline environments) and For example.2. a helpful screen for oil production would terrestrial environments in a variety of geographical allow for distinction between neutral and polar lipids.or eukaryotic. some algal strains take weeks to months to affect every step of the algae to biofuels supply chain. the enrichment cultures (Andersen and Kawachi. 2004). of automated systems that provide information regarding Furthermore. and generation. Because it is not yet known how algae will be cultivated on a mass scale. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data and and carbohydrates. CO2 levels).. questions medium.1 Strain Isolation. Algal Biology The term “algae” commonly refers to a diverse mix of Additionally. brackish. hypersaline. actual strain identification should be based on The goals of algae isolation and screening efforts are to molecular methods such as rRNA sequence comparison. ponds. high-throughput automated isolation techniques involving Screening and Selection fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) have proven to be extremely useful (Sieracki et al. 2. Algal Biology  . Planktonic algae may be used photosynthesis and live in aquatic habitats. Traditionally. typically found in planktonic (free floating) and benthic algae have been unified based on their ability to carry out (attached) environments. oceans. type and strain of algae being cultivated will ultimately However. Collection sites and would provide fatty acid profiles. pH. and cyanobacteria (historically known as traditional cultivation techniques may be used such as blue-green algae).. whereas benthic algae may single or multi-cellular and pro. locations to maximize genetic diversity. rivers. 2005). Screening Criteria and Methods new strains should be isolated from a wide variety of An ideal screen would cover three major areas: growth environments to provide the largest range in metabolic physiology. Furthermore.

et al. Environment and strain history (specific habitat. taxonomy. to determine a strain’s robustness.000 strains. Mutants biology. Strain properties: Cytological. Practical applications (general and industrial) information on the characteristics of currently available 10.. subspecies name. protect genetic material. other countries. Maine). Culture collections are necessary to preserve the diversity preservation) of natural habitats. They currently maintain thousands & screening results of different algal strains and support the research and industrial community with their expertise in algae 5. They may also 7. National Center for Culture of Marine Phytoplankton at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in West Boothbay At this time. Therefore. the bottleneck in screening large numbers of Harbor. and phylogeny either by themselves 8. it has not yet been established if these variety of algae for assembly into a culture collection that methods are valid across a wide range of algal strains (Elsey will serve as a bioresource for further biofuels research. biochemical. However. such as growth rate and metabolite properties. The function of a culture collection often 6. pH) & support research on determining strain characteristics. algal strains. Solvent extraction. 1998). and provide 3. native al. The establishment studies revealed that algae strains tested in the laboratory of a central strain. and susceptibility to more detailed information on growth. but it is very difficult to obtain resilience. some may have lost original phenotypes. basic research resources. It could also reduce dissemination of detailed information about potentially the number of redundant screens of algal species.. Growth conditions (media. which data. Transcriptomics. 2007. de la Jara et al. Some minimal growth information is available from includes parameters such as culture consistency. Proteomics. Biological interaction (symbiosis. Information could include: 1. temperature. Plasmids and Phages transcends simple depository functions. it will be important to isolate a wide as a single cell). no central database exists that provides global 9. and breeding and metabolic engineering approaches to improve though these methods require much less biomass (as little biofuels production. existing culture collections.. 2003). Omics data (Genomics. with more than 2.500 strains. Role of Culture Collections as National reference) Algae Data Resource Centers 2. and CCMP (The Provasoli-Guillard of hundreds to thousands of different algal isolates. for example. only a few major collector) algal collection centers exist in the United States and 4. Protection of intellectual property in private or Metabolomics) 2. molecular.. The culture collections such as UTEX (The Culture Collection development of small-scale but high-throughput screening of Algae at the University of Texas at Austin. To obtain versatile and robust strains common method for determination of lipid content in algae. that can be used for mass culture in biofuels applications. but it requires a significant quantity of biomass (Ahlgren et it would be prudent to consider the isolation of new. Strain name (species. metabolites. community stability. Culture collection organizations of species (particularly in mixed field samples) necessary could be responsible for the gathering and for the future of algal ecology. Previous robustness of particular existing strains.For mass culture of a given algal strain. it is also industry has further exacerbated the flow of relevant strain important to consider the strain’s robustness. Not only document data on strains. and predators present in a given environment. cultures (Sheehan et al. algae stems from a lack of high-throughput methodologies because many of the strains in these collections have been that would allow simultaneous screening of multiple cultivated for several decades. germination conditions cryopreservation. open access repository could accelerate do not always perform similarly in outdoor mass R&D of algae-based biofuels production systems. such as mating capability or versatility regarding productivity. pathogenicity. with technologies is an important step in enabling the testing about 3. Strain administration (number in collection. or in connection with outside collaborators. Fluorescent methods strains directly from unique environments. Algal Biology  9 . is the most nutrient requirements. but could prove extremely useful for the identification resource centers. small-scale simulations of mass A number of algal strains are currently available from culture conditions will need to be performed. toxicity) Currently. Further improvements in analytical methodology could be made through the As the major culture collections already collect and development of solid-state screening methods. Texas). 1959). valuable strains. they could potentially are rapid screening procedures necessary for the biofuels serve as nuclei for the development of national algae field. At present. For both direct using lipid-soluble dyes have also been described. 1991. ) (Bligh and Dyer.

. However. transported into the cell (Ceron Garcia et al. cellular metabolism is already geared toward production. production of biofuels. Adapting if sustainable secretion could be achieved.. For example. food low. 2006). However. lipids. In some species.cost commodities such as lysine and ethanol.Selecting Algal Model Systems that naturally make abundant amounts of the desired for Study product. and thus are not free to form an organic large-scale culturing (Sheehan. Algal Biology  . they are still associated with the cells in a lipid strains that grow well in the laboratory are suitable for biofilm matrix. Botryococcus was shown in the Aquatic Species Program that not all braunii). which will necessitate the use or strains with characteristics useful for large-scale of closed bioreactors. intermediate. even under mixotrophic agents could reduce the costs of harvest as long as it could conditions where the substrate is not known to be be controlled to avoid settling in the cultivation system. in a practical sense. supplements. there are two types of algal model harvesting step. and high cell densities can be achieved. A potential disadvantage of the addition One consideration in choosing model systems is the of external carbon sources is the possibility of increased type of fuel. Even that other strains will be chosen for production. Species with sequenced genomes and transgenic secretion actually makes the product more readily capabilities are the most amenable to investigating cellular available. the number of algal systems that can be studied in depth has to be limited because a critical mass of researchers Secretion of Products or Intermediates is required to make progress on a given species. Also the ability addition of supplemental carbon results in increased lipid to flocculate without addition of chemical flocculating accumulation (Xu et al. which simplifies characterization Given the diversity of algae. so it is possible hydrocarbon phase in solution (Banerjee et al. and species be necessary to isolate it. it to secrete long-chain hydrocarbons (e. alcohols (either directly or established fully-heterotrophic fermentation technologies through biomass conversion). Also to be considered is whether growth. or co-product to be produced. contamination by undesired microbes living off the carbon Possible fuel types of interest could include H2. this is not generally a problem with well- isoprenoids. 2006). If the carbon source is utilized by the cell. such as. source. 1998). to providing information on basic cellular processes then collection of the atmosphere above the culture will regarding the synthesis of fuel precursors. Other traits like the ability to grow to Mixotrophic Growth high cell density in continuous culture may allow a strain to be maintained while at the same time reducing the amount Heterotrophic or mixotrophic growth capabilities may of water to be processed daily. carbohydrates. secretion for lessons from the former to be applied to the latter. viruses could also be a useful phenotype. but we cannot be certain that laboratory strains unfavorably alter fluidics properties or provide a carbon and production strains will be sufficiently related to allow source favoring growth of contaminants. For example. Resistance to predators and be attractive attributes of algal strains. there may be practical problems systems to consider studying: species or strains amenable to consider. Co-products could include pharmaceuticals manufacture everything from cancer drugs to high. In such a strain. The ability of an algal species to secrete fuel precursors may be attractive because it could reduce or skip the cell In relation to biofuels.volume/ (therapeutic proteins and secondary metabolites). if the desired product is volatile. or a screen of environmental isolates for species 10 2. 2002). A reasonable first approach to identify model species that are optimal for the production of a desired fuel is through a survey of the literature.g. or methane (via anaerobic that are currently deployed worldwide at massive scale to digestion). Pilot-scale experimentation and further metabolic engineering is required to evaluate Culture stability over long periods will be a key to low cost possible advantages and disadvantages of secretion. although there are algae known processes since the basic tools are in place. Finally. an abundance of exported lipids could feasible. However. growth in both Targeting Desired Fuel Product or Intermediate light and dark periods is possible. a large number of model and possible strain development for production. systems could be studied. or materials for nanotechnology (in the case of the silica cell wall of diatoms). of either intermediates or products into the growth medium could make these compounds vulnerable to contaminating Useful Algal Characteristics microbes for catabolism.. Rapid growth is important both for overall productivity and the ability to compete with Capability for Heterotrophic or contaminating strains. However. it is not clear the lessons learned from laboratory model strains to what the effect of a lipid emulsion in an algal culture would strains known to be capable of large-scale growth may be be.

. along with biologically Knowing how and when carbon is partitioned in a cell into produced hydrogen and alcohols.. under harvesting solar energy and converting CO2 and water to certain light regimes. 2008). Sweetlove production. 1991).2.2 Algal Physiology strategies to prevent the over-absorption of light energy. Schwender et al. Under stress conditions such as high light or (Long et al. therefore. Krause and same precursors with the storage lipid TAG (Exhibit Weis..... which can lead to oxidative damage.. Ruuska tend to absorb all the incoming light. Research has also When algae are cultivated photosynthetically. and Niyogi. because it can be used to set achievable goals for 2009. algae. 2002). 2005). in their productivity. It is. 2007 and 2008) Further. and shares the Eberhard et al.. exposed to high light. 1994. preventing it from et al. are all potential biofuels lipids and/or carbohydrates could be very useful for biofuels or biofuel precursors. Regardless of the cultivation practices used 2.. storage compound in plants and algae. it was shown that such as triacylglycerols (TAG) as their main carbon storage reducing the size of the chlorophyll antenna can increase compounds. 2009. and lipids) is critically needed (Boyle and Morgan. total dry weight (Mcdermid and Stuercke. and predictive Photosynthesis and Light Utilization modeling (Vemuri and Aristidou. 1994. accumulate large amounts of TAG (30-60% of dry weight). knowledge of metabolic pathways. It may be useful to carry out photosynthetic of carbon between alternative storage products will efficiency studies in algae similar to those that have be important for metabolic engineering of algae. and potentially. affecting growth rate. Certain microalgal species also naturally the efficiency of light utilization (Polle et al.. 2006. carbohydrates. Foyer et al. for biofuel production.e. there remains be inter-convertible. a potentially important implication limitations of algal photosystems regarding light utilization. In and starch metabolism was most active before the lipid high cell density cultures. a link between starch and lipid metabolism has There are many good reviews available that cover basic been established. with lipid these processes if we are to better engineer the capture accumulation in macroalgae typically being less than 5% of and utilization of light energy for biomass production. In young Arabidopsis seeds The majority of light that falls on a photosynthetic algal and Brassica embryos. pathway analysis. More emphasis should be placed on understanding a general rule. indicating that starch is an important storage reaching more distant cells (Christi.” Even with this photoprotection. cells nearer to the light source accumulation phase (Kang and Rawsthorne. studies in higher plants showed that when 2. 2008). algal photosystems have built-in More recently. Mcdermid and Stuercke. understand the metabolic pathways and processes that Understanding carbon partitioning will require extensive generate them in order to advance biofuels production. Though theoretical However. Allen et al. Algal Biology  11 . biomass 2007. 2003). 1994. and exhibit photosynthetic efficiency and lipid production There is still much to learn about the dynamics and at least an order of magnitude greater than terrestrial crop regulation of the photosynthetic apparatus (Eberhard et al. important to strain development and designing cultivation strategies. 2008. It is. Cyanobacteria and macroalgae. 1994. nutrient starvation. Starch is a common carbon and energy algal photosynthetic processes (Nelson et al. accumulate mostly carbohydrates.. A large majority of and Biochemistry absorbed incident light is dissipated as heat and could be Many algae are photosynthetic organisms capable of considered “wasted. as 2008)... photoinhibition or the reduction O2 and organic macromolecules such as carbohydrates of photosynthesis due to light damage can still occur and lipids. the been done in plant systems to understand carbon flux in efficiency of photosynthesis is a crucial determinate biosynthetic and degradative pathways (Lytovchenko et al. Libourel and Shachar-Hill. been carried out for plants (Zhu et al. there is no partitioning of photosynthetically fixed carbon into various current consensus on the true maximum productivity of groups of major macromolecules (i.. Lipids and carbohydrates. Even when compound and its synthesis precedes oil accumulation. A fundamental understanding of both cultivation process design and strain improvement ‘global’ regulatory networks that control the partitioning projects. Nelson and Yocum. some microalgae accumulate lipids In an effort to overcome this barrier. 2007). Theoretical productivity is an important concept. 2002). that is the desired fuel precursor. 2005. plants (Hu et al. Metabolic networks have been reconstructed in various microbes from genomic and transcriptomic data. possible that TAG and starch could to maximize light exposure (see Chapter 3). therefore. 2003. 2003). however.. 2007). 1999).1). Yang et al. the percent of biomass and Fernie. although concentrations approaching 20% lipid have been reported Carbon Partitioning and Metabolism in some species (Chu et al. starch transiently accumulated culture at greater than laboratory scale is not utilized. 2004. proteins. carbon partitioning in algae is less understood biomass productivity values in the range of 100-200 g/ and research on how algal cells control the flux and m2/day have been presented (Chisti. 2002).

including de novo fatty acid synthesis in the stroma of plastids. If carbohydrates Lipid Synthesis and Regulation are to be used as fuel precursors. 2002).1). therefore.. for The synthesis of cellular and organelle membranes. However. growing cultures. are 3-phosphate. Several formation of TAG in plants first involves algae commonly use starch for energy storage. Vigeolas et al. and the Algal Carbohydrates technical challenges these structures may present in strain Algae are incredibly diverse in the kind of simple manipulation. 1987). Dephosphorylation of PA catalyzed by a specific end product (Bird and Benson. via three sequential acyl transfers (from acyl CoA) These major storage polysaccharides represent potential in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (Exhibit 2. Other abundant polysaccharides. though their physical structure and the presence in an acyl CoA-independent way (Arabolaza et al. while some algae lack synthesis. been identified and partially characterized (Horn et al. While these results provide cellulose and have other polymers that provide structure an indication that starch synthesis is linked to lipid to the cell (Raven et al. Other algae. TAG is formed by food reserves. accumulate well as of neutral storage lipids such as TAG. 2006). degradation. It could. 2000).. and extraction processes. recently been demonstrated in bacteria. 1992). an enzyme wall. plant embryos or absence of other structural polysaccharides varies or seeds accumulated 40% less oil (Periappuram et al. feedstock potential. transferred from CoA to positions 1 and 2 of glycerol- for example alginate found in many brown algae. As mentioned above. 12 2. The major pathway for the their main carbohydrate storage compound. and thus may play an for example. these phosphatase releases diacylglycerol (DAG). Some red In microalgae.. There are also many algae that completely lack 2000. cell walls entirely. carbohydrates. such an interaction has been also algae also have a thick extracellular matrix composed indicated by studies on the diatom Cyclotella cryptica of important products such as agar or carrageenan. Since polysaccharides may still prove useful as intermediates diglycerides are usually present in high amounts in rapidly to other types of conversion processes and final fuels. or efficiently extracting biofuel precursors of TAG (Hu et al. use 16 or carbohydrates such as laminaran. Fatty acids produced in the chloroplast are sequentially 2000a and 2000b). envelope similar to those of gram-negative bacteria. and and interaction with lipid metabolism in algae. be fruitful to Most cyanobacteria have a peptidoglycan layer and cell further research de novo starch synthesis. for example for fermentation to produce alcohols. Algal Biology  . mannitol. 2004). greatly. some red algae and dinoflagellates. accumulate significant quantities of neutral storage lipids Many green microalgae are plant-like. Athenstaedt and Daum. An important lesson is the recognition of the diversity of algal polysaccharides and cell walls. the redox balance favors formation of pyruvate as the 1995). are encased in a polysaccharide sheath (Hoiczyk and Hansel.. must typically 2006. Alternative pathways to convert from cells in mass culture.. when trying to access DNA for genetic important role in determining the final acyl composition manipulations. but like those from plants. 1988). Cell walls can also be a technical barrier. for specific acyl CoA molecules. which are important cellulose-based cell walls and accumulating starch as potential fuel precursors. and complex carbohydrates that they use for carbon storage and cell structure. featuring rigid such as triacyglycerols (TAG). naturally or under stress conditions. it may be of interest to research these TAG intermediates.starch synthesis was impaired or inhibited. the nature of the interaction is unknown. biochemical feedstocks for conversion to liquid fuels. or fucoidin as 18 carbon fatty acids as precursors. In the final step of TAG synthesis. Some algae. Yoo et al. as example many brown algae and diatoms. 2008. 1971. it is important to Primary Pathway for TAG Synthesis determine the predominate types that are present. These structures can be an important source of that is unique to TAG biosynthesis (Lung and Weselake. 2008). Cyanobacteria often store large quantities incorporation of the fatty acid into a glycerol backbone of glycogen (Chao and Bowen. resulting in the formation of the central considered less suitable for ethanol fermentation because metabolite phosphatidic acid (PA) (Ohlrogge and Browse.. The acyltransferases be broken down into simpler sugars before conversion involved in TAG synthesis may exhibit preferences into biofuels. many membrane lipids and/or carbohydrates to TAG have algal cell walls from different groupings are cellulose. Another important consideration in algal strains is the a third fatty acid is transferred to the vacant position 3 composition and structure of the polysaccharide cell of DAG by diacylglycerol acyltransferase. Diatoms are also unique among algae for the presence of silica in their cell walls. plants and yeast based. (Roessler.. Microorganisms capable of fermenting laminarin and TAG biosynthesis in algae has been proposed to occur mannitol from Laminaria hyperborea to ethanol have via the above Kennedy pathway described in plants.

Similarly.1 Major pathways for fatty acid Phosphatidic acid and TAG synthesis in plants and algae 3-PGA: 3-phosphoglycerate. it will be difficult galactolipids. Diacylglycerol (DAG) ER: Endoplasmic reticulum. de novo fatty acid and lipid synthesis should Understanding lipid regulation can help to maximize be studied in order to identify key genes. Such pathways property of individual species or strains. Analyzing different algae could help ability to control the fate of fatty acids varies among algal to elucidate the possible pathways of TAG synthesis: the taxonomic groups or even between isolates or strains. ER AGPPase: ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase. involved in lipid metabolism in algae. 2000. laboratory (Hu et al. the de-novo Kennedy Pathway. Moreover.. This has revealed that algal lipid metabolism may be different lack of understanding may contribute to why the lipid from that in plants. as indicated by the presence and/or yields obtained from algal mass culture efforts fall absence of certain pathways and by the size of the gene short of the high values (50 to 60%) observed in the families that relate to various activities (Riekhof et al. Thus. DAGT PDAT? PDAT: Phospholipids: DAG acyltransferase. PA and be true. how the Algae may possess multiple pathways for TAG synthesis. If the or culture conditions. Triacylglycerol Lipid Body Dahlqvist et al. Algal Biology  13 . Glc6P: Phospholipids glucose-6-phosphate. 1998). CO 2 Glc6P Starch AGPPase Central Starch Glc6P 3-PGA 3-PGA Amylases Metabolic Pyruvate Mitochondria PDH CO 2 Pyruvate Oxaloacetate Acetyl -CoA Chloroplast ACCase TCA cycle Acetyl-CoA KAS I KAS II Glycolipids SAD Galactolipase? C16 . Accase: acetyl GDAT? CoA carboxylase. 2005). enzymes and new scenarios for lipid production and strain improvement. algal cell coordinates the distribution of the precursors to and the relative contribution of these individual pathways distinct destinations or how the inter-conversion between to overall TAG formation may depend on environmental the two types of lipids occurs needs to be elucidated.. GDAT: putative Acetyl- glycolipids: DAG acyltransferase. if any. the potential pathway for lipid basal lipid and TAG content may represent an intrinsic formation from starch reserves mentioned earlier. Stahl et al. pathways. the annotation of genes involved in lipid The regulation of the synthesis of fatty acids and metabolism in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii TAG in algae is relatively poorly understood.. KAS: 3-ketoacyl-ACP. Sheehan et al. If this proves to have not yet been studied in algae. it could be a challenge to extrapolate information DAG can also be used directly as substrates for synthesis learned about lipid biosynthesis and regulation in laboratory of polar lipids. As an example. 2004). such as phosphatidylcholine (PC) and strains to production strains. ACP: acyl carrier protein.C18 CoA Figure 2. These pathways are worth investigating to use information regarding lipid biosynthesis in plants when developing strains for improved lipid production.. Because fatty acids are common precursors for the Alternative Pathways to Storage Lipids synthesis of both membrane lipids and TAG.. and other 2. 2008. PDH: pyruvate dehydrogenase (putative pathways were proposed in dashed lines). to develop hypotheses for strain improvement in algae.

and spatial. As mentioned Lipid Body Formation and Relationship earlier. in order algae under stress conditions (Hu et al. Lipid trafficking of lipid-body biogenesis in plants has focused largely on is. transport chain under high light or other stress conditions. Nevertheless. or with other organelles such as may be. Chloroplast membranes control the exchange of metabolites between the plastid and the cytoplasm. and their interactions with other organelles excess electrons.. This relationship may be both metabolic. Such work is also important in algae to distribution and their great abundance in many lipid- better understand the interaction among organelles as storing seeds. toxic fatty acids excluded from the membrane system the fate of these abundant lipids remains unclear. lutein. Some acids. and thus relax the over-reduced electron related to storage lipid formation requires further study. or astaxanthin) produced in cells under favorable growth conditions. and other components into form of TAG. as an electron sink under photo-oxidative stress (discussed 2002).. metabolism in algae. The study the plastid where they are assimilated. 2008). the structure and function of lipid However. 2008). a close relationship is often may also play a more active and diverse role in the stress found between neutral lipids like TAG and the membrane response. starvation). In oil-producing microorganisms. Under utilize phosphatidylcholine. 14 2. Current work in plants is understandable in view of their exclusive localization is focused on deciphering lipid transport across plastid on lipid-body surfaces. with growing evidence of induce over-production of reactive oxygen species. 2002). This and lipid fate (Benning.and glyco. Zhekisheva et al. some algal cells stop division and accumulate TAG as the main carbon storage compound. The thylakoids of chloroplasts are with secondary carotenoid synthesis in algae (Rabbani the main intracellular membranes of eukaryotic algae. their apparently widespread envelopes. Because of the potential importance of TAG play an important role for cell survival under stress.. excess electrons that and glycerol moieties exchanged between the different accumulate in the photosynthetic electron transport chain lipid classes. Huang. there are now doubts about it relates to lipid formation and lipid trafficking. excess membrane lipids. with exceptions. and et al. the role of oleosins in the biogenesis of plant lipid bodies. In addition to load or discharge their lipid cargo (Zehmer et al. cell division. Under high light stress. Algal chloroplasts the carotenoid pathway are sequestered into cytosolic contain monogalactosyldiacylglycerol as their main lipid lipid bodies. Carotenoid-rich lipid bodies serve as a (~50%).g. the formation of fatty acids could help consume bodies. an important aspect of membrane formation the role of oleosins (Murphy. the chloroplast stroma is the primary location to Other Organelles for fatty acid biosynthesis in plants. there have been relatively few studies on lipid glycerolipids assembled at the ER are then returned to bodies in algae compared with plants and fungi. β-carotene. TAG synthesis may also phosphatidlyglycerol ( ~15%) (Harwood. Organelle Interactions and storage lipid formation warrants further study. with smaller amounts of digalactosyldiacylglycerol ‘sunscreen’ to prevent or reduce excess light from striking ( ~20%). therefore. 1998. the TAG synthesis pathway body accumulation occurs. membranes or they can be exported to the ER and hydrocarbons and very long-chain ω-3 and ω -6 fatty assembled into lipids for cellular membranes.lipids (Alvarez and Steinbuchel. It has been suggested that oleosins may be primarily Oxidative Stress and Storage Lipids associated with the stabilization of storage lipid bodies during the severe hydrodynamic stresses of dehydration Under environmental stress conditions (such as nutrient and rehydration that occurs in many seeds (Murphy. including vitamins. 1992). proteins. 1998). and other macromolecules. The molecules their lipid composition dominates extracts obtained from (e. 2001). which direct physical continuities between lipid bodies and may in turn cause inhibition of photosynthesis and damage bilayer membranes. to the obvious physiological role of TAG as a carbon and 2009). the exact relationship between oxidative stress.. In order to better understand lipid to membrane lipids.. the default pathway in some mitochondria and glyoxysomes/peroxisomes.potential pathways to convert membrane phospholipids and The TAG synthesis pathway is also often coordinated glycolipids into TAG. stress conditions on lipid production in algae. Synthesis of Lipid bodies may dock with different regions of the ER TAG and deposition of TAG into cytosolic lipid bodies and plasma membrane. sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol (~15%) and the chloroplast under stress. phatidylethanolamine or stress conditions as degradation of chloroplasts occurs. Algal Biology  . as rapid lipid energy storage compound. Fatty acids can then Despite the economic importance of algae as a source of be either assembled into glycerolipids at chloroplast a wide range of lipophilic products. 1993. thereby serving as a mechanism to been proposed that these alternative pathways that convert “detoxify” these compounds and deposit them in the starch. It has as acyl donors. The de novo TAG synthesis pathway can serve phospho. with acyl earlier).

cDNA microarray both nickel and iron (which are generally H2-uptake analysis. driven H2-photoproduction pathways. for example. As a substrate. and proteomic studies. ferredoxin (FD) is the primary electron donor to the hydrogenase enzyme. compete with hydrogenases for photosynthetic reductant. Hydrogenases are the enzymes responsible for releasing molecular H2 (Ghirardi et al. (Drawing courtesy of Prof. 2009)..4 Pheo QA QB 2H+ Photosystem II 0. Posewitz. Algal Biology  15 . 2008). (c) regulatory issues associated with the over production of ATP.8 Fx H2 Photosystem I P680* FA/FB FD H2ase Energy (Volts) -0.Besides biochemical analysis to study algal lipids 2007). would enzymes). Glycolysis ADP ATP starch pyruvate Acetyl-CoA + CO2 NAD++H+ NADH PFOR NPQR NAD++H+ FD(ox) FD (red) -1. M. those and carbohydrates.→ O2 + 2H2. hydrogenases. In all pathways.0 PQ Cyt b CO2 Cyt f 0. the light-driven pathways photosynthetic-electron-transport-coupled ATP production can either employ water (through photosystems II and (ATP is not required for H2 production). light. (b) identifying metabolic pathways that pathways have been described in green algae: two light.2 P680 Two are driven by light and the third occurs in the dark. studies involving Expressed containing iron (which are generally H2-evolving).. Colorado School of Mines ) 2. Based on such information. (c) engineering degradation (see Exhibit 2. and (d) inefficiencies in Biohydrogen the utilization of solar light energy (Seibert et al. (b) competition for photosynthetic reductant at the level of ferredoxin. 2000.2 P700* A0 A1 -0. and a third. Either O2+2H+ water or starch can be the electron donor. 1984).4 PC Chl fixation P700 0.2) (Melis et al. efficiency of solar light utilization (Polle et al. 2003). and (d) engineering I) or NADH from the glycolytic breakdown of stored the photosynthetic antenna pigment content for increased carbohydrate (through photosystem I). Gfeller the photosynthetic membrane for decreased efficiency of and Gibbs. and engineering their down-regulation during H2 independent. Three et al. fermentative H2 pathway coupled to starch production (Mathews and Wang. carbon partitioning and lipid/carbohydrate synthesis in algae.8 Chl 2H2O Figure 2. Carbon is fixed under Photosynthesis normal photosynthesis with water as the donor. in the following reactions: 2H2O hydrogenases with improved tolerance to O2 (Cohen + light energy → O2 + 4H+ + 4e. but the electron acceptor is switched at the level of ferredoxin (FD) from CO2 to protons under conditions that lead to H2 production. a These challenges could be addressed by (a) engineering potential fuel product..2 Three different pathways for H2 production 1. metabolic Four biological challenges limiting biohydrogen production engineering through genetic manipulation represents in algae have been identified: (a) the O2 sensitivity of yet another strategy for the production of algal oils. or Sequence Tag (EST) analysis. There are two major types of hydrogenases.. 2005). Some microalgae and cyanobacteria can produce H2. One of the most important characteristics also help provide information about photosynthetic of hydrogenases is that they are O2 sensitive..

the unicellular non-N2-fixing cyanobacterium The Genetic Toolbox Gloeocapsa alpicola can evolve H2 from the fermentation Because biological productivity is a key driver for of stored glycogen (Serebryakova et al. formate. cyanobacteria Cyanothece sp. 1989). they are typically more easily years of basic biology and genetics R&D.Recently there has been a focus on using cyanobacteria to 2. to delete or disrupt genes. modify genes or gene expression in a particular organism. and the production of includes developing biohybrid (those with biological chemicals. However. 2002.. Similarly economic viability. While many of the challenges described above The biotechnology industry grew from more than 100 exist in these organisms. Prince and Kheshgi. hydrogen evolution pathways. several cyanobacteria tools available to modify algal strains. hexose) (Turner et al. A possibility enabled new multi-billion dollar commercial enterprises to improve the efficiency of biological H2 production for agriculture. and (c) learn to express multiple hydrogenases The generation and characterization of mutants is a so that electrons from both ferredoxin (Fd) and NAD(P) powerful approach to understand gene function and H can serve as electron donors to support H2 production.. fermentation is using modern analytical approaches will provide a wealth constitutive. genetic and cellular processes involved in the synthesis another option for H2 production is to take advantage and regulation of potential fuel precursors from diverse of the fermentation pathways that exist in some algae species of algae. From here. fungi and higher plants. In all cases. Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway for degradation Thus. Methods to cultivate and process algae in photosynthesis has been demonstrated in the unicellular commercial settings are no less important to biotechnology. 1998). (b) remove or down-regulate competing fermentative pathways thus directing more of the cellular flux toward H2 Mutagenesis production. the hydrogenase from is a potentially important element in the research effort Cyanothece PCC 7822 produces H2 in the dark and toward algal biofuels. enabling technologies and analyses that can be applied which reduces ferredoxin for subsequent H2 production for biofuels and bioproducts. 2) describes were found to use pyruvate-ferredoxin oxidoreductase. methods to manipulate of photosynthesis. several challenges generations and the possibility of unintended horizontal must be addressed: (a) improve photosynthetic efficiency gene transfer to other organisms are important research to increase the yield of carbohydrate accumulation. Efforts should be undertaken to understand the fundamental To circumvent the inhibition of hydrogenase by O2. 2008) and Oscillatoria (Stal and Krumbein. using nitrogenase as the catalyst. and to acetate. more knowledge cannot be overlooked. Thus. 2008). For algae that undergo sexual reproduction. human health. In order to fully realize the potential of H2 approaches. Some of these methods can also be used to study the It is well established that dark fermentation suffers from localization of gene products (mRNAs and proteins) low H2 molar yield (less than 4 moles of H2 per mol within cells. Algal Biology  . the ability to improve on native strains under non-N2 fixing condition. While a better understanding of the basic for H2 production at night. al. accounting for their ability to adapt quickly of hypotheses for strain improvements. ATCC 51142 (Toepel et and these are the subjects of Chapters 3 and 4... Collectively. This temporal separation of H2 production from to date. questions to consider in the context of mass production. and CO2 (van der Oost et al. 1987). 2009). All cyanobacteria examined thus far employ the relevant strains remains a significant technical hurdle. the stability of the desirable trait through many production via indirect biophotolysis. and algae genetically remain far behind those developed hydrogenase structure and function is required. potentially generate strains with desirable characteristics. 16 2. genetic toolbox that can be used to modify process- 1987). the importance of being able to harness and synthetic components) and synthetic photosynthetic biotechnology approaches to generate algae with desirable systems that mimic the fuel-producing processes of properties for the production of biofuels and bioproducts photosynthetic organisms. Genetic approaches are commonly also excretes typical fermentation byproducts including used to introduce genes. for commonly used bacteria. examples of how algal biotechnology has been applied 1997). For all of these with ethanol. using the carbon reserves biology of algal growth and metabolite accumulation produced during the day. engineered than eukaryotic algae and have more O2. 2005). biological process engineering breakthroughs directly tolerant hydrogenases (Ghirardi et al. this subsection seeks to 1) address the genetic of glucose to pyruvate. the limited algal to changing environmental conditions (Stal and Krumbein. Using hydrogenase as the catalyst.3 Algal Biotechnology produce H2 (Tamagnini et al. In cyanobacteria. This is due to the production the toolbox allows traits to be recombined into a single of organic waste by-products described above along individual by mating parental strains. and 3) highlights a few via nitrogenase or hydrogenase (Stal and Moezelaar..

2005). Nelson et or increased neutral lipid accumulation via Nile Red al.. diatoms (Cyclotella. Tagging can be accomplished is inactivated enzymatically.. which necessitates a large amount of screening.. Algal Biology  17 . the decision as to which antibiotic standard chemical or UV-based mutagenesis approaches. Several in mapping the locus responsible for the phenotype. Antibiotic in DNA replication can be identified. generated by conserved ribosomal protein mutations have e... also been successful (Del Pozo et al. 1995). However. this resistance is a powerful tool for research. An algal strains. Targeted 1996. Dunahay et al. this is accomplished by typically involves using control elements from a introducing an antibiotic resistance gene as a selectable highly expressed gene in that species. 1999). 1994).. presumably because requirements for expression levels of the gene are lower and less taxing to the cells. antibiotic markers have been developed for microalgae. 1995). Dunahay et al.. ideally in well- (GE) algae—something that could be desirable for characterized genes that can be easily complemented. to be expressed at a higher level than the native gene (Nelson et al. large-scale production has two major drawbacks. and to select for cells in which element that functions in the species of interest. which could exacerbate current problems developed. The mechanism of antibiotic native gene is to be entirely replaced). 1989). Most of the current selectable markers are derived to exhibit a characteristic phenotypic change that is easily from bacterial genes. 2. For selection could be used to generate useful algal strains complementation approaches. Navicula. 1994). including cyanobacteria (Synechococcus. This Sophisticated metabolic engineering could require the can include either a requirement for mutants to grow under introduction of multiple selectable or complementary certain conditions (e. The green algae (Chlamydomonas. Certain strategies can also enable changes antibiotic by the resistance protein. Once an appropriate antibiotic resistance or Selectable Markers complementing gene is identified. Nostoc. Typically.. Arthrospira). zeocin (Apt et al. The second Volvox). first concern is the cost of the antibiotic. Mutants are more readily generated by For research purposes. 1993. but markers based on resistance assayed. or introduction of resistance can also be an important factor. 1999). appropriate mutations must without the need to generate genetically engineered be generated in the species of interest. Any mutagenesis approach requires an appropriate screening technique to enrich for and isolate mutants.. in the presence of an antibiotic).. 2006). Phaeodactylum. or markers.. element called a plasmid. For example. including resistance to neomycin. 2002). are examples of control elements that work across along with the DNA of interest on an extra-chromosomal evolutionarily diverse species (Dunahay et al.. a modified copy of the gene that inserts elsewhere into zeocin resistance requires stoichiometric binding of the the genome. iterative be replaced in order to generate the phenotypic effect. Chlorella. 1995). 1987) can be screening criteria.. 2006). kanamycin (Hasnain Targeted or tagged mutagenesis offers the advantage of et al. Dunaliella.. Anabaena.As long as an appropriate screening process is antibiotic use.. dinoflagellates (Amphidinium. simplified identification of the mutated gene.g. changes in fluorescence properties. 1989. Caveats are that the mutated gene may need staining (Cooksey et al. 1985.. A direct comparison of the by introducing a selectable marker randomly into two has shown that the nourseothricin system generates the genome (Adams et al. Debuchy et al. For the latter. This the DNA is present. use of transposons (Miller and Kirk. occurring mutations. large-scale algal production. reduced chlorophyll fluorescence (Polle et al.g. constructs must be A powerful way to manipulate genomes is the ability to made to place the gene under control of an expression introduce DNA into the cell. or that the native gene may need to Given a well-developed screening approach. other approach is limited by the low frequency of naturally methods may need to be considered for production scale. there marker (Hasnain et al.. whereas nourseothricin in gene expression. However.. Marker systems that take advantage of the ability to genetically complement Transformation Methods auxotrophic and metabolism mutants have also been Gene transfer systems have been established in many achieved (Kindle et al. however. or through the larger numbers of transformants (Poulsen et al. and nourseothricin approaches rely on homologous recombination (if the (Poulsen et al. 1985. Hallmann and Rappel. concern is the environmental implications of widespread Thalassiosira). important consideration is that the use of antibiotics in Synechocystis. selection marker to use includes whether the antibiotic Drawbacks of this approach include the introduction compound is sensitive to light and whether its potency is of multiple mutations in a genome and the difficulty modulated by the salinity of the growth medium. spontaneous mutants arising from errors with increased antibiotic-resistant microbes.

Gene replacement a selectable marker and an RNAi construct. vortexing with glass beads high throughput transcriptomics (i. classical genetic approaches using from the ribosome (Valencia-Sanchez et al. including conjugation. Many transformation methods also exist with nitrate in the growth medium. If methods exist to remove or perforate the expression. Undaria) and euglenoids (Euglena). 18 2. 1991) or silicon carbide whiskers (Dunahay. Homologous recombination-based gene integration although there is a recent report of the method being approaches are common in many strains of cyanobacteria. The selection process was based on a gene is present. 1990). With the exception of cleaving specific mRNAs or sequestering them away Chlamydomonas.. which is useful for both nuclear and chloroplast slightly elevated. electroporation. In a practical but less so in microalgae. Identification of and biolistic approaches (Matsunaga and Takeyama. Gracilaria. then chemically based methods of transformation useful in this regard in microalgae. transgenes are overexpressed by A common method for introducing DNA into algal cells using strong control elements. Some diatoms can be propagated vegetatively gene to be silenced. crossed periodically to maintain culture viability. 1998). or co-introduction of recombinase genes with the transforming DNA (Reiss et al. use of single stranded DNA (Zorin et al. Two general types of RNAi vectors can be constructed but this methodology could prove to be extremely – one containing an inverted repeat sequence from the important. (Deng and Capecchi. challenge to introducing DNA into a cell is the nature of allowing for precise control over the timing of gene the cell wall. 2009). DNA introduced into the nucleus sense. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. red algae (Cyanidioschyzon. 2001). used in a red alga (Ohnuma et al. be desirable. and repressed with for cyanobacteria. 1987).. brown algae Gene expression control elements (also known as (Laminaria. RNAi can inhibit transcription to improve commercial varieties of seaweed since the (Storz et al. 2004). which can then subsequently affect algae algal transgenics and implications for biotechnology. Dunahay. For most of these approaches. microarrays). One solution to this problem was developed in dominance issues when more than one copy of the C.. Control element strength can be evaluated Other successful methods include electroporation by monitoring mRNA levels by quantitative PCR or (Shimogawara et al.. 2005) and control translation by either 1950s (Bird and Benson. (Kindle et al. RNAi operates “breed true” though a series of sexual crosses. inducible and repressible promoters that 1993). ammonium (Poulsen and Kroger. transcriptional regulators) can modulate the levels Hallmann (2007) provides a comprehensive review of of mRNA. Frequently. especially in the study of polyploid organisms multiple copies of their genome... Algal Biology  . and so recessive genotypes or when dealing with redundant genes where traditional may not manifest unless that genotype is allowed to genetic manipulations are difficult. but considering the is the biolistic (“gene gun”) approach (Armaleo et al. Sexual Crossing Breeding of desired characteristics from a number of RNA Interference (RNAi) phenotypic variants can allow for strain development RNAi can be a useful tool to down-regulate gene without creating GE algae. selecting for functional RNAi can be problematic of microalgal cells generally integrates randomly into (Fuhrmann et al. Gene Expression Control Elements Porphyridium. 1988.e. In addition.. and can be used to knockout genes. Even on vectors containing both the genome (Dunahay et al. Algal strains often contain expression. 1995). small sizes and used to target suppression of specific and traditional mutagenesis and breeding has been used genes by base pairing.. sexual crossing are not well developed in microalgae. a fundamental can be actuated by simple manipulations are desirable. high-throughput phenotypic screen for functional RNAi Successful recombination approaches have included the by co-targeting an amino acid synthesis pathway along addition of long flanking regions to the gene of interest with the desired gene of interest (Rohr et al. 1995). intermediate. RNAi approaches have been investigated primarily Homologous Recombination in the model green alga. 1993). 2005). Many through double-stranded RNAs that are cut down to macroalgae species are capable of sexual reproduction. reinhardtii. 2006)...Symbiodinium). Porphyra). because it is induced could be applied. only a small via homologous recombination is more desirable than percentage of selected transformants will have functional random integration because it can overcome phenotypic RNAi. 2005). or reduced levels of expression may transformation (Boynton et al. and another in which bidirectional only for a limited number of generations and must be transcription generates the double stranded RNA.. other inducible or repressible control elements would be useful for both research and commercial applications.. 1992). traits. 1996). need for balance in cellular metabolism. The nitrate reductase promoter has proven cell wall.

2008). Green Eukaryotic algae constitute members from at least eight fluorescent protein and its derivatives are the most major phyla.Directed Evolution of Enzymes/Proteins reduced and more coverage is obtained in a shorter period of time. engineering so that they function more efficiently or have other favorable characteristics could be valuable for the development of algal biofuels technology. 2006). visit http://genome.. pussilla. especially at the basic level of gene annotation. in which costs have been substantially to ensure consistent and useful annotation. species within classes that make abundant fuel precursors. 2006). the nuclear genomes both in culture and in natural habitats. Gaietta et al. 2005. demonstrated utility and some possible advantages It is likely that the different symbioses have affected the (Regoes and Hehl.1 These species include computer sciences. cellular processes and regulation involved in Genome sequencing projects are also underway for the defining the attributes of the strain. Micromonas in ways and timescales that were never before possible. A genomic survey of representatives from all major algal classes is Approaches and Bioinformatics desirable. several picoeukaryotes helping biologists share and build upon experimental results (Osteococcus lucimarinus. Volvox carteri). 2004).Centre National de Séquençage (France). Department of Energy) and for Ectocarpus siliculosus useful for applications. Quality standards and appropriate data. Even though new sequencing technologies determining their intracellular location and can provide readily enable accumulation of data for large genomes. applied research and technology development. Genome size in algae can vary substantially. and proteomics. that the genomic data are only as useful as feedback. Although time families). With the development of more powerful sequencing training should be established at the onset of activities methods. If not properly done. creating the new field of bioinformatics unicellular green algae (C. distribution of DNA between the plastid and nucleus (Wilhelm et al. One reason for this variation is likely to be the accumulation Protein Tagging Technologies of repeated sequences in the larger genomes (Hawkins Tagging proteins with fluorescent markers is useful in et al. transcriptomics. will be essential Sequencing and Annotating Algal Genomes to make sequence data usable. Fragilariopsis cylindrus). Algal Biology  19 .. Indeed. forming the foundation for at Genoscope . but others have and secondary endosymbioses (Falkowski et al. Except for cyanobacteria. this level of regulation integrates the annotation (the assignment of gene functions or the proteome with the metabolome. approaches to better understand the underlying Thalassiosira pseudonana. even in closely related species (Connolly et al. Algal species are being analyzed using these analytical and several diatoms (Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Bioinformatics analysis of sequenced genomes. with a special focus on classes or individual High throughput approaches. so it will be important to provide sufficient consuming. the macroalga Porphyra purpurea at the Joint Genome Institute characterization of these cellular processes will prove (U. a pelagophyte (Aureococcus annophageferrens). a coccolithophore (Emiliania huxleyi). Bathycoccus sp. for which over 20 completed these methods have revolutionized the study of organisms genome sequences are available. at least semi-quantitative evaluation of their abundance assembly of such data (especially with short read lengths) in a simple measurement.. 2002). all featuring a complex series of primary widely used and versatile protein tags. Osteococcus tauris. These biological of only a handful of microalgal species have been fully advancements have been complemented by developments in or partially sequenced to date. It must be noted level. Undoubtedly.).jgi-psf.html Together. which could impact the regulation Enabling Technologies: “Omics” and processes of fuel precursor production.S. have enabled in-depth analyses to be performed in a whole cell context.. approaches to modify proteins by genetic resources to allow for detailed analysis of the data.. This could 1 For a listing. This information could be can be more challenging in repeat-laden genomes. Sequenced genomes are an essential basis of information bioinformatics can represent the largest stumbling block for the interpretation of transcriptomic and proteomic to achieving that goal. such as genomics. useful in monitoring intracellular metabolic processes associated with biofuel precursor production. including allosteric activation and metabolic though. obtaining a genome sequence should Regarding core cellular metabolic processes. a where powerful new databases and search algorithms are red alga (Cyanidioschizon merolae). reinhardtii. a be strongly considered for any strains being developed substantial amount of regulation occurs at the protein for biofuels research or production.

identification.. quantitative transcriptome profiling using new. the rationale for sequencing these organisms was involves the identification and analysis of metabolites. different metabolomic analysis tools are applied. Because the chemical that carry out similar functions can also help assign gene nature of metabolites varies more than for mRNA function and identify metabolic pathways of interest. Both metabolomics and metabonomics may be important in terms of algal biofuels research. Applications of Biotechnology New. 2007) and should be applicable in cyanobacteria. the first among photosynthetic organisms (Kaneko et al. notable that while these projects represent a very useful There is a distinction between metabolomics. making them detection of post-translational modifications (Domon and attractive organisms for biofuels production. The genome of this strain functional diversity of a community of organisms. but it is also emerging as a variety of different cultivation regimes can also help inform robust approach for genome-wide expression analysis process engineering and improve yields (Yu et al. in response to particular environmental conditions. identifying final fuel produced. For example. Cerutti more advanced than that of eukaryotic algae because and Casas-Mollano. however. Mass-spectrometry lipids. approaches between related organisms and organisms maintenance. and function. 1998). Transcriptomics Lipids are a subset of the molecular repertoire of the While genome sequencing will be an important component algae cell. These approaches not only enable protein atmospheric nitrogen and produce hydrogen.. Small RNAs have been many of the tools developed for bacterial genetics are identified in microalgae (Zhao et al.. Many 20 2. sp.. In the absence of genomic information. approaches (Han and Gross. and at least half a dozen selectable markers Proteomics are available for Synechocystis (Vermaas. and metabonomics. Nannochloropsis sp. high Quantitative comparison of lipid type and abundance are throughput sequencing technologies will also become critical components of lipid-based biofuels approaches as increasingly important because it will not only help lipid characteristics can determine the suitability of the with genome annotation (for example. high-throughput sequencing technologies enable to Algal Bioenergy comprehensive coverage of transcripts and quantification of their relative abundance. are underway. Tanner et al. 2004. 1996). transformation. Lipid analysis is done using mass spectrometry of any algal biofuels technology development effort. Moreover. small RNAs also play Genetic manipulation of cyanobacteria is generally major regulatory roles in algae (Bartel. 1999).include the standardization of using a particular sequencing Metabolomics and Lipidomics approach that provides sufficient coverage of ESTs to The metabolome is the collection of small molecular ensure accurate gene modeling. at least10 other algal genomes. Monitoring lipid characteristics under a coding regions of DNA). but they are prolific carbohydrate and secondary approaches allow for robust evaluation of soluble and metabolite producers.. Aebersold. 2009). not related to lipid production or other biofuels efforts. Castellana et al. 2006.. or can determine fuels and intermediates. Most transcriptomics approaches Cyanobacteria evaluate mRNA levels. gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Some strains can double membrane-associated proteins in the form of protein quickly (less than 10 hours). but also allow for protein quantification and many can be genetically manipulated. especially with regard to translational regulation. there are still a large number of useful algal measurement of the dynamic multi-parametric metabolic species to sequence that are related to biofuels production. response of living systems to pathophysiological such as Dunaliella sp.. and protein tagging are routine in some cyanobacterial systems. 2007). proteomic Synechocystis has been used extensively for the study of approaches can also help assess the metabolic potential of carbon metabolism toward production of hydrocarbon organisms that may be difficult to isolate. as well as spectrometry. another dozen or so EST projects. and Pseudochlorococcum sp.. was sequenced over a decade ago. and some strains can fix peptides. The cellular complement of proteins reflects its metabolic potential. 2006). 2005). which is the quantitative Therefore. double-homologous recombination.. and ultimately determines how a cell functions Cyanobacteria generally do not accumulate storage in response to the environment. Algal Biology  .. 2005. and proteins. Chlorococcum sp. Scenedesmus stimuli or genetic modification (Nicholson et al. including liquid chromatography mass Currently. 2008).. Dettmer et al.. 2007. It is and nuclear magnetic resonance (Dunn et al. spontaneous considered in investigations of gene expression regulation. Comparative genomics weight compounds in a cell that are involved in growth. which survey.

which occurs in the Diatoms were a major focus in the Aquatic Species Program chloroplast. 1998).. accumulation. and isobutanol (Atsumi lipid producer. For example. Ferrante et al. but may also serve to guide the development of other types of algae for biofuels production. It is not an abundant ethanol (Deng and Coleman. and are highly diverse that could reduce the growth of possible contaminating (Falkowski et al. Koksharova et al. sucrose. Synechocystis.home. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the most studied eukaryotic algae. filamentous strain that can form heterocysts. In order to redirect carbon to a fuel al. 1999). 2008. a comprehensive understanding due to codon bias (Heitzer et al. 1997). 2008). In can accumulate under salt stress (Yoo et al. Continued exploration of the evolutionary A distinguishing feature of diatoms is their silica cell walls. RNA silencing of carbon metabolism and regulation is not yet available (Cerutti et al. 2008). C. 2004). These studies can not only serve to advance examples of Chlorella transformation have been reported. physiological conditions. it is known that glycogen accumulates under normal growth conditions in Chlorella is another well-studied genus of green algae. which increases both growth PHB accumulates under nitrogen depleting conditions rate and lipid production. Diatoms are responsible for 20% the interaction between the nucleus and chloroplast in of the total global carbon fixation (Armbrust et al. and events likely had significant effects on the metabolic transgenic strains have been reported (Li et al. pathways and regulation of fuel precursor synthesis. the understanding of how the production of different although the stability of the expression of the foreign carbon storage molecules are controlled in response to genes is still questionable (Leon and Fernandez. and high-throughput analytical techniques are adept at making fuel precursors and with high have been applied to the study of its transcriptome.jgi-psf. For example. capabilities.. It has also been shown that induces heterotrophic growth. protothecoides. and because it has outstanding salt tolerance (from 0.. 2006). and chloroplast (PHB). like the production potential (Tamagnini et al.. 2000). and polyhydroxybutyrate Chloroplast transformants are also stable. resulting in greater than 50% (Miyake et al.. 2007). it can be sexually crossed. 2006.. 2007). algae with different extents of endosymbiosis (Wilhelm suggesting favorable growth rates for biomass production. reported (Neupert et al. 2007. The genome sequence pathways can be manipulated for the benefit of biofuels of Chlorella NC64A was recently completed.. In addition to having a sequenced nuclear genome Transgenic approaches have enabled the production and (Merchant et al. but nevertheless.. The genome sequence of D. 2007).. 2 http://genome. Relatedly. Lipid production. sucrose (Nobles and Brown. 2003)... 2006). 2009. 2002).. it will be necessary to further being developed.2 Several production. 2008).org/ChlNC64A_1/ChlNC64A_1. salina is occurred during the evolution of microalgae. Synechococcus as a model system for understanding the fundamentals of and Anabaena strains have been studied for their hydrogen lipid synthesis and regulation.. and metabolome (Singh et al.. However. it can be grown under extreme conditions over 3 billion years of evolution. 2007 )..1 M to near Unicellular eukaryotic microalgae are the product of saturation). including glycogen. Eisenhut et al. is at least partly regulated by nuclear-encoded given their ability to accumulate high amounts of lipids gene products.. 2004). strategies to address these issues are production pathway. Multiple endosymbiotic events organisms. glucosylglycerol. 2009) in Synechococcus. 2007) and well developed transgenic secretion of cellulose. the addition of an external carbon source Xiaoling Miao et al. proteome.. It has not been shown how these dry weight lipid (Xu et al. and there are fundamental differences in (Sheehan et al. and positional effects (Ferrante et in all cyanobacteria. productivity under various environmental conditions.html 2. 2008). It produces abundant Microalgae lipids (Weldy and Huesemann. Dunaliella salina has several useful characteristics for large-scale biofuels production. with specialized structure and metabolism that function some of which await elucidation and development. reinhardtii can serve et al. anaerobically (important for the production of hydrogen). A possible drawback of C.. Algal Biology  21 . These currently being determined (estimated size 130 Mb). and stable and successful expression characterize the dominant carbon storage compounds of foreign genes in C. Fulda et al. fatty acid synthesis.. reinhardtii has been recently been (sinks) in cyanobacteria.. The latter is a production of other carbohydrate-based storage compounds. and the conditions that trigger carbohydrate protein expression systems are well developed.. which are cells is also often dependent on environmental conditions. 2006. reinhardtii is the fact that nuclear expression of foreign genes is still problematic Despite all of the progress. whereas glucosylglycerol and sucrose and some species are abundant lipid producers. C. et al.photosynthesis and carbon metabolism mutants have been diversity of algae is important to identify species that generated.

there have been several unintended releases (red algae) on the basis of their predominant pigments. and alternation of generations. each of the major macroalgal groups has in terms of organism containment. 1995. the gene existing genes through selection and procedures such manipulation toolkit for diatoms will be fairly complete. As such.. Unlike microalgae. Genome sequencing Macroalgae. (Armbrust et al. Recombination of and possibly with homologous recombination. the status of macroalgal systematics production.doe. For example. For Despite the uncertainty regarding the development of example.jgi. because silicon metabolism is not restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) and believed to be tightly coupled with the metabolism of other random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis nutrients. and regulatory gene expression control 2005). represent a broad group of projects will facilitate efforts such as global genomic eukaryotic photosynthetic marine organisms. species. and strain selection and been focused explicitly on biofuels. brown.. and choice of cultivation methods In general. Niwa et al. 2004. taxonomic affinities are under re-examination 2008). et al. Chlorophyta (green algae). potential for toxin markers. Use of gene-specific probes al. 3 http://www. combinations of sexual and asexual carrying coding sequences obtained from a foreign reproductive strategies.. Ho are underway. they are Considerations of Genetic multicellular and possess plant-like structural features. there is nevertheless hard substrates in marine environments. 1996. the brown macroalgae such as the kelps are GE algae as production strains.. there have usually been built in safeguards to prevent the release of GE organisms to avoid potential Macroalgae are historically classified as Phaeophyta disruption of ecosystems. also have microalgal counterparts.. Since the beginning of the deployment of GE organisms. being applied to understand cell function in representatives With the development of robust gene silencing approaches of red. Two diatom genome sequences are complete are used in seaweed population genetics (Alberto et al. For the species displaying variations of annual and perennial purpose of this report. 2005). 2001. Baldauf. potential for large-scale blooms and subsequent is in a state of flux (Ali et al.. The life cycles a great deal of uncertainty regarding the need for or of macroalgae are complex and 22 2. are very important. Advances in seaweed cell and molecular biology are Silicon limitation is one trigger for lipid accumulation currently being applied toward a better understanding in diatoms. and four more 1999. Zaslavskaia (Jacobsen et al. and metabolic and coastal waters. 2005). and Rhodophyta safeguards. 1994.. Understanding the basic biology that will inform with the use of molecular tools and phylogenetic such aspects as lateral gene transfer.. affinity with corresponding microalgal forms. They have low lipid content as a engineering of seaweed genes to create valuable products. Currently.. 2000). Red macroalgae such as Porphyra spp. However. 1995. of GE organisms over the past 15+ years (GAO report..and their requirement for silicon as a nutrient for growth. induction response. which includes diatoms. Bowler et al. development of genetic classified as Heterokonta within the Chromalveolata. 1999. as protoplast fusion will be the basis for new strain creation where outplanting of individuals for growth Macroalgae in natural environments is a goal. Fischer et al.. 2006) are elements have been identified (Poulsen and Kroger. constructing detailed pathways evolutionarily diverse and abundant in the world’s oceans for secondary metabolite production... such as the unicellular alga Porphyridium cruentum. Modifications They are typically comprised of a blade or lamina. Green macroalga such as Ulva (also known as sea lettuce) are classified together with common green microalgae such as Chlamydomonas and Chlorella as Chlorophyta. general rule but are high in carbohydrates that can be converted to various fuels.3 None of the sequencing projects has thus far et al. They are and proteomic profiling. and green seaweeds. anoxic zone formation. 2008). 1997. GE algae are defined as strains life histories. or seaweeds. Niwa et al.. 2003). and holdfast for anchoring the entire structure to Despite the great promise of GE algae. the stipe. Dutcher and Kapraun. Meneses and Santelices. Transgenic techniques characterization (Jin et al. 2006. Algal Biology  . are well established for several diatom species (Dunahay et 1999. and expression profiling (Collen et al. Moulin et al.. Bouza et al. even with these (brown algae). tools is still imperative from a research standpoint.. 2005). Apt et al. This is advantageous for studying the lipid of seaweed genetics and cell function. 1999. with different the appropriateness of deploying these strains. Roeder et al. 2003..

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photobioreactors). capital costs maximizing light exposure.1 Comparative features of microalgal cultivation approaches ADVANTAGES CHALLENGES • Less loss of water than open ponds • Scalability problems • Superior long-term culture • Require temperature maintenance as they Closed maintenance do not have evaporative cooling Photobioreactors • Higher surface to volume ratio can • May require periodic cleaning due to support higher volumetric cell biofilm formation Photoautotrophic densities • Need maximum light exposure Cultivation • Subject to daily and seasonal changes in • Evaporative cooling maintains temperature and humidity Open Ponds temperature • Inherently difficult to maintain • Lower capital costs monocultures • Need maximum light exposure • Easier to maintain optimal conditions for production and contamination prevention • Cost and availability of suitable Heterotrophic feedstocks such as lignocellulosic sugars • Opportunity to utilize inexpensive Cultivation • Competes for feedstocks with other lignocellulosic sugars for growth biofuel technologies • Achieves high biomass concentrations 3. Algal Cultivation  29 . Microalgae and Cyanobacteria Given the multiple pathways to cultivating microalgae Traditionally. Many of these issues are being for closed photobioreactor construction are currently higher addressed through improved material usage and enhanced Exhibit 3.g.3. but long-term culture Broadly speaking. Both types of cultivation systems must contend with require light to grow and create new biomass. open gas exchange (both CO2 and O2). It is. photobioreactors have suffered from and cyanobacteria. both varying in where contamination and “foreign” algae are more their challenges and advantages (Exhibit 3. open ponds) or hybrid systems will prevail in the lose much less water than open ponds due to evaporation. important that cultivation R&D they do not receive the benefit of evaporative cooling projects are closely associated with techno-economic and so temperature must be carefully maintained. it is important to 3.1 Cultivation Pathways acknowledge the advantages and disadvantages of both photoautotrophic cultivation approaches. reducing the amount of water that Photoautotrophic Cultivation must be processed and thus the cost of harvest (Christi. however. especially in terms of mixing and algal cultivation in closed (e. algae can be cultivated via maintenance is likely to be superior to that in open ponds photoautotrophic or heterotrophic methods.. Photobioreactors to identify the best-suited cultivation system. However. higher surface to volume ratio and so can support higher volumetric cell densities. For photoautotrophic cultivation strategies where algae 2007). it is premature to predict whether problems of scalability. (TE) analysis that can evaluate the cultivation system Open ponds. Though photobioreactors (e. industry. Photobioreactors can also provide a various features of both approaches). Algal Cultivation than for open ponds raceways.1 compares the readily introduced..g. are subject to daily and seasonal in the context of upstream and downstream processing changes in temperature and humidity. are unlikely to be sterilizable and may require periodic cleaning due to biofilm formation. therefore.

biomass concentrations that reduces the extent and cost of 2004. then reared to plantlet size and transplanted (Bruton et al. Demonstrations of successful callus formation and improvements in efficiency of water movements and plantlet regeneration have been reported in commercially pond construction costs are needed (Friedlander. Sargassum. using artificially upwelled water produce a variety of products at large scale. have been algal growth. photoautotrophic and heterotrophic ability of algae.. 2) use of plants with or without holdfast Modern tools developed in the larger plant breeding structures. and major technological 1991). 2005. Algal Cultivation  . and presented (see Chapter 10). (Chynoweth. which harnesses both the overcome due to the conflicting uses of coastal zones.. 2006). The operation of large offshore In heterotrophic cultivation. Recent studies have play a critical role as breeder/feeder systems linked to shown that Porphyra. Kumar et al. difficulties were challenges compared with photoautotrophic methods. linked turbidostats or chemostats (Benson et al. 2009). Advantages of the land-based systems to coastal farms for grow-out to harvestable size. Though TE analyses for both open Tokuda. 2002). A related approach aquaculture represent challenges that will need to be is mixotrophic cultivation. 2006) and field Additionally. thus providing optimism for future the infrastructure required to grow the algae (Xu. 2004. Dai et al. Saccharina latissima and Nereocystis luetkeana have in greenhouses are attached to substrates (usually rope been successfully co-cultured with salmonid fish species structures). 2007). it remains to be seen which system protoplasts is possible in both the laboratory (Dipakkore will be preferred at scale over long periods of operation. both as free-standing algal farms and in an Macroalgae require unique cultivation strategies. and 5) possibility of farm operations of seaweeds through cell and tissue culture techniques.. Heterotrophic cultivation also achieves high successfully tested in the North Sea (Buck and Buchholz. and culturalists to advance the vegetative propagation disease. 2004. 2008). efforts. Near-shore coastal environments are already The primary challenges with this approach are the cost and being exploited by countries like China. located in close proximity to conversion operations Although the field is still at an early stage of development. and there is the the structures.. been adopted by seaweed biologists (Garcia-Reina et al. 2005). 3) ease of nutrient application without dilution. Turbinaria. For contribution to a biofuels the micropropagation of plants is a concept that has marketplace. such as sugars.. algae are grown without light seaweed farms was initially tested by the Marine and are fed a carbon source. 2005). Reddy et al. This approach takes advantage of mature on growth structures in deep waters off the coast of industrial fermentation al. Growth of plantlets regenerated from data. much of the information used Gelidiella (Collantes et al. near-shore. encountered with the stability of either the structures Optimal conditions for production and contamination themselves or the stability of the attachment of kelp to prevention are often easier to maintain. improvement in strain selection.. or Heterotrophic Cultivation in open pond facilities. In sugars. modern prototypes for offshore potential to utilize inexpensive lignocellulosic sugars for growth of the kelp. 1993. they could compete for feedstocks and popular resistance against use of coastal regions for with other biofuel technologies. Typically. important seaweeds such as Undaria (Kawashima and 30 3. photobioreactors could (Dai et al. seeds grown spp.. 2007). for these analyses is based on assumptions or proprietary Kumar et al. Because these systems rely on primary productivity the United States and Europe. Hanisak. Macroalgae can be cultivated in off-shore. in hybrid systems. Macroalgae 1987).. considerable scale-up from current activities.. availability of suitable feedstocks such as lignocellulosic which have viable seaweed aquaculture industries.. already widely used to Southern California. 2004. in particular. Porphyra been in practice since the 1950s.. However.. over those in water have been listed as 1) ease of plant management.. While it was determined that such cultivation presents a different set of advantages and structures would support growth of kelp. and designs. Heterotrophic as a nutrient source. al. 1993). to generate Biomass Program through several deployments of kelp new biomass. 1993) and the phycocolloid-producing seaweeds pond and photobioreactor systems have been published or Gracilaria. environmental regulations from other sources. Dipakkore et al. As a result. providing high cell density algal inocula promising for growing plants from protoplasts (Dai et for production ponds (Ben-Amotz. 2008. In the latter. 1995) or a series of al. Laminaria hyperborean. appears especially open raceways. Buck. community are now available to seaweed biologists 4) avoidance of open sea problems such as bad weather. 2004. Dai et al. Modern integrated aquaculture scenario in co-culture with finfish macroalgal cultivation technology that is based on the use and mollusks. wastes from the other species of artificially produced seed as a source of propagules has represent a nutrient supply for the macroalgae. Japan. et al.. Land-based pond systems have also been considered for macroalgal cultivation (Friedlander. and Chile.

Algal Cultivation  31 . Wilson et al. must also be managed in a way that balances is the fact that algal predators and pathogens are both productivity and pathogen sensitivity with the plasticity of pervasive and little understood (Becker. sustainability and FISH (Marie et al. Viprey et al. 2008.. an investment in “open source” test bed facilities for public sector Important questions concerning this threat RD&D may foster more cultivation research. pervasiveness of issues related to scale. including worrisome components of large-scale algae cultivation CO2.Other options for algal cultivation are being investigated Stability of Large-Scale Cultures including the harvesting of naturally occurring marine algal Systems for large-scale production of biofuels from algae blooms. 2006 ). • What prevention or treatment measures Wilson et al. for real-time monitoring. or flow-cytometry-based taxonomic assays. Wilson et al. Brussaard.. to large-scale algal cultures include: Nutrient sources and water treatment/recycling are • Are agricultural or municipal waste streams—a technically trivial and inexpensive at small scales and potentially significant source of nutrients for algal yet represent major technical and economic problems at cultivation—actually a liability because of significant commercial scales. proteins. 3. Some members of the a mixed or natural assemblage of organisms in an attempt community will be of positive value... Nutrients. 2008). and recycling.2 Scale-Up Challenges species.... 2005). little is known about might limit such takeovers? artificial pond ecology or pathology. Methods for rapid. and pathogens. “Environmental” DNA sequence analysis can contribute to the development of PCR-based • Standardized metrics for system-level (Zhu et al. 2009). and lipids still others will cause culture disruption. The cost-benefit analysis al. and simple and complex carbohydrates. there have only been 150 formal descriptions of phycoviruses.g.. it may become necessary to understand and manage the One possible approach to contend with this is to cultivate communities that will be present.. chemical compounds. management. One of the more into a variety of useful products. it will be and require significant investment in methods for detection challenging to maintain algal monocultures on this scale. especially in open larger than all current worldwide algal culturing facilities systems.. and investigation into these areas will be important for the development of large- scale cultivation risk mitigation and remediation strategies.. Rittmann et al.. Others will compete for shared resources. but very little is known about host specificity and economic barriers to success. as well as potentially provide • Culture stability. although current has yet to consider the intricacies of biological carbon understanding of their diversity and host range is very concentration mechanisms (Wang and Spalding. Additionally. commercial-scale algal cultivation: selective. competitors. Cheng et al. monocultures are inherently difficult to maintain combined. 2004). 2005. or and take over bioreactors and open ponds? heavy metals into the biomass stream (Hoffman et al. Because of the and even less is known about host resistance mechanisms. 1999. and be necessary in open systems since seasonal variation in • Water conservation. Tapping into existing agricultural or reservoirs of algal pathogens and predators? municipal waste streams will lower nutrient costs but could • To what extent will local “weedy” algae invade introduce unacceptable pathogens. limited. 2008) productivity analysis. This model would can scavenge and recycle nutrients or synthesize essential require a downstream biorefinery capable of processing vitamins. It should be noted that. 2008. TSA- • Nutrient source scaling. Honda et algal physiological adaptation. and the use of algal mat or biofilm cultivation must be developed on scales that are orders of magnitude schemes. In certain cultivation systems. The methods must be sensitive. and inexpensive. (2009) point out that though there may be between 40. 2004. viable. Chytrid fungi have also been known to cause The inherent difficulties of scaling up from laboratory the collapse of industrial algal cultivation ponds (Hoffman to commercial operations present both technical et al. and pathogens is expected (Hoffman et al. 1994. such as those that to maximize total harvested biomass. automated or semi-automated biological and chemical monitoring in production settings will Four broad cultivation challenges have emerged be essential for assessing the health and compositional that are important to address for economically dynamics of algal cultures. 2006. e.000 and several million phytoplankton 3. predators. 2009). Continuous monitoring will management. 2008... Fungal of supplemental CO2 in large-scale algal cultivation and viral pathogens are common. predators. and management of competitors. Boutte et al.

supplemental CO2 has Nitrogen. 1994). invasive species. 1996. Benemann and Oswald. and pathogens will be a key to the success of remedial actions and for determining Better methods to detect the amount of desired fuel when decontamination and subsequent restart procedures precursor produced will be required to assess the represent the only alternative. Eltgroth et al. The use and availability of carbon- point sources of CO2 (see Chapter 9). phosphorous. These tools. Shifrin and Chisholm Sustainability. productivity lost during down time. 2008. phosphorous. fit-for-purpose fuels.. and products.. molecule with higher lipophilicity or lower quantum yields whose competitiveness in the field cannot be accurately in aqueous solvent may prove to be more reliable indicators predicted. metabolites. civil and mechanical engineers is needed for cultivation science and engineering will yield significant rapid progress. and because of the 2005. Phosphorous appears to be an (Rosenberg et al. Fluorescent and Nuclear also inform efforts at developing robust. sustainable fuels. and ecology be a major challenge for TE feasibility studies. need to be more rigorously culture prior to water recycle. predator-prey relationships. Nutrient supplies for algal cultivation have a sizeable 1998). For example.. 2002). coordinated research amongst analytical System Productivity chemists. More recent data suggest that high salt and high impact on cost. The development of studied. developing an understanding of pond transportation and the volatile market for carbon credits will speciation. competitive Magnetic Resonance-based methods for rapid lipid content production strains. 2009) and a focus especially important issue as there have been calculations on better understanding the mechanisms of biological that the world’s supply of phosphate is in danger of running CO2 concentration from ambient air (Lapointe et al. fluorescent indicators other than Nile Red necessary. and iron additions represent a long been known to increase algal growth rate. diverging dynamics will be important. light stress in some marine phytoplankton may also The primary focus is the major nutrients – nitrogen. Douskova et al. Spalding 2008). physiologists. biochemists. nitrogen nutrition has long been known to affect lipid accumulation in phytoplankton Nutrient Sources. and production siting. The cost of CO2 based nutrients for heterotrophic growth will also affect the economics and sustainability of such systems. research in multi-trophic. and silicon (in the case of diatoms). 1996). 1999). Reed et al. 2008.S. trace metals. result in increases in lipid content (Azachi et al. and genetic. rates. Strain selection should take nutrient requirements into account.. as siting requirements for efficient considered. The frequency of contamination screening in algae have been developed and applied to events that require decontamination/restarts will be an many different types of phytoplankton with mixed results important parameter in the cost of production because of (Cooksey et al. National and international efforts toward improvements in productivity while at the same time generating quality assurance policy standards early on lower the cost of production.. out (Abelson. and Management 1981. vitamins. This information will productivity of potential strains. automated. permeable. accounting for 6-8 cents per this area is receiving new attention from the search for gallon of algal fuel in 1987 U. iron. Algal Cultivation  . molecular-level algal ecology will be an important component of the investment There is an immediate need to standardize productivity portfolio required for developing the potential of algae. Along with standards. and significant operating cost. 1999. Research at the interface between basic algal biology and chemical. Thus. There is justification to carry out such as sulfur. but vary depending upon the specific strain and algal cultivation may rarely coincide with high-volume water source chosen. 1987. New approaches are split Oswald. Sheehan et al. Early detection schemes for business models are already apparent on these issues. and normalization. and adapted for rapid. densities. This calculation takes into account a 50% between using algae to scrub CO2 from emission gasses rate of nutrient recycle. Dynamic pond monitoring will be important are also important. For example. sustainability. as well as others such potential need to either discard or treat the contaminated as Near Infra Red spectroscopy.. must also be R&D in both areas.. 32 3. predators. models and establish protocols for measurement of yields. Utilization of existing and in the development of an algal biofuel industry could new knowledge related to the physiological regulation of facilitate the deployment of algal based-biofuels by lipid or carbohydrate accumulation coupled with scalable ensuring consistent. (Ketchum and Redfield. 1938. 2008). The synthesis of new non- genetic modifications of production strains may become toxic. Gao et al. cultivation schemes should lead to enhancements in productivity.. inexpensive chemical treatments or physiological adaptations and high-throughput monitoring. Requirements for additional nutrients. From a productivity standpoint. a significant investment toward basic of algal lipid contents (Gocze and Freeman. dollars (Benemann and renewable.Furthermore.. etc. derivatives of the Bodipy for both wild-type and genetically modified algae.

and sustainability implications of various discharge. and Recycling of a gallon of algal fuel cost-prohibitive. On the other hand. Reagent grade sources of nutrients could make the price Conservation. also become necessary to expand the limits of analysis to include recycling of nutrients from animal waste. buildup. a certain amount • Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses of of “blowdown” water must be removed to prevent salt wastewater resources to understand availability. unused nutrients in • TE and life cycle analysis to understand the cost. and the very large required energy sustainability perspective.. a hypothetical 1 hectare (ha). 2009).. biogas. Although economics dictate that the bulk of nutrient sources and recycling scenarios water derived from the harvesting step must be returned • Studies to explore the mechanisms of nutrient to the cultivation system (where remaining nutrients recycling. Also. such as saline water from waste streams is a very attractive alternative. The processes through be diverted from carbon fixation to nitrogen fixation. for example. Algal Cultivation  33 . agricultural. 1998). which is a loss of 13.5 cm per over long distances. Though the water used to initially fill the pond can be saline. the culture medium pose a problem for waste water energy. or industrial unsuitable for land crops. which is provide some of the nitrogen and sulfur needed from a component of the diatom cell walls. Note also that flue gas fed to algal cultures may particularly problematic for recycling of silicon. 1989).Nitrogen is typically supplied in one of three forms: ammonia. Finding inexpensive sources of nutrients will be important. Further research into the availability day (Weissman and Tillet. From a to fossil fuel prices. however. 1996). cyanobacteria as a way to provide nitrogen biologically. it may NOx and SOx (Doucha. too much of a particular nutrient may prove toxic. Agricultural- or commodity-grade nutrients are more applicable. phosphorous.000 gallons to fill. If the biomass residues are. 20 metropolitan areas with high land prices and limited land cm deep open pond will require 530. or iron. nitrogen. productivity. Currently. which these nutrients are re-mobilized and made available which may or may not be compensated for by the “free” for algal growth are not well understood. treated by anaerobic digestion to produce perhaps in co-culture with eukaryotic algae. Water Management. In the future. availability. phosphorous. but One of the main advantages of using algae for their costs are still significant. but it may also be desirable to use nutrient levels are vitally important factors for cultivation limitation (e. If this blowdown water contains substantial compatibility with cultivation sites. real economic or sustainability problems or because of Utilizing agricultural run-off also poses economic benefits loss of public support due to perceived problems. and sustainability issues.” either because of and phosphorous into biomass for water clean-up. The final fuel product from algal oil biology. A potential problem with this approach however is the impact on facility siting. evaporative losses can exceed 0.. from anaerobic digestion sludges can feed subsequent algal growth). 2005. nitrate. nutrient recycle may prove inputs should be accounted for in life cycle analyses. for example.g. aquifers and seawater. gallons per day from the 1 ha pond. Douskova et al. Careful control of nutrient levels is also critical. Because synthetic nitrogen fixation processes contains no nitrogen. However. water demands will be Wastewater treatment facilities. brackish. This may be nitrogen. these nutrients utilize fossil fuels (particularly natural gas). utilizing the biofuels production is their ability to thrive in water nutrient content of municipal. Therefore. then most of the nutrients will remain in the such a scheme will certainly have some impact on overall digestor sludge and can be returned to the growth system productivity levels as photosynthetic energy could (Benemann and Oswald. With large cultivation systems. costs are tied end up primarily in the spent algal biomass. disposal will become a problem impact of such sources on algal biofuels production due to concerns of eutrophication of surface waters.. Limitation of a key nutrient will have serious impacts on biomass Nutrient sourcing and the control of nutrient productivity. For example. and potential nitrogen and phosphorous. by preventing eutrophication. means to induce oil accumulation in the cells (Sheehan Important research areas therefore include: et al.000 and compatibility of wastewater resources is warranted. algae are used in some wastewater treatment facilities water management poses some of the largest issues because of their ability to provide oxygen for the bacterial for algal biofuels. and it is not practical to transport wastewater In desert areas. If not addressed adequately. The ideal form of nitrogen Another approach to reduce nutrient costs is to pursue is a function of relative costs and the specific strain’s a diligent recycle. At the same time. tend to be near enormous. or silicon) as a economics. produced 3. or urea. to be more valuable than using the spent biomass for It is possible to consider the use of nitrogen-fixing products such as animal feed. e. water breakdown of organic materials and to sequester nitrogen can easily become a “show-stopper.g.

Furthermore. or may require decontamination. research in the following areas is warranted: in the culture and the salinity of the replacement water. or biological inhibitors produced by the strains themselves could impair growth if recycled to the culture. and treatment (e. • Investigating ways to reduce the cost of water and location. moving around such large volumes of water is very energy-intensive and can impose a significant cost.. Algal Cultivation  . groundwater.. by disposing of a portion of the pond volume each day as “blowdown. municipal wastewater. while effectively Water recycling is essential. and residual live algal cells. and other in the dissemination of genetically modified organisms. To contain costs. which could contain salts. However.g. however. disinfection. materials in the culture. and water double their biomass on a daily basis. toxins. Some actively growing algal cultures can treatment. from flue gas). Surface disposal and reinjection into wells may be an option as regulated 34 3. • Studying water recycle and methods to maximize recycle (and minimize blowdown).” The amount of blowdown required for Because of the importance of issues surrounding the use salinity control is dependent upon the acceptable salt level of water. chemical flocculants used in harvesting.1999). including the geology of these be balanced against the cost savings and sustainability aquifers and associations with freshwater systems analysis for water usage for a given location. activated charcoal filtration. but live cells could adversely is fresh water. Closed systems that spray water on the surfaces metals). Disposal of the spent water. An advantage of sites that may have lower pan evaporation rates closed photobioreactors over open ponds is a reduced • Understanding the long-term effects of drawing rate of evaporation. flocculants. or seawater) may be suitable as is. it is desirable to recycle most of that water back to the culture.) of the recycled stream could be cost-prohibitive. accumulated salts. by the Environmental Protection Agency and already quality water stream. the water being lost to evaporation practiced by the oil industry. including saline Conservation of water can be addressed to some extent aquifers. could pose a serious problem. • GIS analysis of water resources. etc. Note however • Analysis and definition of the regulatory landscape that evaporation plays a critical role in temperature surrounding discharge of water containing various maintenance under hot conditions through evaporative levels of salt. and their proximity to utilizable cultivation through facility design and siting. and continually making up the volume with affect biodiversity of neighboring ecosystems or result low-quality water will concentrate salts. meaning that half movement (pumping costs) the culture volume must be processed daily. This is an enormous amount of water (260. A critical water consumption. makeup water/recycle.000 gallons per day in the 1 ha example above). heavy metals (e.g. This could include reducing part of the analysis that goes into siting an algal facility evaporative cooling loads through such strategies will be to analyze the “pan evaporation” rates at specific as selecting thermotolerant strains of algae sites in conjunction with water cost and availability. desalination. flocculants. but the amount that can managing the accumulation of salt and other inhibitors be recycled depends on the algal strain. would be a fresh water—a costly and often unsustainable option—or very costly and energy-intensive proposition. This can be prevented by adding Sterilization of blowdown water. toxins (including heavy cooling. The added cost of such systems must down saline aquifers. Incoming water (surface water. residual nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer. and live cells or employ cooling towers to keep cultures cool will lose some if not possibly all of the water savings of such • Developing cultivation systems with minimal systems under these conditions (Flickinger. process. or other remediation before use. or other low.water from oil wells. wastewater. accumulated toxics. water. The blowdown water exiting the process will also most likely require treatment. Treatment may be essential for water entering and exiting the process.

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1997).0. 1969. Pan et al. and fuel Microalgae and cyanobacteria remain in suspension in conversion and use must be considered. 1975. It is possible to feasible algae-to-fuel strategy must. is required to promote sedimentation at harvest. and then air is bubbled 4. some into further downstream dewatering techniques. Manipulating suspension size of the algae aggregates. therefore. lime. 1977. Alum. 2005. 1987). polyacrylamide polymers. and off-shore pH with and without additives is also effective. Addressing these issues requires careful mind. 1993. electroflocculation.4. in recycled water on culture health and stability and lipid production must be understood and controlled. water quality. and other man-made fibers are some chemical Lincoln. In managed cultures. Knuckey et al. The final slurry concentration will depend on the extraction methods employed and will Optimizing flocculation methods. the presence of flocculant in 4. and extraction of fuel precursors (e. and Shelaf. Downstream Processing: Harvesting and Dewatering Conversion of algae in ponds. Chemical additives that bind algae or Flocculation and Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) was otherwise affect the physiochemical interaction between established for sewage treatment and later studied in algae are known to promote flocculation (Lee et al. make harvesting more difficult. Botes and Vanvuuren.. combined with RD&D to be useful for promoting flocculation.g. 1988). McGarry and Tongkasa. Culture manipulation techniques. type. algae harvesting (Sim et al. Koopman and chitosan. lipids cultured with another organism that promotes sedimentation and carbohydrates). • Chemical flocculant recovery techniques are required Processing technologies depend on the algal feedstocks to minimize cost and control water effluent purity.07% algae (~ 1 gm algae/5000 the advantages of no added chemicals (Chen. Bare et al. Cultures Finally. energy costs climb steeply. Kwak et al. A determinations in particular processes. 1991. Likewise. and systems to liquid transportation fuels requires processing autoflocculation in the form of photosynthetically driven steps such as harvesting (Dodd and Anderson. This facilitates the transport of electrocoagulation must be scaled-up with cost and cells to the photoactive zone through pond or bioreactor energy analysis. 2004. only now being recognized as critically important.. Edzwald. may analysis of engineering designs. Flocculation and Dissolved Air Flotation A number of different forms of forced flocculation have been employed. Final will very likely depend on strain selection. 2003. and on empirical of transportation. and small size (~1 to 30 µm).. 1984). 1971). mixtures. well-managed high growth rate cultures due to their • Bioflocculation. 2006. Poleman and Pauw.. being considered. the mechanism slurry concentration also impacts plant location because of algae-flocculant interactions. 2004. 1983). CO2 depletion for pH control has been studied (Sukenik Butterfi and Jones. Downstream Processing: Harvesting and Dewatering  37 .02 . impact the required energy input. at least 1% algae given the known processing strategies (Borowitzka. circulation.1 Approaches for Microalgae further downstream extraction and fuel conversion processes must be understood and controlled. and chemistry to maximize algae recovery of dry biomass increases. consider the imagine selecting/designing strains to aggregate on cue energy costs and siting issues associated with harvesting or designed with a particular flocculant interaction in and dewatering. and recycling issues. however. gm water) must be concentrated to slurries containing Mollah et al. water form of forced flocculation usually involving chemical recycling and flocculate recovery are required. cellulose. 2001). Flocculation leading to sedimentation occurs • Optimized sedimentation tank designs with integration naturally in many older cultures. bioreactors.. 1988. Phochinda and White.. Their small sizes. Flocculation is used to increase the additives that have been studied. As the desired percentage concentrations. electroflocculation and electrocoagulation offer with as low as 0. Harvesting • The environmental impact of flocculant or pH Flocculation and Sedimentation manipulation in released water effluent. surfactants. additives.. therefore. Future research in develop specific processing technologies to support those flocculation chemistry must take into account the following: designs and a fundamental understanding of how algal biology can impact harvesting and dewatering strategies. These energy-intensive processes are has also been considered (Lavoie and Delanoue. 1998. Processes that pertain to unicellular algae are quite different from the approaches applicable • The effect of residual flocculant or pH manipulation to macroalgae.. Bioflocculation where algae are co- dewatering. salts.

manipulation of Filtration is conceptually simple but potentially electric fields. Air-drying is possible size will affect filtration efficiency and blinding rates. about 90% is (Oswald. Solutions involving either solar or wind efficiency. The algae-rich top layer is Centrifugation is widely used in industrial suspension scraped off to a slurry tank for further processing.. the blocking of filter dryers and other oven-type dryers have been used. but are not limited to. These include. recovery is largely dependent on current level of centrifugation technology makes this bubble size and distribution through the suspension.. water and technologies must consider large initial capital equipment algae purity. or ships for operation. Saidam and Butler. Downstream Processing: Harvesting and Dewatering  . In addition to processing of large quantities of water and algae. suction.. 2002. Filtration designs Invariably.through the suspension causing the algal clusters Centrifugation to float to the surface.. For instance.g. 2001). and high throughput encountered in flocculation and DAF. Modern seaweed harvesting vessels can be equipped with pumps to direct harvested seaweeds directly into nets or other containment structures (Ugarte and Sharp. acoustic focusing to concentrate algae at nodes. and can be optimized through are harvested from higher organisms (e.g. and mechanized harvesting methods. filter materials with controlled hydrophobicity and/or algae affinity can be developed. 2009). 2003). the filter. Decreasing pore Because drying generally requires heat.2 Approaches for Macroalgae blinding are also issues. • The filter pore size is critically important as it is defined by the size of the algae species and algae Drying aggregation rate. Manual harvesting is common for both cultivated and natural systems. however. Durability and 4. floc optimization. Culture purity However. shrimp and further understanding of several issues: tilapia) grown with algae (Johnson and Wen. design. pores. the Microalgae and cyanobacteria present unique filtration use of organisms growing on immobilized substrates challenges because most strains considered for energy where the amount of initial water is controlled and feedstocks have cell diameters less than 10 µm. but will require extra space and • Filter material also influences filtration and recovery considerable time. of the roughly 1. the costs climb steeply with incremental becomes important as a distribution of microorganism temperature and/or time increases. and reduction of filtering rates. but doing or dredging with cutters. Significant cost and engineered design for further downstream processing. approach cost-prohibitive for most of the envisioned DAF facilities require optimized integration with any large-scale algae biorefineries. and flocculant reclamation) are also investments. the growth substrate can be easily removed. and bioharvesting. where fuel precursors very expensive. Application of mechanical 38 4. and have the ability to remove the algae later. methane drum size. R&D have been proposed to harvest and dewater Downing et al. 1996). Filtration Solid/liquid filtration technologies are well studied. microalgae. • An important step is recovering the algal biomass from which can involve mowing with rotating blades. • Filtration design is an important variable with both Harvesting static and dynamic filtering operations. separations and has been investigated in algal harvesting (Molina et al. The flocculant efficiency. The efficiency is dependent on All of the issues arising from the use of flocculants the selected species (as related to size). energy savings must be realized before any widespread implementation of this approach can be carried out. Washing the filter is one practice. operating costs. 1995. Small algae pass through larger Drying is required to achieve high biomass concentrations. leads to blinding. Moving filters Currently. Centrifugation for sedimentation (e. pores decreasing filter efficiency. 1991). so leads to re-dilution of the product.. Power costs will certainly influence derived from cultivated sources (Roesijadi et al.6 million dry metric tons have been used in drum and cylinder press designs of total seaweed harvested worldwide. Materials can be used that optimize filtration energy are also possible. such mechanized harvesters require boats should consider minimal or no washing requirements. in low-humidity climates. Other Harvesting Techniques and filtration without prior flocculation can be used A number of other techniques at various stages of to harvest and dewater algae (Ferguson et al.. 2008). have also been developed.

Floating a high tolerance or requirement for water. influence. be harvested and the intervals between harvests to allow growth and recovery of biomass (Ugarte and Sharp. Further.. To manage seaweed harvests. with needs is required with consideration of capital equipment the degree of screening dependent on the mode of investments. In forms such as Laminaria processing plants (Bruton et al. 2001). culture and end-use. 2009). litter. and low growing attached forms such as and reduce weight and associated transportation costs if Gracilaria will require different approaches compatible with algae are to be transported from sites of harvest to distant their growth characteristics. about 20 . may be amenable to mowing. e. This has important implications for plant design to answer simple • Dewatering questions like “What percentage of the total plant energy requirements or what percentage of that made available by Seaweeds immediately following harvest can have algae must be directed toward harvesting and dewatering?”.85% water content (Peterson et al. mechanized harvesting techniques. maintenance.. as opposed to attached to the bottom culture. shredded or milled macroalgal biomass can go directly into either reactions As a result of growing concern about the potential or extractions. Hydrothermal conversions are suited for environmental consequences of harvesting natural wet biomass and become efficient at 15 . operations. This will likely be a significant fraction of the will likely have less impact in procedures that can total energy cost of any algae-to-fuel process and a utilize whole seaweeds (Bruton et al. with higher a biofuels feedstock in Ireland (Bruton et al. surface area to volume ratios.g. In require technology appropriate for that mode of culture.30% water content is noted to have a stabilizing harvesting may require retrieval and transport to shore. 2009): relevant scale and remains a significant challenge. final algae concentration needed for the chosen extraction will likely have less debris. Although have been put in place in some countries (Pringle and some dewatering of seaweeds whose water content Tseng. 2009). opportunities for products apart from fuels. Downstream Processing: Harvesting and Dewatering  39 . 1989). significant fraction of the total amount of energy available 4. sand. by washing A critical gap is the energy requirements of these processes • Milling are not only largely unknown but unbounded. Smaller particles. For part of the pretreatment process.3 Systems Engineering pressure from near-shore environments and create market While specific process technologies have been studied.20% solids or populations of seaweed near-shore. for a range of dry weight content based on extraction Screening for debris is considered mandatory. new strategies should be developed to combine and integrate Preprocessing these processes in order to take an algae culture and The general preprocessing requirements for macroalgal convert it into slurry of a specific concentration. although breakthroughs are still needed in each. 2009). Algae that are grown in suspension The cost of harvesting and dewatering will depend on the culture. and depreciation. will have higher reaction efficiency during anaerobic digestion for biogas. 2008). Dewatering seaweeds such as Sargassum spp. which is beneficial for transportation and other Similarly. attached forms that tend to stand upright. given the issues related to sustainability and potential environmental importance as well as current cost and achievable consequences will need to be carefully evaluated. laws have approaches 90% may be necessary. adhering epifauna and other forms of Ultimately. scale of harvesting and dewatering.harvesters in European seaweed operations have been Milling is used to reduce seaweeds to particle sizes that are described in a recent feasibility analysis for seaweeds as \more efficiently processed. 2009). cultivation in land-based pond systems will processes requiring further drying (Bruton et al. the exact ratio of water stipulated the percentages of harvestable stock allowed to to solids for marine biomass remains to be determined.. biomass prior to extraction or direct conversion have This has yet to be demonstrated on a commercially been categorized as follows (Bruton et al. and hydrothermal liquefaction associated biorefineries has from the outset included for bio-oils. could be cultivated in may be more important as a method to increase shelf-life floating pens. • Removal of foreign objects and debris.. strict regulations 80 . anaerobic digestion and fermentation.. The exact nature of such mechanization will obviously depend on the form Macroalgae have less of a demand for dewatering as of cultivation and type of algae being cultured. The establishment of large offshore seaweeds may alleviate 4. such fermentation. and the amount of debris method.. and hydrothermal liquefaction have either as Macrocystis. The concept of large off-shore macroalgae farms and fermentation for alcohols. Dewatering to grown on off-shore rings (Buck and Buchholz. Anaerobic digestion. a unit operations analysis of energy input debris that should be removed before further processing.. stones. example. 2004).

G.B. Buchholz. Preliminary Look at Energy Balance In spite of gaps in data precluding more detailed The energy content of most algae cells is of the order analyses. & Wen. Lincoln. 47(1).54 watt-hours/gram. 5(4). Water Science and Technology. Sustainable Energy Ireland. 525-534. A review of the potential of marine algae as a source of biofuel in Ireland. C. Kwak.J. 95.Y. Aquacultural Engineering. along with innovative solutions to lower the in harvested biomass. 612. Lavoie. 11. Water Science and Technology.M. and proteins and the typical percentage integrated systems in order to overcome this challenge. Knuckey. 133. Green. Harvesting of algae grown in agricultural wastewaters. Response of offshore cultivated laminaria saccharina to hydrodynamic forcing in the north sea. V. Robert. (1969). 631-635. Electrochemical technologies in wastewater treatment. (2005). Transactions-American Geophysical Union. The energy requirements for energy intensity of harvesting and drying algae. Logsdon. T.R. 117. and M. L. Lundquist. Lyons. 153. S.from algae. Shales. Removal of clay and blue-green algae particles through zeta potential and particle size distribution in the dissolved air flotation process. J. C. 250. (38). Kwon.. flocculation and sedimentation and the belt filter press are expected to be minimal. 40 4. Dodd. Micro-Algal Biotechnology. Downing. Possible approaches may include developing strains of hours/gram of algae for harvesting. (2000). Jung. Dublin. of each in algae are considered (Illman et al. 45(1). H. (2009).. Jones. Botes. Development of an attached microalgal growth system for biofuel production. Z. Low cost reclamation using the advanced integrated wastewater pond systems technology and reverse osmosis.L. M. W. Scragg. M.K. Enzyme and Microbial Technology. 30 (7). Comparison of dissolved air flotation and direct filtration. (1987). Separation and Purification Technology. Integrated high-rate pond algae harvesting system. 674-691. Downstream Processing: Harvesting and Dewatering  . Production of microalgal concentrations by flocculation and their assessment as aquaculture feeds. (1977).J.F. Chen. E.F Frampton.. Vanvuuren. J. (2004). F.J.. D. E. (1988). Won. Jones. Water Science and Technology. likely need to implement innovative technologies and carbohydrates. 300. Autoflotation harvesting of algae from high-rate pond effluents. Kim. Ku. Sedimentation and Flotation. 35(3). (1993). Stanley. 357-394. Koopman. (1991). Dissolved air flotation for the removal of algae and inorganic turbidity on a large-scale. Anderson. (1995). J. Edzwald. 231. A.. R. H. 67. 85(3).X. G.B. Bruton. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply. Brown. It is possible to estimate the energy requirements in watt. Agricultural Wastes. 2000). Illman. D. de-watering. Water Pollution Control Federation Research Journal. Rasmussen. 852-859. Delanoue. J. Water Supply: IWSA/IAWPRC Joint Specialized Conference on Coagulation Flocculation.. R.. Oswald. N. T. A. I. J.J. B. Ferguson. energy example shown below provides some food for thought balance can become an issue in systems that propose regarding harvesting and dewatering technologies.B. Y. Borowitzka. 9(3). D. Curley.S. Increase in chlorella strains calorific values when grown in low nitrogen media.B. A quick and preliminary energy balance of vaporization of water at 0.A. Bracco..H. Cambridge University Press.. Aquaculture. E. algal biofuel production schemes at scale will of 5 watt-hours/gram if the energy content of lipids. S. Ireland Buck. Progress in Water Technology.R. (2005). 6(1).J. Harvesting of scenedesmus-obliquus in wastewaters-auto-flocculation or bioflocculation. 27(10). 713.J. C. (2010). coagulants. B. (1975). Johnson. Middlebrooks. W. Borowitzka. However. based on the latent heat References Bare. et al. M.. B. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Butterfi. (27). J.H. bubbles. (2002). (2006). 9(1). to take algal biomass and concentrate / dry it to enable downstream processing and extraction because of the high volumes of water that must be evaporated away. and algae with much higher energy content than available drying as a function of the volume percentage of algae today. H. 50(11). M. Biotechnology and Bioengineering.R. Large-scale algae culture systems. (1983). Filtration. and C. Algae.. 113. B.C. Zubieta. Ferguson. 31(3-4). and dissolved air flotation..M. Lerat. Algae removal using dissolved air flotation.P.

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which is dependant on the algal species and growth status..and laboratory-scale procedures. While considerable is a promising development (Cravotto et al. Many effective of the biomass must be disrupted prior to extraction. any extracting solvent must be able to (1) fuel conversion process. 2003).. 2010). different Algal biofuel schemes that rely on the accumulation of harvest process operations (discussed in the Chapter 4) intra-cellular lipids are the focus of this discussion. 2010).1 Current Practices for types of oleaginous microalgae compared bead beating. A shortfall of relevant information on efficient extraction bead mills (or bead-beating). The use of microwaves to disrupt cells and have been carried out. While many terrestrial feedstocks penetrate through the matrix enclosing the lipid material. Extraction of Products from Algae While relatively limited volumes of bioproducts are are attempting to bypass this step—the dynamics of currently produced from algal feedstocks. and Barberio. but these techniques often rely increase efficiencies of vegetable lipid and oil extraction on freeze dried. and extraction algal biofuels as competitive bulk commodity. or for the sonication for cell disruption.. Virot knowledge exists for the separation of plant biomass et al.. algal biomass extraction in aqueous phase systems serves as a starting suffers from a lack of well-defined and demonstrated place for industrial-scale extraction operations. Extraction depends on identifying the particular biological Mechanical Disruption (i.. though applications outside of analytical lipid extracts and preparation for conversion to biodiesel labs are unclear. As such the development of any extraction process as single cells suspended in water at concentrations below must also account for the fact that the tissue structure 1% solids. prior to the application of the extraction solvents. 2010) and osmotic shock. shown to improve methane gas production and biosolids reduction in sludge digestion (Rittman et al. For this reason. Lipid extraction includes the following approaches: Existing extraction techniques are mainly suitable for solvent-based extraction relying on microwaves and or analytical. osmotic shock. Extraction of Products from Algae   . pretreatment of (Zhang et al.. and microwaves and suggested that microwave disruption prior to solvent The basis for lipid extraction from algal biomass is extraction is the most efficient method (Lee et al. application of organic solvents. ultrasounds. and (3) solvate the >40%. some systems 42 5. Cell Rupture) component for extraction.. can be removed from their environment at total solids (2) physically contact the lipid material. different logistical challenges arise from access. 2010). using solvents to “milk” algal recovery/removal of high-value products. that secrete products directly into the growth medium. To operations could affect extraction processes. thus a high degree of concentration may be necessary before Effective mechanical disruption can help offset the need some types of extraction can begin. as well as the be successful.. Mechanical disruption can include cell homogenizers.e. sewage sludge with “focused pulse” sonication has been up separation challenges for extracted algal lipids. extraction techniques require concentrated substrates. extraction bypass schemes that attempt to engineer algal systems techniques employed must be efficient and effective. 2008. Laboratory-scale comparisons of process such as freezing. extraction of lipids from microalgae (Lee et al. autoclaving. microalgae and cyanobacteria may be cultivated lipid. This generally requires that the native structure their offshore production and harvesting. Lipid Extraction sonication. 2008). to use elevated temperature and pressure processes that some algae-to-biofuels processes attempt to bypass the force the solvent into contact with desired biopolymers. Dibenedetto.. Recent work on extraction of lipids from three different 5. For waste treatment.5. 2005) et al. and acid. Non-mechanical methods include biofuel development. extraction step by either converting whole algal biomass or Different methods can be used to disrupt the cell membrane by inducing the secretion of the desired product directly. largely in the realm of laboratory-scale processes that serve analytical rather than biofuel production goals. and enzyme reactions (Mata macroalgae (Aresta. little is known about the scale. Additionally. To produce cells without disrupting cellular functions. While macroalgae are more like traditional and cell walls may present formidable barriers to solvent feedstocks. base. pulverized biomass. 2008). Assuming a system that requires extraction of oils and lipids from harvested biomass—as noted. industrial-scale methods for extracting and separating of oils and lipids required for enabling biofuel production. and autoclaving of lipids and oils at larger-scale is limiting the algal-based (Mata et al.

1998). despite the added added. (i.. They explained lipids (i. and other lipid and non-lipid contaminants) nonpolar solvents weakening the association between the (Fajardo et al. and hexane/isopropanol for lipids. hexane/ethanol for microalgae suggest that the water will form a solvent shell around the (Cartens et al.Organic Co-solvent Mixtures Application of Organic Two-Solvent Systems for The concept of like dissolves like is the basis behind the Lipid Extraction from Microalgae: earliest and well-known co-solvent extraction procedure Iverson et al. disruption of the cell Malcata.. In general. In general. In these applications.g. 1990). acetyl chloride). the alcohol adipose tissue without prior extraction or purification for is first added as the extracting solvent. these findings suggest that membrane may be necessary.. 1959). pure alcohol solutions of eliminate the need to use antioxidants to protect unsaturated greater carbon length (such as butanol) have not compared lipids.. it was found that when (2) the ability of a second less polar co-solvent to better applying direct transesterification using an acid catalyst match the polarity of the lipids being extracted. The hexane system as chloroform to contact..g. After the extraction reaction is grossly underestimated the lipid content in samples of complete. 2005). prior to their dissolution in the of co-solvents have been proposed for the extraction of monophasic system of water. 5... The sequence of solvent addition can also affect two immiscible layers. Separation is then improved recovery of fatty acids. other combinations lipids and cell structure. It was found that the when selecting a co-solvent system to extract lipids are: entire reaction could be shortened to 10 minutes if the mixture was incubated at 100˚C under a sealed cap. biomass. and Dyer co-solvent method. at 100˚C for an hour under sealed cap would increase applications using pure alcohol (ethanol and 1-butanol) fatty acid concentrations measured (as compared to performed similarly. This method was applied to dried microalgal well against the hexane/ethanol co-solvent system. solubilize. In other cases. the efficiency of the reaction increased when a second “less polar” solvent such as To avoid the use of elevated temperature and pressure to diethyl ether or toluene was mixed with the methanol to push the solvent into contact with the analyte (at the cost modify the polarity of the reaction medium (Carvalho and of a very high input of energy)..g. The lipids mainly separate to the extraction (Lewis et al.. In general. Lepage and Roy (1984) (e. Chloroform will extract more than just the saphonifiable methanol. 2007). methanol) and acid catalyst (e. if not slightly better than alcohol/ Bligh and Dyer co-solvent system). biomass in a modified approach to include hexane in the reaction phase in order to avoid a final purification These results suggest that the two most important criteria step (Rodriguez-Ruiz et al. (1) the ability of a more polar co-solvent to disrupt the cell membrane and thus make it sufficiently porous and Continuing efforts along this path.e. has been promoted because hexane and alcohol will It is also noteworthy that the extraction efficiency was not readily separate into two separate phases when water is improved (when water was added first). and extract the lipids.. 2000). less volatile and toxic alcohols (e. 1-butanol and ethanol) solvents have been tried proposed the direct transesterification of human milk and (Nagle & Lemke. water (which is not miscible with chloroform) is marine tissue that contained more than 2% lipids but added to the co-solvent mixture until a two-phase system worked well for samples that contained less than 2% develops in which water and chloroform separate into lipids. single alcohol To increase analytical efficiency. 1990). Consequently. 1994).. Starting from freeze dried chloroform layer and can then be recovered for analysis. Similarly. chloroform. 2000).. their results in terms of initial contact of the biomass with lipoproteins. 2007). this approach achieved by adding both hexane and water in proportions suggested that a one-step reaction that added the alcohol that create a two phase system (hexane and an aqueous (e.. acetyl chloride) hydroalcoholic) that partition the extracted lipids into directly to the biomass sample and followed with heating the nonpolar hexane (Fajardo et al. These important results have a key impact on liquid phase 1978). Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAMES) One example is the hexane/ethanol extraction co-solvent system (Grima et al. More. but never more than 90% of the Bligh and recoveries of volatile medium chain triglycerides. agitation in the form of sonication or additional methanol. chloroform.g. 2007). Extraction of Products from Algae   43 . and then water) (Lewis. thereby improving downstream separations. ethanol and Direct Transesterification of Lipids into isopropanol) have been suggested in place of methanol. and methanol. (2001) found that the Bligh and Dyer method (Bligh and Dyer. the unsaponifiable lipids such as pigments. give relatively high hexane mixtures. making it more difficult for less polar solvents such microalgae (Nagle & Lemke. dimethyl sulfoxide/petroleum ether for yeast extraction systems applied to “wet” biomass because they (Park et al.e. it has been demonstrated that the extraction of lipids was significantly more efficient when solvents were added in order of increasing polarity (i. lipids: hexane/isopropanol for tissue (Hara & Radin.e. 1996).

.. It has been proposed a technology that proposes to use solvents such as decane for the extraction of liquid extracts (Richter et al. and optimize the energy cost. a solid sample for both chlorophyll and β-carotene decreased as well.95% pressure have gained favor for two principle reasons: of the fatty acid content in the harvested microalgae • the elevated temperature and pressure increase the compared to 44 . The latter is also polarity of the lipids (Herrero et al. break down the cell membrane. the polarity) to values that match the lipids. 2004). If this process can be 44 5. some have proposed a modified technique to “milk” oils or neutral lipids from algae using biocompatible solvents and applied sonication.e.. What remains unclear is the effectiveness of such • the elevated pressures can reduce the dielectric an approach at large scale in terms of how to handle constant of an otherwise immiscible solvent (and large amounts of biomass. depending on the solvent. Accordingly.e. ASE of higher hydrophobicity. This observation is a key driving force behind the consideration of solvent extraction Selective Extraction systems at elevated temperature and pressure. separate out desirable by analogy. the effect of the solvent on uses organic solvents at high pressure and temperatures the membrane decreased and the extraction efficiency above their boiling point. it is only efficient on biomass samples to that of traditional Folch method for microalgae grown containing less than 2% w/w lipids). is enclosed in a sample cartridge that is filled with an By applying a measurement of solvent hydrophobicity extraction fluid and used to statically extract the sample based on the partition coefficient of the solvent in a two- under elevated temperature (50 . on dairy manure effluent (Mulbry et al. can be retained in the cell during the extraction phase (using a solvent front pumped through the sample at the This work has served as the basis for the development of appropriate temperature and pressure). and time have been optimized lipids coupled with its miscibility with methanol.30 g samples of dried biomass. By using solvents technique on 1 . reaction ASE is more efficient if extracting solvent.. to all pores within the biomass matrix and. Compressed gas is used to purge the different organic phases indicated that cells remained sample extract from the cell into a collection vessel. Conceptually.. using the process. ASE can also be applied to remove co. extracted 85 . noteworthy in the context that ASE by definition uses non-aqueous solvents and therefore. viable and active in the presence of organic solvents with a log P (octanol ) > 6 and that β-carotene can be extracted ASE is applicable to solid and semi-solid samples that more easily than chlorophyll by biocompatible solvents.55% of the fatty acids extracted by rate of mass transfer and degree of solvent access the Folch method in the first solvent extraction cycle. free fatty acids. 2006). a step that also requires energy input. (Denery et al. the cells can be returned extractable material from various processes.. must use dried Consequently. (2002) proposed the two-phase system of aqueous and organic phases for the selective extraction of carotenoids from the microalgae Dunaliella salina. example. The performance of ASE extraction was compared solvents (i. and dodecane in the presence of live microalgal cells. screening viability (500 . 1996). the issue of solvent access to the material biomass. Hejazi et al. Their Accelerated Solvent Extraction observations were that solvents with lower hydrophobicity Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) was first proposed reach critical concentrations more easily and in the in the mid 1990s (Richter et al. In addition to improving yields and reducing loss of cell viability and extraction of membrane-bound extraction time. however. 2004) and lipids from microalgae (Schäfer.. The single solvent systems at elevated temperature and ASE . to selectively to their original bioreactor for continued growth and extract polar compounds from lipid-rich samples.the effectiveness of the second co-solvent (i. Denery et al. 1996. For to fractionate lipids from biological samples (ref). and production of triglycerides for biofuels production. being extracted is as important as the miscibility of the analyte in the solvent. extraction temperature. concentrated for the extraction of triglycerides without 1998).200˚C) and pressure phase system of octanol and water. In general. sample-solvent medium) depends upon its ability to solubilize the target ratio.10 min)..3000 psi) conditions for short time periods and activity tests of Dunaliella salina in the presence of (5 . and showed that higher or equal extraction efficiencies remain largely bench-scale methods that are difficult (compared to traditional solvent technology) could be to scale up to industrial processes due to the actual achieved with the use of less solvent and shorter extraction solvent toxicity and the low carrying capacity of the times. Extraction of Products from Algae   . 2009). Denery and coworkers optimized the extraction of carotenoids from Dunaliella salina All the preceding co-solvent systems.

products miscible Largeau. the solvent and product can be of essential oils from plant matter (Eikani et al. becomes less polar and organic compounds are more soluble than at room Supercritical fluid extraction has been applied for the temperature. 2005).g. 1999)... a unique avenue for the selective extraction of lipids caffeine from coffee beans. this approach significantly Supercritical Fluid Extraction reduces the capital and operating cost for an extraction Supercritical fluid extraction utilizes the enhanced solvating process. is that water. as well as n-butane and pentane (Herrero et Subcritical water extraction (also known as hydrothermal al. CO2 because of its preferred critical properties (i. 1999). Large-scale design scenario. is the difficulty with designing a system at Other methods for extraction and fractionation include large scale and the high-energy load required to heat the the production of oils using heterotrophic algae.. 1992). A major constraint.9 bar). 2005). nitrous oxide. it has been applied for the selective extraction the supercritical fluid.applied to microalgae slurries with suspended solid extraction techniques have been used in the commercial concentrations as low as 1 wt%. Some degradation.. phototrophically or heterotrophically. under these conditions. Supercritical extraction is often employed in batch mode. sulfur Subcritical Water Extraction hexafluoride. There is also the added benefit of solvent extraction of essential oils from plants (Reverchon et access into the biomass matrix that occurs at the higher al.. The basic premise to subcritical water extraction the extracted product remains as a liquid or solid. 2006). More recently. for more than two decades suitable for biofuels (e. 1999). the ability to 5. However. 1994). Lipids have been selectively extracted at the high temperature and pressure become immiscible from macroalgae at temperatures of 40 . ease of scale-up. private companies have engineered algae that secrete oil into the fermentation media that can be recovered and later refined into a biofuel. higher microalgae via supercritical processing is challenged quality of extracts.” was initially applied to whole biomass 2005). The temperature and pressure above the critical liquefaction) is based on the use of water. creating additional energy use challenges. and pressure high enough to keep the liquid state (Soto and Luque de Castro. liquid feeds (Reverchon et al. one of the more to biodiesel (see Chapter 6 for more detail). and chemical inertness (Luque de Castro et al. Metzger and cooled back down to room temperature. attractive aspects is the use of water as the solvent.. triglycerides) that excludes (Brunner. 2007). scaling up the process that is developed mainly for analytical usage. just below the critical temperature. at temperatures point can be adjusted as can the time of the extraction. In addition. via transesterification. by the same issues of energy-intensive processing and and environmental compatibility (Herrero et al.. 2006). as well as pigments (such as chlorophyll). methanol. but other fluids used have included ethane. easily separated downstream once the temperature and functional ingredients from microalgae (Herrero et al.. In this system up to subcritical temperatures. as with accelerated solvent Heterotrophic Production extraction. originally termed “pressurized hot but the process can also be operated continuously (Brunner.. The potential benefits of this approach are the power of fluids above their critical point (Luque de use of standard fermentation systems. al. water extraction.e. In this 2006).g. pressure are lowered to atmospheric conditions. 2006). the fluid returns to its original gaseous state while al. low toxicity. however. One of the more attractive points to supercritical hemicellulose as a pretreatment prior to its use as a fluid extraction is that after the extraction reaction has fermentation substrate (Mok et. lower costs of the extracting agent. The technique. however... It can be processed using solid and compared to photosynthetic systems. The majority of applications have used the extraction of lipids that cannot be transesterified.50˚C and at lower temperatures and can be easily separated.. 2007).. whether grown has the effect of converting lipids. and saponins from oil-seeds (Güçlü-Üstündağ et case. of the more important advantages described for subcritical economical production of biofuels from oleaginous water extraction include shorter extract times. as well as functional ingredients and lipids temperatures as discussed above. as the water is from microalgae (Mendes et al. been completed and the extracted material dissolved into however. this method may provide extraction of substances from solid substrates. 2001) . Extraction of Products from Algae   45 .379 bar (Chueng. which can moderate critical temperature of 31. non-photosynthetic algae are grown using will also require a significant cooling system to cool sugars as energy source and using standard industrial the product down to room temperature to avoid product fermentation equipment (Barclay et al. water. Use of methanol as the solvating fluid With respect to microalgae. 1994.1˚C and pressure of be difficult to separate from the desired lipids. higher productivity Castro et al. thereby eliminating the need for the dewatering step. 2006). ethane. 73. Some pressures of 241 . e. Supercritical fluid avoidance of expensive extraction scheme(s)..

et al. Subcritical water extraction of essential oils from coriander seeds (Coriandrum sativum L.R. water can either promote the formation of emulsions in the presence of ruptured cells or participate For sustainable biofuels production. 501(2). thereby improving the References Barclay. Chief amongst is the logistical challenge of that would normally not be contacted by solvents under securing a sustainable biomass feedstock to supply to feed atmospheric conditions. Lipid extraction from the microalga Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Denery. 2005. 1025–1031. 109(2).. & Rowshanzamir. 2004. M. The logistics challenges faced by the nascent lignocellulosic pressure also helps to force the solvent into matrices industry.. intracellular benchmark can be considered: the extraction process water can prove to be a barrier between the solvent per day should consume no more than 10% of the total and the solute. versa. S. Brunner.. In this context. 53(13). G. significant downsides pressure facilitates enhancing the transport of the solvent to this approach include many of the same feedstock to the analytes that have been trapped in pores.. et al. At the cellular level. W. Heterotrophic production of long chain omega-3 fatty acids utilizing algae and algae-like microorganisms. J. reduce the pressure and temperature requirements.maintain the integrity of the fermentation catalyst and use contact between the solvent and the solute. 80(2). Eikani. 2007.transesterifiable lipids. Supercritical fluids: technology and application to food processing. Very little information is available on this critical The extraction process is affected by the choice of step that is necessary before converting the algal upstream and downstream unit operations and vice biocrude into finished fuels and products. 80(2). 123-129. Güçlü-Üstündag.X. As discussed in access to the material being extracted is as important Section 4. Pressurized fluid extraction of carotenoids from Haematococcus pluvialis and Dunaliella salina and kavalactones from Piper methysticum. 73(8). 2007. the issue of solvent energy load. Journal of Food Engineering. The presence of water can cause problems at both ends at larger scales. J. Cartens. Eicosapentaenoic acid from the marine microalga Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Preparation of fatty acid methyl esters for gas-chromatographic analysis of marine lipids: Insight studies. Pressurized low polarity water extraction of saponins from cow cockle seed.. 2008. J. the following in side reactions. et al. 619–630. Presence of Water Associated with the Biomass such as chlorophyll and non. 5049–5059. Grima. F. as Btu. 735–740.P.M.2 Challenges Extraction processes can yield undesirable components. & Mazza. G. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry. G. J. Agric. 1994. et al. 67(1-2). This is a does not suggest that this is an insurmountable barrier. E. Carvalho. Meager.. et al. 955–959. 1994. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. Extraction of Products from Algae   . to achieve sustainable commercial-scale systems. 898-902. 15(5). A. 6(2). produced per day. Analytica Chimica Acta. principal motivation behind the application of extraction but it does serve to highlight the need for innovation techniques at elevated temperatures and pressures. F. 1996. & Abril.H.R. 175–181. Comparison between extraction of lipids and fatty acids from microalgal biomass. Mechanical disruption can large-scale heterotrophic “algal-refinery” operations. 71(9). M.. Journal of Food Engineering. Cravotto.). Journal of Applied Phycology. 46 5. Improved extraction of vegetable oils under high-intensity ultrasound and/or microwaves. Golmohammad. 120–126. & Malcata. K.. Balsevich. Lipid-Fett. However. Increased of sugar-based feedstocks.. a preliminary look at the energy balance as the miscibility of the analyte in the solvent. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. Separation of Desired Extracts from Solvent Stream 5. Journal of Food Engineering. Increasing the temperature helps to disrupt the solute- matrix interactions and to reduce the viscosity and surface tension of the water. 2005.. 2007. 21-33. Fajardo. Food Chem. A...3. When present in the bulk Energy Consumption and Water Recycle solution.

Hara, A. & Radin, N.S., 1978. Lipid extraction of tissues with a low-toxicity solvent. Analytical Biochemistry, 90(1), 420–426.
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natural sources: Plants, food-by-products, algae and microalgae A review. Food chemistry, 98(1), 136–148.
Iverson, S.J., Lang, S.L. & Cooper, M.H., 2001. Comparison of the Bligh and Dyer and Folch methods for
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from microalgae. Bioresource Technology, 101(1), S75-S77.
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from lipid-producing microheterotrophs. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 43(2), 107–116.
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5. Extraction of Products from Algae   47

6. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies
Potentially viable fuels that can be produced from algae products, and this conservation law must also hold
range from gaseous compounds like hydrogen and methane, true for the algae biorefineries of the future if they
to alcohols and conventional liquid hydrocarbons, to are to achieve significant market penetration.
pyrolysis oil and coke. Attractive targets for this effort,
however, are the liquid transportation fuels of gasoline, A large number of potential pathways exist for the
diesel, and jet fuel. These fuel classes were selected as the conversion from algal biomass to fuels. These pathways can
best-value targets because 1) they are the primary products be classified into the following three general categories:
that are currently created from imported crude oil for the
bulk of the transportation sector, 2) they have the potential 1) Those that focus on the direct algal production
to be more compatible than other biomass-based fuels with of recoverable fuel molecules (e.g., ethanol,
the existing fuel-distribution infrastructure in the U.S., and hydrogen, methane, and alkanes) from
3) adequate specifications for these fuels already exist. algae without the need for extraction;

The primary objective of this chapter is to summarize a 2) Those that process whole algal biomass
number of potentially viable strategies for converting algal to yield fuel molecules; and
biomass into replacements for petroleum gasoline, diesel, 3) Those that process algal extracts (e.g., lipids,
and jet fuel. When a fuel meets all customer requirements, carbohydrates) to yield fuel molecules.
it is referred to as “fit for purpose.” While a successful These technologies are primarily based on similar
fuel-conversion strategy will address the full range of methods developed for the conversion of terrestrial
desired fit-for-purpose properties (e.g., distillation range, plant-based oils and products into biofuels, although the
ignition characteristics, energy density, etc.), these desired compositional complexities of the output streams from
fuel characteristics are driven primarily by customer algae must be dealt with before these can be applied
requirements and are discussed later in Chapter 8. This effectively. Pros and cons of these pathways within each
chapter focuses on fuel conversion strategies from a variety of these categories are discussed below, and a summary
of perspectives to establish the current state-of-the-art, of each fuel-conversion technology is given. Inputs,
as well as identify critical challenges and roadblocks. complexity, cost, and yields are provided (where known),
and key barriers and RD&D opportunities are listed.
Several emerged the Algal Roadmap Workshop in
relation to conversion of algal feedstocks to fuels. These
are noted here to help establish a reasonable framework 6.1 Direct Production of
for the most promising concepts for algal biofuels.
Biofuels from Algae
• First, the feedstock, conversion process, and
The direct production of biofuel through heterotrophic
final fuel specifications are highly interdependent
fermentation and growth from algal biomass has certain
and must be considered together if an optimal
advantages in terms of process cost because it can
process is to be identified. As a result, accurate
eliminate several process steps (e.g., oil extraction)
and detailed feedstock characterization (including
and their associated costs in the overall fuel production
both composition and variability) is essential,
process. Heterotrophic growth also allows for maintaining
since this is an upstream boundary condition for
highly controlled conditions, which first could be oriented
the entire downstream fuel-conversion process.
toward biomass production and then oil production. Such
• Second, life cycle analysis of energy and carbon will a system can generate extremely high biomass (hundreds
be a key tool in selecting the preferred fuel conversion of grams per liter) and a high percentage of that biomass
technologies from those discussed in this chapter. as lipid (well over 50%). The system is readily scaled up
• Third, the greatest challenge in algal fuel conversion is and there is an enormous potential to use various fixed
not likely to be how to convert lipids or carbohydrates carbon feedstocks (which would bring down the cost of
to fuels most efficiently, but rather how best to use production). These approaches are quite different from
the algal remnants after the lipids or other desirable the usual algal biofuel processes that use algae to produce
fuel precursors have been extracted. All of the biological oils which is subsequently extracted and used as
petroleum feedstock that enters a conventional a feedstock for liquid fuel production, typically biodiesel.
petroleum refinery must leave as marketable There are several biofuels that can be produced directly
from algae, including alcohols, alkanes, and hydrogen.

48 6. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies  

Alcohols In addition to ethanol, it is possible to use algae to produce
other alcohols, such as methanol and butanol, using a
Algae, such as Chlorella vulgaris and Chlamydomonas
similar process technology, although the recovery of
perigranulata, are capable of producing ethanol and other
heavier alcohols may prove problematic and will need
alcohols through heterotrophic fermentation of starch
further R&D. The larger alcohols have energy densities
(Hon-Nami, 2006; Hirayama et al., 1998). This can be
closer to that of gasoline but are not typically produced
accomplished through the production and storage of
at the yields that are necessary for commercial viability.
starch via photosynthesis within the algae, or by feeding
sugar to the algae directly, and subsequent anaerobic
fermentation of these carbon sources to produce ethanol Alkanes
under dark conditions. If these alcohols can be extracted In addition to alcohols, alkanes may be produced directly
directly from the algal culture media, the process by heterotrophic metabolic pathways using algae. Rather
may be drastically less capital- and energy-intensive than growing algae in ponds or enclosed in plastic
than competitive algal biofuel processes. The process tubes that utilize sunlight and photosynthesis, algae can
would essentially eliminate the need to separate the be grown inside closed reactors without sunlight. The
biomass from water and extract and process the oils. algae are fed sugars, the cheap availability of which
is a key consideration for cost-effective production of
This process typically consists of closed photobioreactors biofuels; these sugars are themselves available from
utilizing sea-water with metabolically enhanced renewable feedstocks such as lignocellulosic biomass,
cyanobacteria that produce ethanol or other alcohols while in a pressure and heat-controlled environment. This
being resistant to high temperature, high salinity, and process can use different strains of algae to produce
high ethanol levels—previous barriers to commercial- different types of alkanes; some algae produce a mix of
scale volumes (Hirano et al., 1997). There have been hydrocarbons similar to light crude petroleum. These
reports of preliminary engineered systems, consisting of alkanes can theoretically be secreted and recovered
tubular photobioreactors (Hirano et al., 1997). One key directly without the need for dewatering and extraction,
aspect of the system is that a source of cheap carbon, such but more often are associated with the algae and thus must
as a power plant, is typically used to supply CO2 to the be recovered through dewatering and extraction. With
bioreactors to accelerate the algae growth. An example further processing, a wide variety of fuels can be made.
of this process technology links sugar production to The process of growing the algae heterotrophically may
algal photosynthesis. There are claims that this process present some advantages over typical photoautotrophic-
may consume more than 90% of the system’s CO2 based technologies. First, keeping the algae “in the dark”
through photosynthesis, wherein a portion of the carbon causes them to produce more alkanes than they do in the
in these sugars is converted into ethanol. The ethanol presence of sunlight. While their photosynthetic processes
is secreted into the culture media and is collected in are suppressed, other metabolic processes that convert
the headspace of the reactor, purified, and stored. sugar into alkanes can become active. Second, some have
shown the growth rate of the algae to be much higher
This technology is estimated to yield 4,000 - 6,000 gallons than traditional methods (Xu et al., 2006). This is possible
per acre per year, with potential increases up to 10,000 because instead of getting energy for growth from sunlight,
gallons per acre per year within the next 3 to 4 years the algae get concentrated energy from the sugars fed into
with significant R&D. It is theoretically estimated that the process. These higher cell concentrations reduce the
one ton of CO2 is converted into approximately 60 - 70 amount of infrastructure needed to grow the algae, and
gallons of ethanol with this technology. With such yields, enable more efficient dewatering if is actually required.
the price of captured CO2 becomes significant, and may
require a price less than or equal to $10 per ton to remain Using algae to convert cellulosic materials, such as
cost-competitive. Further breakthroughs that enable more switchgrass or wood chips, to oil may have an advantage
efficient production systems and the development of new over many other microorganisms under development
process technologies may be critical in terms of long-term for advanced biofuel production. When lignocellulosic
commercial viability. Scaling of these systems to large- biomass is pretreated to allow for enzymatic hydrolysis
scale commercial biorefineries will also require significant for production of sugars, many toxic byproducts are
advances in process engineering and systems engineering. released including acetate, furans, and lignin monomers.
Metabolic pathway engineering within these algae, enabled In most other processes, these toxic compounds can
by metabolic flux analysis and modern genomics tools, may add process costs by requiring additional conditioning
further help in producing a commercially viable organism.

6. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   49

and supercritical processing (Exhibit 6. 2007). to other biomass sources due to uncertainties in the Lipid content of a variety of macroalgal species is typically ability to dehydrate the feedstock.. The bio-oil has an advantage that it can enter directly The future of biological hydrogen production depends into the refinery stream and.2 Processing of Whole Algae units and has no fiber tissue to deal with. McDermid & Stuercke. at least some level of dewatering is still required. certain species are suitable for gasification (Ross et must be performed upstream for the process to work al. social acceptance. These include the restriction of photosynthetic conversion methods. with some hydrotreating and not only on research advances. the algae. competitive inhibition of photosynthetic hydrogen production by CO2. Also. Polysaccharides. Miao and Wu. improvement in hydrocracking. typical biomass throughout the country. or other biomass. although the scientific literature. These current time (Bridgwater.e. too low for conversion to biodiesel.e. anaerobic digestion. including direct biophotolysis. i. and significant dehydration crops. fast There are several challenges that remain before heating rates.500˚C for development of a robust hydrogen infrastructure less than 2 seconds.. where finely on economic considerations. 2008). For flash pyrolysis. represent the main macroalgae biochemical it would be to convert algae into a bio-oil compared feedstocks for conversion to liquid fuels (McHugh. place in their presence. such as mannitol. a electrons by oxygen in algal hydrogen production.. photo-fermentation. gasification. It is unclear exactly how much more difficult and fucoidin. it appears fast pyrolysis to create bio-oil. 2006. degradable alternative liquid called bio-oil can be produced. biological hydrogen production can be considered a viable 2006). biohydrogen) substance by heating. and competitive drainage of fuel cannot yet be produced directly by pyrolysis of algae. and the United States. 2004). no comprehensive less than 5% of total dry weight (McDermid & Stuercke. with hydrogen production by accumulation of a proton reaction times of the order of seconds to minutes. Several pilot plants for fast pyrolysis of biomass have been built in the In addition to the direct production of biofuels from past years in Germany. Pyrolysis has one major advantage over other technology. It does not involve reactions with technologies provide a wide range of approaches to oxygen or any other reagents but can frequently take generate hydrogen. laminarin. Brazil. Liquid product yield tends to favor short residence times.steps or the concentration of biomass hydrolysate There are four major categories of conversion in the conversion step. but algae. products. Although synthetic diesel photosynthetic activity. Hydrogen The production of hydrogen derived from algae has Pyrolysis received significant attention over several decades. It appears that pyrolysis will concentrations approaching 20% are reported in some not be cost-competitive over the short-term unless an species (Chu et al. produce a suitable feedstock for generating efficiency through genetically engineered algae and/or the standard diesel fuel. though from algae. This is one area where algae have a major advantage over other biomass sources because it exists fundamentally in small 6. and the added benefit of being fuels. algae: pyrolysis. 50 6. Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of a condensed Biological production of hydrogen (i. 2003. higher efficiency can be achieved development of advanced photobioreactors. but also by the so-called “flash pyrolysis” technology. and the ground feedstock is quickly heated to 350 . Macroalgae has specifically received some attention as a gasification feedstock and initial work shows that while A significant roadblock in using pyrolysis for algae some key differences exist as compared to terrestrial conversion is moisture content. 2004). 2003). efficiently. can result in a wide range of and dark-fermentation (see Chapter 2).1). requirement for Pyrolysis is being investigated for producing fuel from bicarbonate binding at photosystem II (PSII) for efficient biomass sources other than algae. the whole algae can be processed into fuels bio-oil from pyrolysis is not a commercial product at the instead of first extracting oils and post-processing. especially amenable to processing a diverse range of algae. feedstocks must be ground into fine particles. in that it is extremely fast. There are several reports on the pyrolysis of algae in the scientific literature (Demirbas.. and detailed side-by-side comparison was found in 2003).. and moderate temperatures (Huber et al. depending on the reaction parameters. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   . is a relatively new process (Bridgwater. The thermochemical treatment of indirect biophotolysis. 2003). gradient. Algae may prove to be more technologies that are capable of processing whole resistant to these compounds and sugar conversion. Even with the increased methods benefit from reduced costs associated with interest in converting biomass into liquid transportation the extraction process.

Additionally. Unfortunately. research is needed on the catalytic conversion possibility to integrate an algal feedstock into an existing of the resulting algal bio-oils. Exhibit 6. since pyrolysis is already a Gasification of the algal biomass may provide an extremely relatively mature process technology. The synthesis While algal bio-oil may be similar to bio-oil from of mixed alcohols using gasification of lignocellulose is other biomass sources. etc. bio-syngas is a versatile feedstock and it studied. making detailed molecular composition of the resulting bio-oils. it is expected flexible way to produce different liquid fuels.inexpensive dewatering or extraction process is also Gasification developed. First and foremost. address the issue of availability easily transported throughout the upgrading process. alcohol synthesis of the resulting syngas.. Another research paper comparatively straightforward. 2009. Balat. there are also significant gaps in the information available about the specifications for Conversion of bio-syngas has several advantages over other converting algal bio-oil and the resulting products. so the bio-oil may be more investment required. 2007. the process more flexible.. and impurities) are cleaned and upgraded to usable algal growth conditions (Miao and Wu. the gasification of algae to these biofuels would be (Zhang et al. algal bio-oils from different feedstocks need to be carefully Additionally. Yung et al. it is possible to create a wide optimal residence time and temperature to produce different variety of fuels with acceptable and known properties. liquid fuels through a water-gas shift and CO hydrogenation (Okabe et al. 2006). 6. 2007.. 2004). CO2. of algae can be tailored by carefully controlling the H2O. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   51 . The methods. FTS is also a relatively demonstrated that the bio-oil produced by pyrolysis mature technology where the syngas components (CO. and it of compounds and compositions depending on the is reasonable to expect that once water content is adjusted type of algae and upstream processing conditions for.. Another area of interest is the thermochemical infrastructure. Srinivas et al.Liquid or Hydrogen Gas Hydrogen Fuels EtOH. It may be possible to feed development of stabilizers for the viscosity of the bio-oil algae into a coal gasification plant to reduce the capital and acid neutralizing agents. 1994). H2. it may have a different range relatively mature (Phillips. Another advantage is the Additionally. primarily that only incremental improvements will occur and a through Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) or mixed breakthrough in conversion efficiency appears unlikely. Work also needs to be performed to understand the can be used to produce a number of products. 2009).1 Schematic of the potential conversion routes for whole algae into biofuels Algae Anaerobic Supercritical Pyrolysis Gasification Digestion Fluids SynGas Liquid or Fischer Higher Alcohol Vapor Fuel Tropsch Synthesis Catalytic Catalytic Upgrading Upgrading Transportation Liquid MeOH Biogas Fuels .

with the exception of any upstream process steps that may be Direct hydrothermal liquefaction in subcritical water a source of contaminants which will need to be removed (defined as water held in a liquid state above 100oC by prior to reaching the FT catalyst. In the same flow gasification at high temperatures (Hallgren et al. algae may have a unique advantage balance. Additionally. The first reactor was a low... but certain species of catalyzed by sodium carbonate (Sawayama et al.for dedicated biomass plants. 2008). However. Neste Oil. of microalgal biodiesel than using the supercritical carbon built by Choren Industries GmbH. Tars geological processes known to be involved in the formation have high molecular weight and can develop during of petroleum-based fossil fuels realized over greatly the gasification process. algae may not require pretreatment due to their inherent There have also been comparative studies that report the small size. France in 2006. Liquefaction of Dunaliella tertiolecta built in Finland in a joint venture of the Technical with a moisture content of 78. 2006). since determine the feasibility of using the oxygen generated FTS is an exothermic process.. • Entrained-flow gasification at high temperature defined as the ratio of heating values of bio-crude products and feedstock plus external heat input.. There are reports subsequent thermal tar cracker (Goudriaan et al. A solvent tar removal demonstration was (Minowa et al. usually requires pretreatment. These technologies harness the high synthesis catalyst and any other catalysts used in the activity of water in subcritical environments that is capable syngas cleanup process and must be removed.330 mPas and a calorific value of Tar formation can be minimized or avoided via entrained. it is necessary to determine the optimum conditions 52 6. considered a promising technological approach but due temperature gasifier that broke down the biomass into to limited information in hydrothermal liquefaction volatiles and solid char. there are still several areas that should be investigated and require R&D. (Raffelt et al. and there are a few reports that used algal biomass with catalytic cracking of the tar is currently being as a feedstock. Germany.. Liquefaction of algae is two successive reactors. and improve the process for indirect gasification of algae. temperature of 340˚C and holding time of 60 min had a viscosity of 150 . FTS tends to require applying pressure) is a technology that can be employed to production at a very large scale to make the process convert wet algal biomass to a range of liquid fuels (Patil et efficient overall. 2000) that claim the thermal efficiency. it is difficult to reach such braunii as a feedstock has also been reported. This technology is a representation of the natural with FTS is the cost of clean-up and tar reforming. A maximum oil yield of 64% using Botryococcus in this process. as high as 75%. Also. 1995). the most significant problem al. report it was concluded that liquefaction technique was 1993).4 wt% produced an oil Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   . Even though FTS is a mature technology. Another approach for tar-free syngas was liquefaction technique was more effective for extraction demonstrated in a pilot plant in Freiberg.. The a small size with other biomass sources and doing so algal biomass was processed by liquefaction at 300˚C. The main product of this liquefaction process is a “bio-crude” • Fluidized-bed gasification and catalytic reforming that typically accounts for 45% wt. of the feedstock on a • Fluidized-bed gasification and solvent tar removal dry ash free basis and has energy content that is comparable • Fluidized-bed gasification and to diesel and can be upgraded further. While this technology requires sub-millimeter a net energy producer from the overall process energy sized particles. ongoing syngas-to-ethanol research using cellulosic. more research in this area is needed through an entrained-flow gasifier where it was reacted before it can become a commercially viable option. It would be desirable to efficiency through economy of scale. The tars cause coking of the shortened time scales. with oxygen at high temperature. The oil obtained at a reaction installed in a plant in Moissannes. 2005).. The tar-rich gas was then passed of algae to date. First. 36 kJ g−1. it would be useful to leverage dewatering process with a regenerative heat exchanger.. The key roadblocks to using FTS for algae are thought Liquefaction to be similar to those for coal (Yang et al. Prior work in direct liquefaction of biomass was very A demonstration plant for gasification of wood chips active. and yield of about 37% (organic basis) at 300˚C and 10 MPa Stora Enso. 1995). Typically. The pilot plant used dioxide (Aresta et al. comparable to those of fuel oil. 2005). it should be possible to use by algae for use in the gasifier to reduce or eliminate the some of the heat for drying the algae during a harvesting/ need for a tar reformer. The four of decomposing the algal biomass into smaller molecules basic mechanisms to deal with tar-related problems are: of higher energy density or more valuable chemicals.

. 2007). In the case of combined extraction and transesterification of algae.. 2009).e. 1987). in place. which supercritical process to produce biodiesel from vegetable 6. in terms of yield. fundamental and exhaustive understanding of the different at least in the case of vegetable oil processing.Supercritical Processing oils in one step using alcohols (Anitescu et al. the overall algal biorefinery in the extraction of other components within algae (Mendes. supercritical tolerate the complex compositions that are found with fluids can be used on whole algae without dewatering. There is to the transesterification of the algal oil extracts. and this be mitigated through the addition of a transesterification technique has been demonstrated to be extremely powerful conversion process. and efficiency. e. is to demonstrate are selective. cost. While the occurrence of A recent study indicated that biogas production levels water in the reaction medium appears as a factor in process of 180. transesterification. further study will also 6. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   53 . The production of biogas from the anaerobic digestion 2008). unprocessed algae and that there is no negative thereby increasing the efficiency of the process.. 2006). Although it has been only demonstrated for the of macroalgae. 2009). 2009). $0. 2008). Additionally. conversion of vegetable oils.. and fuel conversion. and as such may be a process is capable of tolerating water. key obstacles that are responsible for the current high 2004). it may be very effective oils (Hawash et al. In for example. This supercritical transesterification approach can also be applied for algal oil extracts. either whole or its residues in the extract or spent biomass (Demirbas. with a conversion cost-effective methodology. The supercritical extraction process can be coupled with a transesterification reaction scheme to enable a “one Anaerobic Digestion of Whole Algae pot” approach to biofuel production (Anitescu et al. an obvious and critical link between the type of extraction process used and the product composition. a consequence of temperature and pressure conditions where algae are grown under uncontrolled conditions used in this study..26/ and converting oils into biofuels (Demirbas. $0.g. Several studies have been yield similar to that of the anhydrous process in the carried out that demonstrate the potential of this approach. the typical mode of biofuel production from algae.4 ml/g-d of biogas can be realized using a two- efficiency. could become cost-competitive with fossil fuels. impact due to the presence of other small metabolites. the decomposition of fatty acids is the main stage anaerobic digestion process with different strains factor that limited the attainable ester content (Vieitez et of algae. If this approach can be modified observed for supercritical methanol processing of vegetable for the use of microalgae. supercritical methanol in the United States (Hanssen et al. in particular. is an interesting mode of gaseous oils. a The economics of supercritical transesterification process. Additionally. with a methane concentration of 65% (Vergara- al. level that can be scaled to commercial production. raw. It also remains to be seen whether the processing of whole algae in this The conversion of extracts derived from algal sources is fashion is superior. The most common type of algal extracts under One economic analysis has been conducted based on a consideration are lipid-based. Similar results have been Fernández et al. thus providing high purity and product that these supercritical process technologies can be concentrations. it is envisioned as being applicable for the processing biofuel production. It is.51/gal). and as such. there are no organic solvent applied in the processing of algae.3 Conversion of Algal Extracts be needed to avoid saponification. with similar yields and efficiencies at a Extraction is efficient at modest operating temperatures. however. triacylglycerides. Supercritical fluids The clear immediate priority.. and one that receives scant attention of algae. effect of milder process conditions. In the case of catalyst-free supercritical ethanol costs associated with algal biofuels. In this process variant. 2008. it has been demonstrated that this extraction. have been types of inputs to the conversion technologies must be shown to be very favorable for large-scale deployment. gal vs. oil extract... such as Laminaria hyperbore and simultaneous extraction and transesterification of vegetable Laminaria saccharina. further work should be focused on the using strains not optimized for lipid production. 2008). lower reaction temperatures. It was found that the processing cost of the proposed Supercritical processing is a recent addition to the portfolio supercritical technology could be near half of that of the of techniques capable of simultaneously extracting actual conventional transesterification methods (i. it must be demonstrated that this process can product stability and quality. Because decomposition was for situations like integrated wastewater treatment. theoretically possible Supercritical fluid extraction of algal oil is far more efficient that if the other upstream algal processing costs could than traditional solvent separation methods. including drying. ensuring maximum particular. Vieitez et al. at less than 50˚C. therefore. The use of or ethanol is employed as both the oil extraction medium this conversion technology eliminates several of the and the catalyst for transesterification (Warabi et al..

Diesel. Transesterification (Alsalme et al. The apparent higher activity of certain standard” in the conversion of vegetable oils into biodiesel HPAs with respect to polyoxometallates of higher (Hossain et al. As a or H3PO4 is also considered an attractive alternative as result. Though acid catalysts have these advantages. and therefore.. This section discusses water and free acids. 2008).. they are not currently preferred due to their lower activity than the conventional transesterification Chemical Transesterification alkaline catalysts. 2008). 2009). acid methyl esters). In addition to the classic base. heteropolyacids (HPA). When the transesterification reaction reactions (Wahlen et al. (Exhibit 6. 2008. therefore. Xu mature and has been demonstrated to be the “gold et al. Olefin Diesel Diesel Aromatics 54 6. HCl is accelerated and requires shorter reaction times. An alternative from the ether by a vaporizer under a high vacuum. the reaction soluble bases by liquid acid catalysts such as H2SO4..2).. and catalytic processes that can and emulsification. Higher temperatures and longer reaction The transesterification reaction is employed to convert times are. there are other solution and mixing well.. The products of these reactions are typically separated by adding ether and salt water to the In addition to alternative catalysts. Biodiesel is then separated processing variants that appear promising. strength resulted in lower pretreatment temperatures. have been shown to lower the displacement of an alcohol group from an ester by required temperatures and decrease the reaction times another alcohol (Demirbas. Kerosene. 2007). Cao et al. biochemical. heating system that can be used to enhance the kinetics of transesterification involves the use of microwaves (Refaat Another route is found in acid-catalyzed transesterification & El Sheltawy. 2008). it has been shown that One recommended research focus would be to further transesterification of algal oil can be achieved with ethanol develop these homogeneous catalysts to tolerate the and sodium ethanolate serving as the catalyst (Zhou & contaminants expected to be present in algal extracts. (Ataya et al. In triacylglycerols extracted from algae to FAMEs (fatty order to compensate for this. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   . 2006).can be converted into biodiesel. enhancing the product recovery be employed to convert algal extracts. 2008). This technology is relatively mineral acids due to their higher acid strength (L. Boocock. a drastic reduction in the quantity of co-products the acidic catalysts are less sensitive to the presence of and a short separation time are obtained (Lertsathapornsuk Exhibit 6. which is simply a process of such as H3PW12O40/Nb2O5. catalyzed methanol approach. 2008). generally required as a result. it was can be performed via catalytic or non-catalytic reaction shown that HPA-catalyzed transesterification of vegetable systems using different heating systems that are required oil achieves higher reaction rates than conventional to initiate the reaction. mitigate saponification chemical.2 Schematic of the various conversion strategies of algal extracts into biofuels Algal Oil Extracts Chemical Enzymatic Catalytic Transesterfication Conversion Cracking Liquid or Biodiesel Vapor Fuel (ME) Catalytic Catalytic Upgrading Upgrading Gasoline. The replacement of is carried out in the presence of microwaves. Recently..

and (d) the operational stability of the catalyst is the mixing and heating required to carry out the high. It is capable of producing these reactions in a variety of estimated that industrial-scale ultrasonic devices can allow environments and on different types of oil feedstocks for the processing of several thousand barrels per day. 2008).. There have been of the two types of sites in the overall reaction in terms some recent reports of using a solvent engineering of efficiency and cost. This cavitation provides simultaneously reuse. 2005).. Bioprospecting for will require further innovation to reach production levels the enzymes in extreme environments may produce sufficient for massive and scalable biofuel production. 2007). Liao et al. 2008). Acid and basic catalysts and the enzymes used in the downstream conversion could be classified as Brönsted or Lewis catalysts. The presence of development of immobilized heterogeneous and/ solvents is sometimes necessary to enhance the solubility or homogeneous catalysts that are very efficient and of the triacylglycerols during the extraction process. These preliminary results indicate that that a co-solvent mixture may be critical in defining microwave processing may be cost-competitive with the the optimal reaction medium for the lipases. Hence the process of transesterification can run inline rather than using the To that end.. and optimization of enzymes that are catalyzed transesterification (Stavarache et al. converting triacylglycerols into fatty acid methyl esters. to their corresponding esters but have drawbacks such as being energy-intensive. as with other approaches. optimizing specific enzyme activity to (lipases) in transesterification of triacylglycerols for function using heterogeneous feedstocks. catalyzing nucleic acid hydrolysis. ultrasonic waves cause (b) high reaction rates and conversion can be obtained. 1998).. defining biodiesel production addresses these problems and necessary enzyme reactions (cell wall deconstruction offers an environmentally more attractive option to the and autolysin). both types of sites could be solvents to varying degrees to enable cost-effective present and it is not easy to evaluate the relative importance biofuel production (Fang et al. increasingly attractive. converting carbohydrates into conventional processes (Svensson and Adlercreutz. 2007). 2008. process must be able to function in the presence of these However. engineering. in many cases. and energy input (Kalva et al. have been proven as a viable means of triacylglycerols for biodiesel production (Su and Wei.. novel enzymes with desired characteristics that are more suitable for industrial applications (Guncheva et al.. 2008). One potential solution to this is the enable efficient biocatalytic processing. and 2008). Enzyme immobilization may also play Biochemical (Enzymatic) Conversion a key role in developing an economic method of Chemical processes give high conversion of triacylglycerols biocatalytic transesterification (Yamane et al.. Use of biocatalysts cell walls.. 2003). much R&D is needed in the discovery. In particular. but (Lopez-Hernandez et al. This work more mature conversion processes currently available. these catalysts still require purification One critical area that needs to be addressed is the solvent and removal from the product stream. at a commercial scale and at competitive prices. sugars. 2006).. one of the most transesterification process (Armenta et al. Lewis acid catalysts. inexpensive (McNeff et al. In the ultrasonic reactor method. Although very effective and relatively economical. Although enzymatic approaches have become converting lipids into a suitable diesel surrogate. reaction temperatures. Thus significant roadblocks to demonstrating the validity of using an ultrasonic reactor for biodiesel production this approach lies in the conversion of algal oil extracts drastically reduces the reaction time. indicates that the use of this co-solvent mixture in the In addition. which increases and temperature tolerance of the enzymes in order to the overall costs.. they have not been demonstrated at large scale mainly due to the relatively high price of lipase and its short operational life caused by the negative Catalytic Cracking effects of excessive methanol and co-product al. 2008). such as method to enhance the lipase-catalyzed methanolysis of AlCl3 or ZnCl2.. difficulty in removing the glycerol. production. Other important issues that need further exploration and require removal of alkaline catalyst from the product are developing enzymes that can lyse the algal and treatment of alkaline wastewater. Again. 2008). (a) both the negative effects caused by excessive methanol and co-product glycerol can be eliminated completely. the reaction mixture to produce and collapse bubbles (c) no catalyst regeneration steps are needed for lipase constantly. time-consuming batch process used in traditional base. The transesterification catalysts presented above are These factors must be addressed before a commercially very strong and relatively mature in the field of biofuel viable biochemical conversion process can be realized. it has been noted 6. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   55 . catalysts may be used to enhance the enzymatic biodiesel production has several advantages: impact of microwave irradiation (Yuan et al.

. and now it is apparent that it is beginning to These catalysts are Lewis acids. It is worth noting that the Double-metal cyanide Fe-Zn proved to be promising petroleum industry began by developing a replacement catalysts resulting in active transesterification of oil. Fatty acids are well suited to conversion to diesel and jet fuel with few processing steps. maximizing the final energy content. reducing the concentration the same performance specifications as the petroleum- of free fatty acids in non-refined oil or in used oil.. a great deal of resources developing additional inputs producing the same yields with lower residence times. such as tehtrahydrofuran. Other based analog. were employed in vegetable oil performance specifications than by the sum of specific transesterification. separation In another example. catalytic hydrocracking and hydrotreating. The catalysts are active feedstock. and x is an and process steps. The catalysts obtained are stable and molecules. A typical diesel must meet a multitude of performance specifications FAME yield of 91% and glycerol yield of 91% were that include volatility. In this way. be completed before these catalysts are fully understood. 2009). Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   . On the other hand. obtained in a fixed-bed reactor at 200˚C and 35 bar. can play a vital role in achieving high conversion Gasoline. they can be used even with oils containing significant Gasoline. hydrophobic (at reaction return to biological feedstocks to keep the pipelines full. the process development but must resist poisoning and the feedstock is considered fungible with petroleum and leaching of active components.The presence of a co-solvent. and insoluble. the process pressure is high perspective. in an assortment of end products. flash point. Vanadate metal compounds or cetane number). Conversion to Renewable Diesel. such as biomass or plant oil. gasoline. straight chain alkanes are poor starting materials for gasoline because they provide low octane numbers.60 bar). the ideal conversion process would make use (40 . active catalysts during transesterification. Moreover. such as oil shale and tar sands. demanding additional isomerization steps or high octane blendstocks. From a refinery’s At these temperatures. All of the processes that take place in a modern petroleum refinery can be divided into two categories. The fuel products are a which A represents a hydrogen atom or an alkaline metal mixture of components that vary based on input stream atom. A major characteristic of petroleum-derived catalyst examples include MgO. heterogeneous catalyst that has comparable activity Conversion of biological feedstocks to renewable fuels. and diesel are generally described as amounts of free fatty acids and water. Typical biological molecules One of the most difficult challenges is finding an ideal have very high oxygen contents as compared to crude oil. jet fuel. and Jet Fuel efficiencies of up to 98% (Soriano et al. the with TiVO4 being the most active (Cozzolino et al. fuels is high energy content which is a function of a near-zero oxygen content. One particular concern is the stability and longevity of Various refiners and catalyst developers have already the catalysts in a representative reaction environment. but have essentially in the esterification reaction. catalysts derived from the titanium and modification of the components in crude oil to yield compound possessing the general formula ATixMO. using autoignition characteristics (as measured by octane number HTiNbO3 as the catalyst. presented above seem to be good candidates for industrial and catalytic structural isomerization. This catalyst is also more active than HTiNbO3. and they are better defined by their integer not greater than 7. initial and final boiling point. for whale oil. Although are stable. in comparison to the homogenous catalyst at lower therefore. jet fuel. oil industry has begun to cast a wider net and has spent 2006). and give high glycerol yield with high activities. M a niobium atom or a tantalum atom. begun to explore the conversion of vegetable oils and waste animal fats into renewable fuels. probably due to the “renewable” or “green” if it is derived from a biological hydrophobicity of their surface. There remain significant can be used for the production of typical fuels without fundamental studies and unanswered questions that must disruptive changes in processes or infrastructure. Many of the catalysts cracking. 56 6. As noted in chapter 8. CaO. is largely a process of eliminating oxygen and temperatures than the ones currently used (~220 . which translates to very costly plant design of those operations already in place: thermal or catalytic and construction requirements. This process has already provided the renewable jet fuel blends (derived from oils obtained from jatropha and algae) used in recent commercial jet test flights.240°C). the predominant feedstock for the industry is crude oil. and cloud point. temperatures of about 170˚C). and Al2O3.

conversion of algal feedstock into fuel. a chemical reductive process). Crude algal oil may contain high levels of phosphorous the nitrogen can be recovered in the form of ammonia from phospholipids. as well as the amount of are amenable to anaerobic digestion. Referred to as hydrotreating. In particular. Refinery catalysts have also been developed to the algae has been harvested.g. the attack on the oxygen-bearing carbon atoms will minimize organic fractions of the algae remaining after oil extraction the amount of CO and CO2 lost. There will also likely be a high metals (especially magnesium) from chlorophyll. little if any pretreatment function within a certain range of chemical components is required. 6.Algal lipids can be processed by hydrothermal treatment 6. contaminants to arrive at the most cost-effective process. Catalysts in any recoverable polysaccharides into biofuels. It will amount of polysaccharides and other oligosaccharides be necessary to optimize both the level of purification of present in the algal remnants that are well suited for algal lipid as well as the tolerance of the catalyst for the traditional fermentation into ethanol and other biofuels.. nitrogen from extracted proteins. The biogas product typically contains 60% found within the petroleum stream (e. and for recycle to the culture. carbon dioxide. 1979). contains soluble nitrogen from the original algal proteins. Algal Biofuel Conversion Technologies   57 . as well as the fermentation of renewable fuels is catalyst development. Glycerin can be converted to propane input is the conversion of algal remnants after which can be used for liquefied petroleum gas. The liquid effluent and nitrogen heteroatoms) without becoming poisoned. current use have been optimized for existing petroleum feedstocks and have the appropriate specificity and activity Anaerobic digestion can be effectively used as a means to carry out the expected reactions in a cost-effective of producing biogas from algae and algal remnants after manner. metals. It will be desirable to tune catalysts such that the extraction (Ashare and Wilson. In addition.4 Processing of Algal (basically. once H2 used. and sulfur methane and 40% CO2 by volume. or One other critical aspect in developing a conversion carbon monoxide. and reduce double bonds to yield technology that derives benefit from every potential hydrocarbons. this process will convert the carboxylic Remnants after Extraction acid moiety to a mixture of water. This includes the anaerobic digestion of algal remnants The primary barrier to utilizing algae oils to make to produce biogas.

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Vorlop. Exhibit 7.30 . aromatic essences. and stable isotopes for research purposes. high-value and high-volume chemicals from biomass raw material must be considered as a means to amino acids. as a “high value” product biorefinery the possibility of coupling biomass cultivation to a fine chemical producer might be well over several with CO2 mitigation (for carbon credits) and wastewater dollars/lb. and they may vary from region to in Exhibit 7. the concept of Under the biorefinery concept (Exhibit 7. Indeed. Co-products   61 . For the purposes of the Roadmap. CO2 Products and Complex Fats residues from Substances conversion Special substances: processes pigments. this chapter will focus on co-products must be correspondingly low since their the non-fuel co-products.7. 2007 7. pharmaceuticals. to be developed to handle the large amount of waste that biodegradable polymers. and energy from photosynthesis. poly-unsaturated fatty acids. cosmetics. and efficiencies and reduced environmental impacts may have a variety of specialty products such as bioflocculants. The nature of the end products and of the technologies A large number of different commercial products have been to be employed will be determined. Co-products The “guiding truth” is that if biofuel production is conversion of algal biomass to other biofuels has already considered to be the primary goal. The use of terms such as “high volume” or “high value” This chapter will also address within the context of the can be extremely subjective. 2004). the production a biorefinery for utilization of every component of the of industrial.1 An overview of the biorefinery concept Biorefinery Aquaculture Primary Refinery Industry Conversion Carbohydrates Raw biomass.1). enzymatic or microbial conversion (see Chapter 6). anti-oxidants. Moreover. and nitrogen-containing components enhance the economics of the process.1 Commercial Products from can be converted into different products. As summarized economics of the system. $0. without invoking competing co. fertilizers and soil conditioners. generation will inevitably compete for carbon. electricity Energy Modified from Kamm and Kamm. fats (oils).500 x106 lbs/yr. a reasonably benefits to the technology. corresponding markets in the long term.$1. these include products for human and animal region according to the cost of the raw material (Willke and nutrition. The topic of polysaccharides.00/lb. dyes. Inorganics Proteins enzymes. Using appropriate technologies. novel technologies with increased coloring substances. primarily by the derived from microalgae and cyanobacteria. wastewater. and can be produced at a volume of roughly 100 . reductant. hormones. proteins and a variety of inorganic and complex organic molecules – 7. valued chemical is defined as one that will cost roughly products. but considerably under a dollar for a commodity treatment (for nutrient removal) to provide additional producer. glycerol. etc. either through Microalgae and Cyanobacteria chemical. flavors. 2007) address these options and discuss how some of them and must be considered in determining the economics of are better opportunities as they will not readily saturate the process.2. Heat. all primary components of algal biomass – carbohydrates. is predicted to be generated by the process. the generation of other been discussed (see Chapter 6). This chapter will of algal biomass becomes feasible (Mooibroek et al..

al. Phaeodactylum.) and scales (sizes and numbers biomass up to a level of 5 . 1999). ca. microalgal (of biomass. is expected to grow in the future. crustaceans (shrimp). GLA from evening primrose oil). 2006). The Dunaliella. and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). and ca. e. Chlorella. In poultry rations. The main species used in products. US$. The market for microalgal animal feeds. the biofuels markets will involve volumes even dogs and cats. better immune to the consumer. Nitzschia. and far on a commercial scale by microalgae. increasing fuel supplies without drastically increasing price. 2. cadmium and derived biofuels. appearance.000 t/yr Chlorella.) as market for microalgal biomass for animal nutrition and a feed additive for cows. sold for the health food market. 2006). thereby are known to be effective at metal absorption.10% (wt. Anti-Oxidants The market. the resulting non-oil algal improve the economic viability of some algae processes biomass is very likely to be unsuitable for use as an in the short-term. Although small. ca. have also been produced by microalgae (Borowtizka. gas from coal-fired power plants that will be used co-products of higher value in the marketplace must be to supply carbon dioxide to the cultures will contain pursued in order to offset the costs of production of algal. Spolaore et (e. and EPA by microalgal biomass as a human health food supplement Nannochloropsis. The market size... pigs. the DHA oil market is quickly growing. Tetraselmis. 1990. Isochrysis.g. 280 million US$.. 1994 and 1996).000 t/yr Spirulina. et al. 500 t/yr Aphanizomenon. This situation. is quickly growing. Chlorella. horses. and Thalassiosira. γ-linolenic acid (GLA). Most as an extract or as a whole cell powder ranging in price frequently used species are Chaetoceros. Dunalliella. having presently a retail value of 1. which may be added to human food and production at volumes and pricepoints that meet consumer animal feed for their health promoting properties demands or 2) new co-products that are low cost and have (Benemann. significant amounts of lead. The most prominent aquaculture of mollusks. AA has been shown to be Food and Feed synthesized by Porphyridium. arsenic..By definition. ca. fertility. docohexaenoic acid (DHA). 2006). Malcolm et al. Phaeodactylum and Nitzschia (Spolaore is currently restricted to only a few species. However. Yet the existing fossil fuels market is and the aquaculture feeds. Scenedesmus. 2004. product. etc. only DHA has been produced thus Spirulina (Arthospira). However. Both the production plants and distribution channels) are for high. 62 7. 1986.5 billion US$. Chlorella and Scenesdesmus. 1.e. and is β–carotene from Dunaliella salina. • Aquaculture: Microalgae are also used as feed in the Benemann. 1996). protein content and the level of unsaturated fatty value products or co-products from algae. estimated Therein lies a major conundrum associated with the to be about 300 million US$. the goal of the industry is to produce animal feed.. 600 t/yr Nostoc. these existing markets (and associated Spirulina. 2006). etc. which is sold either fish (Benemann.. 1990.5 billion A number of anti-oxidants. All other PUFAs to a lesser extent. The production includes ca. it is important to note that since the flue massive lipid production dominates. GLA by Arthrospira. not commodity acids determine the nutritional value of microalgal products. Co-products   . animal feed are Spirulina. is expected to expand significantly. weight gain. currently at about 2. Nostoc and Aphanizomenon are more cost-effectively produced from non-algal sources (Radmer.000 US$ per kg (Spolaore et al. Nannochloropsis. market size for β–carotene is estimated to be greater than Pavlova. supplant the fossil fuels market) must be commodities • Animal Feed Additive: Microalgal biomass has also based to meet required volumes at price points acceptable been used with good results (i. 1996. yet in the short term.. poultry. Pulz and Gross. Radmer. from 300 to 3. and soil fertilizer. is anticipated to continue until 1) a sufficient Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) number of the challenges outlined earlier in the Roadmap for biofuel production have been overcome and associated Microalgae can also be cultured for their high content life cycle costs are reduced to realize sustainable biofuel in PUFAs. commonly considered PUFAs are arachidonic acid (AA). The most very large potential markets are developed.. DHA by Crypthecodinium • Human Health Food Supplement: The consumption of and Schizochytrium.) can be safely of commercial plants) that are significantly less than those used as a partial replacement for conventional proteins associated with the existing high-value algae-derived (Spoalore et al. particularly given the fact that algae transportation fuels below their market price. Although it is clear that co-products may other toxic elements. Radmer.g. 3. nascent algal-derived biofuels market: in the long term.200 t/yr Dunaliella. With the possible exception of the existing response. 1990. Skeletonema. currently at ~700 future algal-based biofuels market (designed in part to million US$.

. 2006). Pulz&Gross (2004) No available information 5.. no current commercial market Spolaore et al. 2003. Spolarore et al.. has been successfully used as a salmon feed to cosmetics. Phycobiliproteins.. produced by in animal feed (Borowitzka. cosmetics. no current commercial market Spolaore et al. the cyanobacterium Arthrospira and the rhodophyte Astaxanthin. (2006) PUFA Extracts No available information 10 Pulz&Gross (2004) GLA Potential product... 1990).000 2. are used as food dyes. or as pigments i.e.500 Spolaore et al. (Olaizola. pigments in pluvialis.200 >280 Spolaore et al. Co-products   63 . Spolaore et al. 2004.. dyes for food. a carotenoid produced by Hematococcus Porphyridium..Coloring Agents the related carotenoids lutein and zeaxantin. 1986. growth promoters..000 700 Spolaore et al. phycoerythrin and phycocyanin. (2006) Phycocyanin No available information >10 Pulz&Gross (2004) Phycoerythrin No available information >2 Pulz&Gross (2004) FERTILIZERS/SOIL CONDITIONERS Fertilizers. and as fluorescent reagents in clinical or research give the fish meat a pink color preferred by the consumers laboratories (Spolaore et al. (2006) Tocopherol CO2 Extract No available information 100-150 Pulz&Gross (2004) COLORING SUBSTANCES Pulz&Gross (2004) Astaxanthin < 300 (biomass) < 150 Spolaore et al.2 Summary of microalgae commercial products market MARKET SIZE SALES VOLUME COMMERCIAL PRODUCT REFERENCE (TONS/YR) (MILLION $US/YR) BIOMASS Health Food 7. (2006) ANTI-OXIDANTS Pulz&Gross (2004) Beta-Carotene 1. Benemann. have also been used in the feed of carp and even chicken (Puls and Microalgae-produced coloring agents are used as natural Gross..500 Pulz&Gross (2004) Pulz&Gross (2004) Aquaculture 1. and Exhibit 7. and research. (2006) EPA Potential product. 2006). Astaxanthin.000 soil conditioners Metting&Pyne (1986) 7. 2006). (2006) Animal Feed Additive No available information 300 Pulz&Gross (2004) POLY-UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS (PUFAs) ARA No available information 20 Pulz&Gross (2004) Pulz&Gross (2004) DHA <300 1.

2 Commercial Products factor. material it replaces and to be competitive typically. Singh et al. Price becomes less of an issue if algae and agar and carrageenen from red algae.Fertilizers which occurs in high concentrations in brown seaweeds. plant growth regulators could be 7. Exhibit 7. 2003) PRODUCT VALUE Human Food (Nori. the product can be labeled “organic” and thus saleable at a premium. Furthermore..3 Potential Options for the derived from microalgae (Metting and Pyne. fuel. must be produced at a cost 30% lower than the existing 1986. Microalgal biomass could in principle serve the same purpose.. 2004). biopolymers and biodegradable plastics (Philip et al. 1994. 2006). 1986). Pulz and Gross. but the source of the material can often provide from Macroalgae some advantage. 1990. but has been achieved for some chemicals and proteins/ 2004). 1986). 2001). The production bioactive compounds (Burja et al.3).. fuel or other product.. is considered recalcitrant to ethanol fermentation since Currently.. polysaccharides (Benemann. 1987). pharmaceutical. Identical in functional performance to an existing chemical. pet food. mineral composition of depleted soils (Metting et al. The market for these specialty products is likely to nutritional products. Borowitzka. pharmaceuticals and In this instance. 2005. food additive. wakame. They include alginate from brown ethanol processing. Identical to an existing chemical. Radmer. Pulz and Gross. pharmaceutical. cost of the new product must be equivalent to the 1986. kombu. 2001. aonori..e. toothpaste) $240 million Other uses of seaweeds Fertilizers and conditioners $5 million Animal Feed $5 million Macroalgal Biofuels Negligible TOTAL $5. Wu et al. or with replacements such as algal polysaccharides that are extracted for their commercial proteins for distillers dried grains from corn dry grind value (Exhibit 7. biological/microbiological) $132 million Alginate (Textile printing. 2.5-6 BILLION 64 7. Pulz and Gross. it 2004). be very small due to their specialized applications. This sets a high bar research (Benemann. Recovery of Co-products Other Specialty Products Co-products from algal refineries should address one There are a number of specialty products and chemicals of these three criteria to be commercially viable and that can be obtained from microalgae.3 Global value of seaweed products per annum (McHugh.) $5 billion Algal hydrocolloids Agar (Food ingredient. seaweeds) are used as a plant the redox balance favors formation of pyruvate as the end fertilizer and to improve the water-binding capacity and product (Forro. This occurs with natural oils which manufacturers in many cases would prefer if the costs Macroalgae possess high levels of structural were comparable. 2003.. Here price is a major 7. Alginate. 1. medical) $213 million Carrageenen (Food additive. Metting and Pyne. the only issue is price. cosmetics (Spolaore et al. etc. 1990). or other product. Olaizola. macroalgae (i. These include acceptable: bioflocculants (Borowitzka. 2007. 1990. and stable isotopes for material (shutdown economics). Co-products   .

2009). which is significant in terms of reducing the overall cost of liquid biofuels production. as is currently already done for • Option 5 – Recovery/extraction of fuel certain waste water treatment sludges (see http://www. Nevertheless. Recycle Nitrogen Gases Exhibit 7. However. it may be difficult to identify large performance characteristics. with use of the residual biomass edu/p2/biodiesel/pdf/algae_salton_sea.3 l per gram volatile solids (Huesemann • Option 2 – Recovery of protein from the lipid. non-extracted) micro and macroalgal biomass use of residuals as soil amendments has been successfully demonstrated. thermochemical research needs are discussed below. which could then be either sold on the new product. with reported methane yields of about 0.4 Overview of the five Algal Biomass potential options for the recovery and use of co-products Option 1 Extract Lipids Energy for Fuel Burn Residue Ash/ Soil Amendments Option 5 Soil Fertilizer/ Conditioners Dry Residue Processing Proteins as Option 2 Co-Products Food/ Feed Supplement Processing Option 3 Non-Fuel Surfactants/ Bioplastics Lipids Chemical/ Biological Conversion Option 4 Carbohydrates Ethanol/ Butanol/ Glycerol Chemical/ Biological Conversion 7. with Potential Use of a much larger fraction of biomass into fuels. Anaerobic digestion of the lipid extracted biomass. with potential whole (i. New material with unique and useful functional production systems. gasification. and combustion. 2009). The residuals • Option 4 – Recovery and utilization of carbohydrates remaining after anaerobic digestion could either be recycled from lipid-extracted biomass. the issues enough markets for potential co-products. These technologies are able to convert Lipid-Extracted Biomass.3. The economic value of the produced extracted biomass for use in food and feed methane is equivalent to about $100 per ton of digested • Option 3 – Recovery and utilization of non-fuel lipids biomass. Co-products   65 .4). as soil fertilizer and conditioner Each option and its associated technologies and future In addition to anaerobic digestion. In this case.pdf).e. and the glycerol as nutrients for algal cultivation or could be sold as soil from the transesterification of lipids to biodiesel fertilizers and conditioners. could also be potentially considered for the recovery of energy from the lipid-extracted biomass Option 1. and Benemann. the open market or used on-site in the various biorefinery operations.. both (Exhibit 7. lipids only. Residuals as Soil Amendments these technologies are still in the testing and development Given the large amounts of lipid-extracted biomass residues stage. could have poor or even negative energy balances (Huesemann and Benemann. Maximum Energy Recovery from the (see Chapter 6). such as pyrolysis. and because of their large energy inputs (temperature that will likely be generated in future microalgal biofuels and pressure). Therefore. conversion technologies. one are less related to costs and more to the functional option would be to convert as much of the lipid-extracted performance and potentially enhanced performance of biomass into energy.unh. There are at least five different options for recovering economic value from the lipid-extracted microalgal biomass The most promising energy recovery technology. is the anaerobic • Option 1 – Maximum energy recovery from digestion of lipid-extracted biomass. These are: from a practical and economic perspective.

current levels. generate electricity directly in biofuel cells (Yildiz and 66 7. however. to separate specific Biomass for Use in Food and Feed lipids present in the algal oil that have utility as chemical Following the extraction of lipids from the microalgal feedstocks for the manufacture of surfactants. Furthermore. 2008). Lactic and byproduct prices will be greatly depressed versus acid. 2009. specifically cellulases for microalgal lipids to biodiesel. biomass for liquid biofuel production. However. a food and feed supplement. it may be possible to recover important industrial production of green solvents. and lactic) (Huesemann and Benemann. glycerol could be used to potentially very large. the protein fraction and specialty products such as urethanes. and butanol).usda. the projected market for cellulases is 2007. the residual microalgal (http://www. etc. a byproduct of the transesterification of market for industrial enzymes. and the Glycerol from the to approximately 60 million tons per year for distillers dry Transesterification of Lipids to Biodiesel grains plus soluble (DDGS)) (Berger and Good. aliphatic polyesters. jet fuel. propionic... Kamm and Kamm. due to issues such as taste of the meat or eggs. Recovery and Utilization of Non-fuel Lipids has the potential advantage that the resulting nitrogen- It is well known that microalgae can synthesize a variety containing gases (e. ethanol. 1 billion kg. also benefit from supplementation with microalgal proteins. from the residual biomass could be extracted and used as lubricants. The Glycerol. adhesives. human nutrition may organic acids (formic. byproduct markets are likely to be overwhelmed. this option (Datta et al. thereby depending on the algal species and culturing conditions reducing the expense for nitrogen fertilizers. (Hu et al. Furthermore. bioplastics. Kawaguchi et al. butanol is a valuable C4 compound of feed. butyric. green solvents and a result. Recovery of Protein from the Lipid-Extracted It may be worthwhile. is the starting material for the production of polyester. Since biomass may contain sufficient levels of carbohydrates that protein is generally the key and often limiting ingredient could be converted through anaerobic dark fermentations in animal feed. succinic. 2006). Furthermore. 2007).e. the market for animal feed (cattle. (b) approximately 100 grams which is used in the formulation of a variety of industrial of cellulase are needed per gallon of ethanol. than $0. Furthermore. As was pointed out above. fish. might ethanol could be used as biofuel. and Option 4.. biodegradable plastics (Kamm and Kamm.the thermochemical conversion of lipid-extracted biomass Option 3. Finally. for chemical synthesis of a variety of products. feeding studies acids could serve as renewable feedstocks for the chemicals indicate that algae cannot be used as a high percentage industry. is potentially very large. could also be anaerobically pretreating lignocellulosic feedstocks prior to fermentation fermented to the above mentioned and other end products to fuel ethanol. while butanol and organic make a useful animal feed. relative derived ethylene and propylene. including and interactions with animal digestion. Recovery and Utilization of Carbohydrates pets) is already very large and growing (estimated to rise from Lipid-Extracted and could be advantageous. Since the generation of gasoline. be recycled into the microalgal culture ponds. and as a renewable substitute (Zerlov et al. For example. glycerol microalgal cellulases could be provided at a cost of less could be converted by certain bacteria to 1. 2008). produced by 2020. i. 2007). epoxies. supplementation with microalgal proteins to hydrogen. ammonia and nitrous oxides) could of fatty acids with carbon numbers ranging from C10 to C24. Co-products   . The current price for DDGS ranges from $110 . solvents (acetone. it is also used in the In addition.. the mineral-rich ash generated by these thermochemical and diesel substitutes will require specific ranges of carbon processes could possibly be used for nutrient recycle or as a chain length. would require the use of specially selected or engineered microalgal strains capable of producing these enzymes.. detergents.g. Similarly. which contains proteins. However. 2001).150 per ton After the extraction of lipids. thus butanol could serve to the amount of byproduct that would be produced.5 billion gallons of lignocellulosic ethanol will be solvents. Assuming that (a) (Yazdani and Gonzalez.3-propanediol.20 per gallon ethanol. poultry.ams. antifreeze. Choi. 2007. Option 2. it will be necessary to either separate the soil amendment. polycarbonates and polyurethanes. and its applications enzymes such as cellulases or other industrial enzymes include the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries from the lipid-extracted biomass. which can be converted into polypropylene oxide.. 1995). Hydrogen and The byproduct material. least 10.txt). 2007). As of industrial surfactants. the polymers that are currently produced from fossil oil- overall size of the animal feed market is small. pigs. acetic. and paint (Yazdani and Gonzalez. the individual local markets for animal feed are often not succinate is an intermediate in the production of a variety located adjacent to areas where algae may be produced. and (c) at products such as polymers. product into the appropriate range or rearrange the carbon chains through catalytic cracking and catalytic reforming.

Suppl. B. B. A guide to the seaweed industry. Champaign-Urbana.P. Hirata. 247-256. M. Enzyme Microbial Technology. I. Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science (Netherlands). R. Tsai. Netherlands. Darzins. M. if desired.. Biorefineries – multi product processes. The Plant Journal. Once again. Microbiological Sciences. Glycerol-based biorefinery for fuels and chemicals. Q. Co-products   67 . 9347-9377. Tetrahedon.. (2009). Bonsignore. J. B. Wright. M. (8). (2008). Developments in industrial microbiology. 589-627. Burgess.jsp?article_id=377). Forro. organic matter as soil fertilizer and conditioners.H.A. J. H2 production from algal biomass by a mixed culture of rhodobium marinum A-501 and lactobacillus amylovorus. (2001). (57).. 3(12).. Metting. J. Banaigs. the recovery and use of energy..175-204. (1986). McHugh. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology. Crouch. Microalgae products and production: An overview. Metting. L. microalgal metabolites.e. 277-282. Journal of Industrial Microbiology. and the development of genetic engineering the formation of more than 400.biodieselmagazine.G. (2007). Biofuels from microalgae: Review of products. carbohydrates. S. B. Recent Patents on Biotechnology. 1994). 221-231. (1987). Biologically active compounds from microalgae. Algal Biology.R. 2007). and P. proteins. (1990). SPB Academic Publishing. (1986). W. the market for organic fertilizer is large As was the case with Option 3. carbohydrates could be recycled into pulp and paper which involves the extraction of only fuel lipids and the streams. J. (91). (31).C. with saturated. J. additional capacity from algal lipids may find it Use of the Residual Biomass as Soil Fertilizer exceedingly difficult to find uses. including www. Journal of Biosciences Bioengineering. Food and Agriculture Organization. Recovery (Extraction) of Fuel Lipids Only. No.000 tons of glycerol (http:// tools to improve yields of desired products. K. physiology. Burja. Distillers dried grains plus solubles utilization by livestock and poultry in corn-based ethanol in Illinois and the U. A.J. M.W. 5. Microalgal triacylglycerols as feedstocks for biofuel production: Perspectives and advances. Hu.J. Berger. Agronomic uses of seaweed and microalgae. A Report from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. (2003).. (2). The alga dunaliella: biodiversity. and potential. Choi. 7. J. M.M. Finally. and biotechnology. Marine cyanobacteria – A prolific source of natural products. (54). 372-375. van Staden. D.. Technological and economic potential of poly(lactic acid) and lactic acid derivatives. E. E. K.S. (2008). these are the development of high throughput technologies for the quantitative characterization of References Benemann. Ghirardi. 621-63.L. M.H. Microbial degradation of marine biomass. Introduction to Applied Phycology. Huesemann. the issue of scale enters in. Datta. processes. Kamm. genomics. Benemann. Miyamoto. including sugars and complex Production of 1 billion gallons of biodiesel will result in carbohydrates. Kamm. (2001). D. K. The Hague. and Conditioner In case none of the above mentioned four options are It may also be possible to extract microalgal economical. with special focus on Dunaliella sp. Hashimoto.Kadirgan. Microalgae as sources of fine chemicals. Moon. 386-394. Frank.. (16). University of Illinois. P. substituting for lignocellulosic materials derived subsequent use of the biomass residues rich in nitrogen and from forestry resources. Pyne. A. i. Zimmerman. 173-180. (2006). Posewitz. W.R. New Hampshire. As was mentioned above. Kawaguchi H. (1990). (105). and carbohydrates is not cost-effective. M. microalgal is possible to revert to the most simple option (Option 5). R&D efforts as discussed under Chapter 2. Sommerfeld. Jarvis. S. J. Abou-Mansour. Good. it applications (Mooibroek et al. Borowitzka. specifically. FEMS Microbiological Review. Seibert. this option will also require and potentially growing. (2007). polysaccharides for use as emulsifiers in food and industrial non-fuel lipids.. As the current production levels for biodiesel (700 million gallons in 2008) already has the market for glycerol Option 5.R. L. Science Publishers.

46(4). (2007).N. Bioactive compounds from cyanobacteria and microalgae: An overview. (141). Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering. E. (71). (76). Polyhydroxyalkanoates: Biodegradable polymers with a range of applications. J. O. U. Spolaore. Franssen. T. Wu. (1996).C.Y.J. Applied Microbiology Biotechnology.S. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. R. BioScience. Bioresource Technology.H. Q. (65). Vorlop. Z. Yazdani. Bacterial acetone and butanol production by industrial fermentation in the Soviet Union: Use of hydrolyzed agricultural waste for biorefinery. Zerlov. Giuseppin. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology. H.A. S. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.C. Industrial bioconversion of renewable resources as an alternative to conventional chemistry. Velikodvorskaya. Electrocatalytic oxidation of glycerol. Commercial applications of microalgae. 635-648. Parker. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. (1994). (77). K. M. Keshavarz.. PCC6803. Toonen. 93-98. (20). (2006). B. Anaerobic fermentation of glycerol: A path to economic liability for the biofuels industry. (2006). (2004). Wu.F.. T. Willke. (18). (2005). N. 587-597. Oosterhuis. R. C. S. Journal of Electrochemical Society.H. 68 7.Valuable products from biotechnology of microalgae.. Pulz. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Roy..Mooibroek. I. A. (1994). G. Biomolecular Engineering. Radmer. 131-142. Kadirgan. Isambert. Olaizola. Accumulation of poly-b-hydroxybutyrate in cyanobacterium synechocystis sp. Joannis-Cassan. Philip. M. 257-267. Kate. M.D. (82). Algal diversity and commercial algal products. W. Yildiz. 73-95. O. Duran. (66).. (2001). Berezina.. F. (25). 87-96. (6). 101(2). (2004). 459-466.J. Shen.. Assessment of technological options and economical feasibility for cyanophycin biopolymer and high-value amino acid production. G. Co-products   . 85-90. Journal of Applied Phycology. Gross. Scott. Radmer. 263-270.. 213-219. Commercial applications of algae: Opportunities and Constraints. W. (2007). A.. Banerjee..V. Current Opinion Biotechnology. V. Schwarz. Steinbüchel. S. Singh.Y. Sanders. R. Gonzalez. (2003). 233-247. E. G. B. H.. 723-730. (2007). P. Commercial development of microalgal biotechnology: From the test tube to the marketplace.

As a variety of fuel rate of algae decomposition (Rieper-Kirchner. and final fuels from the systems. and different fuels from algae are being considered. Although the biofuel product(s) from algae will not require significant distribution system from algal biomass would ideally be energy-dense modifications during or after processing in the refinery. products – ethanol. container dimensions. to be compatible for use in select demonstration flights (Buckman and Backs. 2009. However. delivery vehicles. materials and temperature considerations (e. The optimal Technologies). the specific distribution and dewatering levels. Specifically. Distribution and Utilization Distribution and utilization are challenges associated with It is also anticipated that gasoline and diesel range fuels virtually all biofuels. higher alcohols.. implications for biodiesel stability (Bondioli et al. • Second. biodiesel. as corrosivity) for trucks. and completely compatible with the existing liquid transportation fuel infrastructure. biogas. hazardous Distribution is complicated by the fact that several materials and associated human health impacts. fuel intermediates.. blending. • Maximizing compatibility with existing infrastructure 1995). including algae. account for the storage of algae lipids (Hu et al. and dispensing algal concerning algal biomass. and end-use vehicles). and bioproducts.. Some of these fuels are to be sited. Ethanol. 1990). In all cases. remain poorly studied: Being intermediate steps in the supply chain. production. dispensing equipment. infrastructure concerns. storage tanks. an issue that impacts oleaginous microalgae feedstocks is that the transport and storage mechanisms 8. 1986).. such as cultivation and harvesting.1 Distribution of algal lipid intermediates have not yet been established. storage. Distribution and Utilization  69 . biofuels oils (Miyashita and Takagi. and jet fuels are all possible products for energy-inputs and costs. and • Third. and hydroreformed biofuels – are being considered harvesting conditions differing in salinity. it is difficult to predict how utilization challenges associated with each of these possible these factors will influence biomass storage and opportunities is discussed. and the quality of the final fuel product. jet-fuel blends from a variety can be expected to influence the economics of algal of oil-rich feedstocks. and barges is critical discussed in detail in Chapter 6 (Algal Biofuel Conversion to minimizing infrastructure impacts.g. Thus. poorly characterized. renewable transport method(s) should be analyzed and optimized gasoline. rails. These have been challenging issues appear to be more compatible with the existing petroleum for lignocellulosic feedstocks (Hess et al. it is known that the presence feedstock production center to the ultimate consumer of unsaturated fatty acids causes auto-oxidation of are common goals for all biofuels. for ideal lipid compositions. which carries infrastructure costs can be lowered in four ways: implications for the producers of algae and selection • Minimizing transport distance between process units. with some evidence suggesting scalability. Efstathiou and Credeur. pH and from algal biomass resources. Each of these different fuels has where the algae production and biorefinery facilities different implications for distributions. and final fuels biomass. and transport scenarios is these logistics through end-use issues influence siting. 2008).8. have been shown biofuels as well. few studies exist that While the demonstration flights mitigate some address outstanding issues of storing. In turn. conforming to existing standards (e. 2009). 2009) and infrastructure. combusting.g. In the context of a variety of culturing and syngas. transporting. fuels intermediates. within the context of from algal biomass. high capacity. fuel intermediates. 8. the stability of the algal biomass under different decision points. and the ultimate economics and operations of that natural bacterial communities increase the an integrated algal biofuels refinery. diesel. other distribution aspects pipelining. pyrolysis oil. It is also known that temperature and storage material have important • Maximizing the substrate energy-density and stability. It is conceivable that these “bio-crudes” Lowering costs associated with the delivery of raw will be compatible with current pipeline and tanker biomass. biodiesel. distribution and utilization need to be discussed in the context of earlier • First. similar to plant lipids may be possibly taken into pipelines. be transported to the refinery. depending on whether it will be dewatered/ • Optimizing the scale of operations to the parameters densified biomass and/or fuel intermediates that are to stated above. biofuels. transport.

Ethanol is another likely fuel from algae. With over Typically, compliance with specifications promulgated by
10 billion gallons per year produced and consumed organizations such as ASTM International ensures that a
domestically, distribution-related issues for ethanol has fuel is fit for purpose (ASTM International, 2009a, 2009b,
been studied for some time, and algal ethanol can benefit 2009c, 2009d, and 2009e). Failure of a fuel to comply with
from these analyses. While not as energy dense as purely even one of the many allowable property ranges within
petroleum-derived fuels, ethanol is an important fuel the prevailing specifications can lead to severe problems
oxygenate that can be used in regular passenger vehicles in the field. Some notable examples included: elastomer-
and special flex-fuel vehicles at up to 10% and 85% gasohol compatibility issues that led to fuel-system leaks when
blends, respectively. However, considerable infrastructure blending of ethanol with gasoline was initiated; cold-
investments need to be made for higher ethanol blends weather performance problems that crippled fleets when
to become even more attractive and widespread. One blending biodiesel with diesel was initiated in Minnesota
issue is that ethanol is not considered a fungible fuel; it in the winter; and prohibiting or limiting the use of the
can pick up excessive water associated with petroleum oxygenated gasoline additive MTBE in 25 states because
products in the pipeline and during storage, which causes it has contaminated drinking-water supplies (McCarthy
a phase separation when blended with gasoline (Wakeley and Tiemann, 2000). In addition to meeting fuel standard
et al., 2008). One possible way to address this is to build specifications, algal biofuels, as with all transportation
dedicated ethanol pipelines; however, at an estimated fuels, must meet Environmental Protection Agency
cost of $1 million/mile of pipeline, this approach is not regulations on combustion engine emissions.
generally considered to be economically viable (Reyold,
2000). Another possibility is to distribute ethanol blends by As is true of any new fuel, it is unlikely that new
rail, barge, and/or trucks. Trucking is currently the primary specifications will be developed for algal fuels in the near
mode to transport ethanol blends at an estimated rate of term (i.e., at least not until significant market penetration
$0.15/ton/kilometer (Morrow et al., 2006). This amount is has occurred); hence, producers of algal fuels should
a static number for low levels of ethanol in the blends (5% strive to meet prevailing petroleum-fuel specifications.
to 15%); as the ethanol content in the blend increases, the Nevertheless, research and technology advancements
transport costs will also increase due to the lower energy may one day yield optimized conversion processes which
density of the fuel. can deliver algae-derived compounds with improved
performance, handling, and environmental characteristics
8.2 Utilization relative to their petroleum-derived hydrocarbon
counterparts. If significant benefits can be demonstrated,
new specifications can be developed (e.g., ASTM D6751
The last remaining hurdle to creating a marketable new
and D7467).
fuel after it has been successfully delivered to the refueling
location is that the fuel must meet regulatory and customer
requirements. As mentioned in Chapter 6, such a fuel is The discussion below is divided into separate sections that
said to be “fit for purpose.” Many physical and chemical deal with algal blendstocks to replace gasoline-boiling-
properties are important in determining whether a fuel is fit range and middle-distillate-range petroleum products,
for purpose; some of these are energy density, oxidative and respectively. These classifications were selected because
biological stability, lubricity, cold-weather performance, the compounds comprising them are largely distinct and
elastomer compatibility, corrosivity, emissions (regulated non-overlapping. Within each of these classifications,
and unregulated), viscosity, distillation curve, ignition hydrocarbon compounds and oxygenated compounds are
quality, flash point, low-temperature heat release, metal treated separately, since their production processes and in-
content, odor/taste thresholds, water tolerance, specific use characteristics are generally different.
heat, latent heat, toxicity, environmental fate, and sulfur
and phosphorus content. Petroleum refiners have shown Algal Blendstocks to Replace
remarkable flexibility in producing fit-for-purpose fuels
Middle-Distillate Petroleum Products
from feedstocks ranging from light crude to heavy crude,
oil shales, tar sands, gasified coal, and chicken fat, and are Petroleum “middle distillates” are typically used to create
thus key stakeholders in reducing the uncertainty about the diesel and jet fuels. The primary algae-derived blendstocks
suitability of algal lipids and carbohydrates as a feedstock that are suitable for use in this product range are biodiesel
for fuel production. (oxygenated molecules) and renewable diesel (hydrocarbon
molecules). The known and anticipated end-use problem
areas for each are briefly surveyed below.

70 8. Distribution and Utilization 

Oxygenates: Biodiesel isomerized (i.e., transformed from straight- to branched-
chain paraffins), renewable diesel and SPK will have
Biodiesel is defined as “mono-alkyl esters of long
cold-weather performance problems comparable to those
chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal
experienced with biodiesel. Also, as was the case with algal
fats” (ASTM International, 2009b). Biodiesel has been
biodiesel, contaminants and end-product variability are
demonstrated to be a viable fuel for compression-ignition
engines, both when used as a blend with petroleum-derived
diesel and when used in its neat form (i.e., 100% esters)
(Graboski and McCormick, 1998). The primary end-use Algal Blendstocks for Alcohol and
issues for plant-derived biodiesel are: lower oxidative Gasoline-Range Petroleum Products
stability than petroleum diesel, higher emissions of nitrogen
oxides (NOx), and cold-weather performance problems While much of the attention paid to algae is focused on
(Knothe, 2007). The oxidative-stability and cold-weather producing lipids and the subsequent conversion of the lipids
performance issues of biodiesel preclude it from use as a to diesel-range blending components (discussed above),
jet fuel. The anticipated issues with algae-derived biodiesel algae are already capable of producing alcohol (ethanol)
are similar, with added potential difficulties including: directly, and there are several other potential gasoline-range
1) contamination of the esters with chlorophyll, metals, products that could be produced by algae-based technology/
toxins, or catalyst poisons (e.g., sulfur and phosphorus) biorefineries. Petroleum products in the alcohols and
from the algal biomass and/or growth medium; 2) undesired gasoline range provide the major volume of fuels used by
performance effects due to different chemical compositions; transportation vehicles and small combustion engines in
and 3) end-product variability. the United States. Ethanol or butanol are the most common
biofuels currently being considered for use in gasoline,
and these alcohols can be produced from fermentation of
Hydrocarbons: Renewable Diesel and starches and other carbohydrates contained in algae.
Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene
The hydrocarbon analog to biodiesel is renewable diesel,
which is a non-oxygenated, paraffinic fuel produced Additionally, the hydro-treating of bio-derived fats or
by hydrotreating bio-derived fats or oils in a refinery oils in a refinery will typically yield a modest amount of
(Aatola et al., 2009). Algal lipids can be used to produce gasoline-boiling-range hydrocarbon molecules. Refiners
renewable diesel or synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK), refer to this material as “hydro-cracked naphtha.” This
a blendstock for jet fuel. These blendstocks do not have naphtha tends to have a very low blending octane and
oxidative-stability problems as severe as those of biodiesel, would normally be “reformed” in a catalytic reformer
and renewable diesel actually tends to decrease engine- within the refinery to increase its blending octane value
out NOx emissions. Nevertheless, unless they are heavily prior to use in a gasoline blend.

8. Distribution and Utilization  71

Aatola, H., Larmi, M., Sarjovaara, T., and Mikkonen, S. (2009). Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a renewable diesel fuel: Trade-off
between NOx particulate emission and fuel consumption of a heavy duty engine. SAE International Journal of Engines. 1(1), 1251-
ASTM International. (2009a). Standard specification for diesel fuel oils. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International. Available online
ASTM International. (2009b). Standard specification for biodiesel fuel blend stock (B100) for middle distillate fuels. West Conshohocken,
PA: ASTM International. Available online at
ASTM International. (2009c). Standard specification for aviation turbine fuels. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International. Available
online at
ASTM International. (2009d). Standard Specification for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM
International. Available online at
ASTM International. (2009e). Standard specification for diesel fuel oil, biodiesel blend (B6 to B20). West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM
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72 8. Distribution and Utilization 

9.1 Resource Requirements for production. needs to be analyzed from a site location. land-based photoautotrophic microalgal terms of their geo-location. 1998).g. Integration with wastewater variety of conditions may be more or less cost-effective treatment can play an additional important role in the for the siting and operation of algal biomass production. Similarly. as with any biomass-based technology and industry. cultivation were conducted during the Aquatic Species and affordability. CO2.2 provides a simple high-level overview of and macroalgae production approaches (Exhibit 9. facilities design. Resources and Siting The development and scale-up of algal biofuels 9. water. CO2.. the siting and resource factors (e. transportation fuel needs and displacing petroleum use. capital. the major resource and environmental parameters that Further. and other inputs required for siting and operating industrial Heterotrophic microalgae production bioreactor-based algae production and post-processing to fuels and other co-products Availability of suitable coastal and off-shore marine site loca- Photoautotrophic macroalgae production tions 9. These parameters with wastewater treatment and industrial sources of are of greatest importance to siting.. operation over time will be important complementary Many of the findings of these earlier assessments still aspects of the siting and resources issues that will also apply today and the potential remains for biofuels need careful consideration and analysis using tools and other co-products derived from photoautotrophic and methodologies discussed later in chapter 10. Sufficient land. To achieve success regarding both Program (Sheehan et al. Critical requirements—such as suitable land and climate. focusing primarily on technical and economic performance without adverse the Southwest and southern tier of the United States environmental impacts. Assessments of resource requirements and availability and other nutrients—must be appropriately aligned in for large-scale. concepts are also being proposed. required Photoautotrophic microalgae production energy inputs.. sourcing of nutrients from both the input wastewater Additional resources include materials. In addition to coastal and inland photoautotrophic the challenges associated with coupling industrial microalgae production. microalgae to significantly contribute to meeting U. energy. and from possible nutrient recycling from residual and other inputs associated with facilities infrastructure algal biomass. and conditions of the particular algae species being cultivated CO2 resources were identified at the time to suggest and the engineered growth systems being developed and that the production of billions of gallons of algal deployed. Maxwell et al. Photoautotrophic Microalgae Approach sustainable water resources. and land. water.. other nutrients. Resources and Siting   73 .S. concentrated CO2. and land Sourcing of suitable organic carbon feedstock. availability. This chapter provides an overview of the issues associated with site location and key resources for various microalgae Exhibit 9. characteristics. labor. both of which influence siting decisions production efficiency. The sustainability and environmental impacts biofuel could be supported if sufficiently high algae of national algae production capacity build-up and productivities could be achieved affordably at scale. nutrients. 1990). energy. water.1). and costs. The status of algae-based wastewater and conducting operations and maintenance. 1990. For each parameter. an in-depth discussion is included on the potential pertain to the algae biofuels production inputs of climate. a for algal biofuel production. to couple land-based microalgae biomass production water.1 Key resource issues for different algae systems ALGAE PRODUCTION APPROACH KEY RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS Climate. treatment and necessary technical improvements for co-producing algal biofuels are described. Lansford et al.. 1985. This scenario Exhibit 9. off-shore marine environment CO2 sources with algae production are outlined. must also be appropriately matched to the required growth Feinberg et al. as Different Cultivation Approaches well as from a resource availability and use perspective. supplemental CO2 supply.

supply logistics. thereby sharing many of the same feedstock culture facilities with off-shore areas and structures. The Resource issues for the heterotrophic approach are more merits of each should be carefully evaluated. Use of sugars from cane. have different siting and resource input implications and pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass feedstock and thus present synergistic integration opportunities. Climate CO2 Nutrients Nutrient Recycle Liquid and Gasous Fuels Processing Algal Harvesting and Production Conversion Secondary Products Water Land Climate Water Land Resources and Insolation Location Topograghy Enviromental Temperature Supply/ Demand Use/ Cover Exhibit 9. cost and availability of space 74 9. and from the hydrolysis of starch grain crops can. lead to the Heterotrophic Microalgae Approach problem of linking biofuel production with competing Heterotrophic microalgae biomass and metabolite food and feed markets. Perlack et al. The algae are adverse food/feed market impacts would be based on cultivated in the dark in closed industrial bioreactors the use of carbon-rich waste streams and the successful that could potentially be established in many locations deconstruction of lignocellulosic materials. The preferred source of sugars production is based on the use of organic carbon feedstock and other appropriate organic carbon feedstocks for in the form of sugars or other relatively simple organic greatest sustainable scale-up potential and avoidance of compounds instead of photosynthesis. Heterotrophic and includes siting and resource issues that are closely photoautotrophic approaches to microalgae production coupled with the production. after sufficient scale-up of production and demand.2 Key siting and resource Parameters Evaporation Salinity Ownership elements for algae biofuel production Severe Storms Allocation Soils Geology (Adapted from Maxwell et al. A supply issues with first.. e. 1985) can be represented by extension of Exhibit 9. and land-based ponds. that is expected to be capable of national scale-up to Heterotrophic production can be characterized as more of over one billion tons annually (Perlack et al. Achieving affordable scale-up and has the greatest feedstock scale-up potential and is being successful commercial expansion using the heterotrophic pursued and reported elsewhere through bioenergy approach relies on the cost-effective availability of organic programs under DOE and Department of Agriculture carbon feedstock—a resource that ultimately links back to (USDA.3). Resources and Siting   . selected to meet production needs.. is more Options for siting macroalgae (also known as seaweed akin to agriculture and serves as the point of origin for the or kelp) biomass production include offshore farms. and lignocellulosic conceptually include the equivalence of land and biomass. 2005. in terms of cultivation and harvesting. whereas photoautotrophic Photoautotrophic Macroalgae Approach production. 2006a). near-shore coastal farms..g. DOE. beets. The latter throughout the country. biomass feedstock supply for the downstream value chain. taking into largely associated with the upstream supply of organic consideration factors such as the scale of farms required carbon feedstock derived from commodity crops. availability.. This a photosynthetic origin (Exhibit 9.2 to off-shore macroalgae production. 2005). similar conceptual extension holds for the application of Exhibit 9.2 to organic carbon-rich waste streams. an industrial operation with a significant upstream logistics trail associated with the sourcing of the needed biomass- derived input feedstocks. other sugar crops.and second-generation biofuels.

open photoautotrophic systems that typically achieve no more than about 1 gram per liter culture density. Synergistic Project Intergration Opportunities Ligno-Cellulosic Autotrophic CO2 Sourceess Plant Material algae production . and competition production. weather conditions.4 million dry sunlight. Resources and Siting   75 . evaporation. has also been proposed as a way of leveraging other evaporation. 2004) factors include solar radiation. research.power plants . Heterotrophic algae production A major challenge lies in finding and developing new in closed industrial bioreactor systems utilize mature environments and cultivation approaches that will support bioreactor technology that can provide relatively clean production of macroalgae at the larger scales and lower and protected environmental control needed to optimize costs needed to supply the biofuels market. will most directly metric tonnes for food products).2 Resources Overview reduce both water and energy-use intensity in the algae production operation.lake. whereas precipitation. and favorable regulatory Heterotrophic algal cultures can be one to two orders of framework for coastal and offshore environment use could magnitude higher in biomass density than possible with help enable cultivation at scales to meet production goals. both seasonally and annually. Closed photobioreactors technologies to facilitate the cultivation of macroalgae. precipitation. temperature. Closed heterotrophic bioreactor Climate systems are decoupled from the variable ambient Sunlight and Temperature Needs outdoor climate. Additional growth conditions for higher biomass density cultures. From a resource use perspective. Ligno-Cellulosic N. Temperature and availability of (annual global production of about 1. P.closed PBRs . the heterotrophic approach can 9. technology development. the level of production affect productivity. are less sensitive to climate variability than open ponds Based on the scale of macroalgae cultivation practices due to the more controlled environment that closed currently being used to meet non-fuel product demand systems can CAFO Low-Density Algal . would need to be greatly expanded for biofuels. The co-siting of macroalgal farms with microalgae production. environmental impacts.other industrial . key other structures such as windfarms (Buck et al.. and severe weather will affect water supply and water quality in open systems.muni WWT & Seperation . and severe weather. rivers Biomass Harvesting or Other Non-Fresh Waters Lignin Dewatering Extraction & CHP Seperation High-Density Algal Biomass FHarvesting Exhibit 9. This is done at the expense of Various climate elements affect photoautotrophic algae 9.hybrid mix Nutrient-Rich Water. K. and day/night light and temperature ponds CO2 . particularly in the case of land-based with other uses.3 High-level Oil Feedstock illustration of heterotrophic Biomass Residue and photoautotrophic Sugars and Other Heterotropic algae approaches to microalgal Organic Carbon production in Fuels biomass and biofuels Feedstock closed bioreactors production Co-Products and nutrients.4. other Water Treatment Deconstruction . As illustrated in Exhibit 9.

e. and the New England states. but the availability of adequate sunlight and the from southeast Texas to northwest Florida is attributed suitability of climate and temperature are key siting and to the lower annual average solar insolation available. Within that context. This could fresh water. currents. the availability of non. lower elevation sites. and Florida being most promising). from the standpoint of having adequate solar radiation Projections of annual average algae biomass production (with parts of Hawaii. the ocean or sea ≥ 55°F. with the higher growth regions northern latitude states.4 Rough scoping assessment of preferred site locations for outdoor algae production a) Regions with annual average climate conditions meeting b) Fossil-fired power plant sources of CO2 within 20 miles of selected criteria: ≥ 2800 hour annual sunshine. annual average daily temperature offshore marine macroalgae production. from the PNNL study show clear patterns relating climate Texas. California.4 presents some simple GIS-based scoping solar insolation.high-cost systems. i. The goal indicative at this point rather than predictive.4 and the Michigan. including Minnesota. productivity in large-scale deployed systems could only be taken as a gross indicator. identifying preferred regions of the United States for photoautotrophic microalgae production based on Additional factors could conceivably overcome what the application of selected filter criteria on annual might otherwise appear to be uneconomical site and average climate conditions. resource conditions for algae production. having gross qualitative similarity to Exhibit 9. with the major climate element affecting algal It was recognized from the outset that the correlation growth being the availability of sunlight. and annual average freeze-free days ≥ 200.4 algae is technically feasible in many parts of the United (a). Storm and ocean of these annual average climate criteria with what dynamics affecting waves. environment provides a buffer that moderates temperature variation. The more to total biomass growth. Growth of based on the modeling assumptions used. Equally important for photoautotrophic microalgae growth however. annual municipal wastewater facilities in the preferred climate average temperature ≥ 55˚ F. and ≥ 200 freeze-free days region 76 9. Wisconsin. and marine nutrient might actually be achieved with annual average algae transport cause additional impacts on productivity. A significant portion Laboratory (PNNL) using higher GIS resolution and of the United States is suitable for algae production more information-rich climate and meteorological data. whereas PNNL study suggests projected productivities in this region could be relatively high. and the availability of concentrated sources include situations where co-location of inland microalgae of CO2. controls. the lack of attractiveness of the Gulf Coast region States. For the case of sun hours ≥ 2800. but suggest was to provide a preliminary high-level assessment preference for lower latitude. resource factors that will determine economic feasibility. Resources and Siting   . and enclosures requiring geographical regions were: annual average cumulative energy input for environmental control.. This is likely due to Preferred Geographic Regions for Algae Production more moderate annual average temperatures despite lower Exhibit 9. the results are suggestive and consistent with with both open and closed cultivation systems is the the more recent assessment by Pacific Northwest National availability of abundant sunlight. New Mexico. The climate criteria used to narrow down the production at higher latitudes might be possible with Exhibit 9. These results should be considered simply conducted by Sandia National Laboratories. Arizona. would have southern tier states showing greatest productivity potential very low productivity in the winter months. In Exhibit 9.

however. The marine environment can also be highly corrosive Texas. 240 days or more of adequate solar regions of the United States. For outdoor ponds. events can contaminate an open system environment or which have major influence on the hours and intensity cause physical damage to both open and closed systems. such as heavy rain and flooding. killing frost in the fall. integrated with co-located industries providing synergistic particularly extremes in temperature. For closed photobioreactors. respectively. 1985). Southeast. The southwestern states (California. both high and low. represented by specific regions of Hawaii. and the Southeast. This would. and parts of Louisiana. of available sunlight per day and the daily and seasonal and need to be taken into account when looking at temperature variations. and currents that can cause the lower elevation regions of the lower latitude states disruption or damage to physical structures and operations. and hurricanes pose serious concerns in the inland regions of the central states. available for productive cultivation. is a wide range of temperatures. Thorough analysis (preferably on a state-by-state basis) with detailed data is needed to assess areas most suitable Water for algae production based on this climate factor. would Severe Weather Events and Elements provide greater flexibility and could extend otherwise Severe weather events. Discovery and development of algae species capable of increased General Water Balance and Management Needs productivity under wider ranges of light and temperature One of the major benefits of growing algae is that. hail storms. different algal species capable of good productivity in cold season and hot season conditions. New Mexico. Evaporation. Arizona. Areas with relatively long growing prospects for algae production in both inland and coastal seasons (for example. and California. Offshore marine algae insolation and average daily temperatures above the lower production will be subject to severe weather impacts threshold needed for economically viable growth) are in the form of wind. High annual production closely coupled with climate and will increase water for a given species grown photoautotrophically outdoors. Seasonal Considerations are desirable for algae production from the standpoint Various species of microalgae have potential for biofuel of long-term availability and sustainability of water feedstock production and are capable of growing under supply. and coastal areas. These weather length of growing season are latitude and elevation. for closed reactors. It is encouraging that researchers today power for cost-effective environmental control of the algae are not only concerned with finding algae with high cultivation. of Hawaii. will require that suitable climatic conditions loss can be a critical factor to consider when choosing exist for a major part of the year (Maxwell et al. requirements for an open algae growth system. require a more refined biomass productivity and oil content yield. precipitation (more than 40 inches).industrial operations capable of providing excess heat and locations. cooling in the summer. implications for energy and cost needed to maintain internal temperature sustainable production scale-up. the Northwest. throughout the seasons. and New the conventional crop analogy for this is the length of time Mexico) and Hawaii have the highest evaporation rates between the last killing frost in the spring and the first in the United States. and overall economics. The primary geographical location factors for determining Southwest. although evaporative cooling is often viable growing season(s) for the particular strains of algae considered as a means to reduce culture temperature. discussed later in this section. algal culture can potentially average productivities in more geographically diverse utilize non-fresh water sources having few competing 9. the A thorough evaluation of evaporative water loss is conventional crop analog is the greenhouse and the limiting needed to assess water requirements. locations for open pond production. Evaporation is a Therefore. unlike conditions can also potentially lead to increased annual most terrestrial agriculture. Resources and Siting   77 . Georgia. Arizona. Florida. opportunities for utilizing waste heat and energy. Precipitation affects water availability (both surface it should also establish minimum economically feasible and groundwater) at a given location within a given operational requirement values for heating in the winter watershed region. dust storms. Evaporative however. Other local to materials and usually demands both the use of higher climate and weather conditions will also have influence. Availability and rotation of Evaporative water loss is discussed in a later subsection. quality and more costly materials and greater maintenance. Areas with higher annual average and. but also with analysis for systems that would likely be closed and highly algae that grow well under severe climate conditions. a critical climate issue for both open and closed less important concern for selecting locations of closed photobioreactor systems is the length of economically photobioreactors. Such analyses should include assessment of the monthly or Water Requirements seasonal solar radiation and ambient temperature ranges. with more than 60 inches annually. limited periods of commercially viable algae production. tornadoes. waves..

S. were for thermoelectric-power generation. total combined production operations could be for the replacement of water fresh and saline water withdrawals more than doubled continuously lost to evaporation from open cultivation from about 180 billion gallons per day in 1950 to over 400 systems. can also become an environmental problem for inland where a growing number of counties are experiencing locations. 2006b. Water use will also depend on brackish coastal water) withdrawals were about 15% of the type of growth systems used for photoautotrophic the total. Climate change is also recognized as a factor that management issues. 1995). Whether or not this is a problem for sustainable billion gallons per day in 1980. Withdrawals water used for cultivation and the local latitude. the application of desalination treatment to control increasing stress. Many of the nations’ fresh ground water aquifers are under up... solar insolation. Mao. USGS. This will require periodic blow. following the more than doubling of methane wells (Reynolds. one-half of the total U. Kenny et al. water demand over the 30 years prior to that. with water use in upstream organic million gallons per day (Mgal/d). 61% of all surface water. Disposal of high not restricted to the more arid western half of the country. from both a resource perspective could have major effect on all sectors of water resources and an algal cultivation perspective. such as saline and brackish ground water. Implementing water desalination would impose additional The stress on fresh water supplies in the United States is capital. 2009). 1999. and 95% loss in open systems will be the degree of salinity of the of all saline-water withdrawals in 2005. depending on the chemistry. This will be of greatest impact and concern in being fresh (Hutson et al.. Kenny et al.. for irrigation of crops and other lands totaled 128. and field assessment. Scoping Out Water Requirements for Algae Production Analysis of U. or highly adaptive algae that can thrive supplies for non-agricultural use must increasingly come under widely varying conditions. Hightower et al. ). However. Also a complicating factor for evaporative water 41% of all freshwater. solar insolation. Water balance and supply from precipitation (DOE. and 37% of all freshwater withdrawals A significant source of water demand with inland algae (Kenny et al. Kokya et al. At the national scale. from pond but is also becoming a local and regional concern at drainage and replacement. Resources and Siting   . reflects for open pond systems in more arid environments with the fact that fresh water sources in the Untied States are high rates of evaporation. nearly and the site-specific details of climate. Irrigation withdrawals represented 31% of all water al. or from desalination operations. and operational costs. A rough upper bound estimate of evaporative water loss 78 9. Open algal ponds may from the desalination of saline or brackish water sources have to periodically be drained and re-filled. 2002. or 460.000 heterotrophic).. for future research.000 ambient temperature variations. Total withdrawals since algal industry scale-up will depend on the geographic the mid-1980s have remained relatively flat at slightly location.). the thermoelectric-power industry in the coastal states whether evaporative cooling is used for closed systems. or staged as a and from the treatment and reuse of wastewater. are important areas supply and management in the future (USGS. representing etc.000 Mgal/d) and weather conditions (cloud cover. The relatively flat national water withdrawal trend over produced water” from oil. about 95%. 2009). which also tend to be in the more arid and higher solar resource regions like the Southwest. or “co. along with associated salt build-up and 2008. with the majority (85%) resources. Growing demand for limited will change with evaporative water loss.. modeling. 2009). periodic addition conservation and by the increased re-use of wastewater. withdrawals. different dominant algae species and growth conditions. 2006b. Almost all saline water. of non-saline make-up water to dilute the salinity build. 2004. various locations throughout the eastern half of the country. 2009). Hutchison et use. is used by microalgae (open vs. and coal-bed the past 25 years. 2008. thereby changing fresh water supplies in support of development and the culture conditions. In 2005. all of cascading sequence of increasingly saline ponds each with which have increasing energy demand implications (DOE. 2008. Water Supply and Management Water use and consumption for algae-based biofuels will Total combined fresh and saline water withdrawals in the depend on the cultivation approach (photoautotrophic/ United States as of the year 2005 were estimated at 410. to cool electricity-generating equipment. and locally available water over 400 billion gallons per day. Hightower et al. water-sparse locations. and the future expansion of fresh water salinity build-up. energy.S. Mgal/d and were the second-largest category of water and wind conditions (Al-Shammiri. salt content effluent or solid byproducts.000 acre-feet carbon feedstock production needing to be part of the per year (Kenny et al. closed vs. management. Saline water (seawater and heterotrophic assessment. wind. 2009). salinity and water chemistry approaching full allocation... hybrid combination). Some salt byproducts may have commercial net fresh water withdrawals that exceed the sustainable value.uses. withdrawals (201. climate conditions. humidity. elevation. natural gas.. 2003. 1978. Oroud. 2002). population increase has thus far been offset by increased down of ponds after salinity build-up. humidity.

the effects of their extraction on the environment (Alley. Resources and Siting   79 . and chemical characterization of saline aquifers range of site locations and conditions. 2009). 2007. held in December 2008. 1993. in gallons of water per gallon of algal biofuel produced. Hightower et al. If less water quality and chemistry. systems are implemented. The maps of saline groundwater 9. and field trials at larger scales of operation are Algae Roadmap Workshop. Woolhiser and demands on limited sustainable fresh water supplies et al.. Open bodies of productively using non-fresh wastewater resources brackish and saline water will usually experience less for renewable fuels. The evaporation estimates suggest that water loss on the order of several tens of gallons of water per kilogram The unique ability of many species of algae to grow in of dry weight biomass produced. 31 g/m2 per day with 50% dry weight oil content. 1984) to large area scale-up of algae cultivation (DOE. define the spatial distribution. Shuttleworth.. discussed be an over-estimate of what can be expected under later in this chapter. as noted earlier. additional water will be used and increasing interest and potential competition for access as consumed. There is considerable in the United States are areas of investigation in need untapped potential for utilizing brackish. and sustainable withdrawal optimistic productivities are assumed. southwestern United States. 2004). Water requirements of water for algae production than deeper sources located information will not be well characterized until larger scale longer distances from the cultivation site. Additional analysis. as with other forms of Depth to groundwater is pertinent to the economics of bioenergy (NAS. Suitable overall input supply needs and consumption. with open systems. needed to understand how best to leverage these resources. 2006b. NAS. Developing and Mapping Water Resources for Algae Production The evaporative loss estimates from the notional scenarios When considering the water resources needed for the provide an indication of the potential magnitude of the future development and expansion of algal biofuel issue. depth information determines the cost of drilling and operating In summary. and of greater investment. Extrapolations based on fresh water From a resource use standpoint. depending on systems and process specifics. are also of Along the way. the estimated capacity. or several hundreds of non-fresh water over a range of salinities means that. monitored. and evaluated under a depth. reclaimed. saline. The notional scale-up scenarios and assumptions made are discussed later in this chapter (see Exhibit 9. and a source of water for treatment and use to meet commercial recycled. analysis for algal biofuels.S. and sustainable withdrawal rates Evaporative water loss associated with algae cultivation for these non-fresh ground water resources. and may well also be saved. both in terms of well in a given location (Maxwell et al. Evaluation of water use for the overall value chain from 2003. putting less additional demand on evaporative loss than fresh water. the use of non-fresh water sources will need open horizontal pan evaporation data (Farnsworth et to be emphasized in the face of the growing competition al. Dennehy.. limited fresh water supplies. and recycling nutrients. addition to coastal and possible off-shore areas. water utilization for algal biomass and (including energy input requirements for pumping) a downstream production of biofuels. and to predict can be significantly reduced if closed systems are used. algal cultivation through harvesting and post-processing particularly deeper aquifers that are largely unregulated into fuels and other products will also be important.7). warrants aquifers located closer to the surface and nearer to the closer attention and assessment to better understand and cultivation site would provide a more cost-effective source refine water resource requirements. quantity. where brackish or saline groundwater supplies may be The most optimistic production scenario was for the both ample and unused or underutilized. 1985). depth. Gerbens-Leenes et al. experimental scale-up scenario study in preparation for the National investigation. has the potential benefits of actual operating conditions in the field. Saline groundwater resources. 1982a and 1982b. and residential development needs in high growth rate Water must be considered a key element of life cycle water-sparse regions like the Southwest (Clark. which assumed annual quantitative information remains limited on U. Along with geological data.. Unfortunately. 2008).. reducing eutrophication of natural water bodies. other inland could be a consequence of open system operation parts of the country can be targeted for algae production in the more arid and sunny regions of the country. 2009). brackish average algal biomass and oil productivities of nearly and saline groundwater resources in terms of their extent. The location. integrating algae pan evaporation data will be worst-case and will likely production with wastewater treatment.with open systems was done as part of a hypothetical co-produced water. 2007. An improved knowledge base is needed to better evaporative water loss intensities will be greater. by state engineers and water authorities. and were based on simply applying fresh water production. physical and chemical characteristics. resource development.

2008b). Flue gas. 2009. NATCARB.. separating CO2 in large industrial plants. biomass growth rate. A limited plant can only be effectively used by the algae during amount of this information is available for major the photosynthetically active sunlight hours. and of CO2 emitted annually in the United States (EPA. including algae production. detailed analysis is difficult estimated 20% to 30% of the total power plant emissions and often lacking. 2008). for algae cultivation scale-up within reasonable geographic proximity of stationary sources. Therefore. The CO2 generated by the power (Shannon. The geographical location. Campbell carbon capture and reuse in the form of fuels and other et al. Larger coal-fired base-load generators that locate. content. Power generation alone (mainly developed by the USGS prior to the mid-1960s (Feth. 2006). However.5.. such as from fossil. sustainability of supply.g. the utilization of fossil carbon emissions and complement are already in operation today and under consideration for subsurface sequestration. and distribution could require more production. Likely Stationary CO2 Emission Sources Major stationary CO2 emission sources that could An inventory of stationary industrial CO2 sources in potentially be used for algae production are shown in the more promising regions of the country. 2005. aquifers.. In represented by the algae biofuels and other co-products. transport. and quality production to fully utilize the CO2 in the flue gas emitted (chemical components and characteristics) are important from a 50-MWe semi-base load natural-gas-fired power information for assessing non-fresh groundwater aquifer plant would require about 2. local aquifers may be due to CO2 off-gassing during non-sunlight hours and the available through state agencies and private engineering unavoidable parasitic losses of algae production (Brune companies. but rather provides in response to climate change (Rubin. parasitic losses from flue gas the requirements for CO2 supply to enhance algae treatment. potential As an example. gas abatement credits would come from the substitution The rate of effective CO2 uptake will also vary with of renewable fuels and other co-products that displace or the algae species. collect. and the availability of land and water to hyper-saline (Reynolds 2003. and analyze this information. addition. typically output a steady 1.. 2004). More detailed and up-to-date 2 billion metric tons per year (EIA. 2009). natural gas. USGS.resources are based on incomplete data that was largely EIA. The Carbon Capture Opportunity in Algae Production Efficient algae production requires enriched sources of CO2 The distance for pumping flue gas to algae cultivation since the rate of supply from the atmosphere is limited by systems will become a limiting factor that requires diffusion rates through the surface resistance of the water capture and concentration of CO2 from the flue gas for in the cultivation system. In addition. scale of algae production.200 acres of algae cultivation resource availability and suitability for economic uses area (Brune et al. but a significant effort will still be needed to et al. and details of reduce fossil fuel consumption. including Exhibit 9. represent over half of the more than 6 billion metric tons rates and quantities of CO2 produced. spatial extent. longer distance transport and distribution. recharge rate. Dennehy. if these aquifers are spread over the greenhouse gas emissions offset will be limited to an large geographic areas. Produced The degree to which stationary CO2 emissions can water from petroleum. including natural Algae production could provide excellent opportunities for gas treatment plants and ammonia production facilities. and the matching of CO2 source availability energy input than the output energy displacement value with algal cultivation facilities. Applications fuel-fired power plants. 2009). identify. depth. would be a good source of CO2. 2008) characterization of the CO2 emissions stream (e. The sources shown (NATCARB. As a result. and coal bed methane be captured and used affordably for algae production wells is another closely related and underutilized water will be limited by the operational logistics and resource that can range in quality from nearly fresh efficiencies. However. 2004. Data on small. it will be necessary to provide a CO2 source that is suitably free of materials potentially toxic to algae. algae production does possible broader use for carbon capture and storage (CCS) not actually sequester fossil carbon. Photoautotrophic algae will only utilize products derived from the algae biomass. 2002). information is needed to improve our understanding of this resource in support of algae production siting Barriers to Viable CO2 Capture and Utilization analyses (Dennehy. using coal) represents over 40% of the total. 2008 and 2009). Resources and Siting   .000 to 2500 MWe of power would each require many tens of thousands of acres of Carbon Dioxide algae production and large volumes of water to provide a similar effective offset of 20% to 30% of the CO2 emitted. 2008 and 2009). at some large growth system and incident light conditions. or more than 1965. description of substances toxic to algal growth) and the local availability and distance to suitable land for algae 80 9. a recent analysis suggests that for algae yield. is not a simple issue. Any greenhouse CO2 during daylight hours when photosynthesis is active.

9 665 Other 3.5 Major stationary CO2 sources in the United States (NATCARB. including pasture. is needed for making refined assessments for Land availability is influenced by various physical.5) within practical transport distances of suitable algae and relatively barren desert land. R&D program (e. social. and purchase requirements.2 475 Gas Processing Refineries/Chemical 196. lease. and political factors.1 4. Resources and Siting   81 . such systems on which policies and stakeholders could affect project would require in the range of roughly 800 to 2600 acres of development. Even slope could well be eliminated from consideration due to at levels of photoautotrophic microalgae biomass and oil the high cost that would be required for site productivity that would stretch the limits of an aggressive preparation and leveling. land that would be both can be expected to constrain the extent to which algal suitable and potentially available for siting algae production biofuels production can be affordably scaled up within facilities).e.6 53 Petroleum and Natural 90.. several characteristics need to be considered. could limit the land available for open pond algae farming. Physical characteristics. Exhibit (USDA.3 163 Fertilizer 7.g. any given region unless other factors drive the investment in expanding the nation’s CO2 pipeline infrastructure. For example.production. Topography would be a limiting factor for these because either open or closed systems will require systems because the installation of large shallow ponds relatively large areas for implementation.3 112 Electricity Generation 2. such as topography and soil. and particularly their porosity and permeability Land characteristics. legal. much of the land in the West is government owned. This of land for algae production (i.276. For a realistic appraisal production sites in a given geographical region.5 3. as illustrated in of a hypothetical algae production scale-up scenario is Exhibit 9. grassland. oil feedstock.0 13 Industrial 141. Soils. One outcome economic. Publicly and privately owned lands are algae culture surface area to produce 10 million gallons of subject to variable use. as will be discussed further in chapter 10.702. Hundreds of millions of acres of relatively low- the limited quantity of CO2 that would likely be available productivity. as is expected requires relatively flat terrain. which means that environmental assessments and/ Exhibit 9.. target annual average biomass production of 30 to 60 g/m2 per day with 30% to 50% Land ownership information provides valuable insights neutral lipid content on a dry weight basis). 2006 and 2009).6..g. algae production siting and CO2 sourcing. lower-value land exists in the United States from stationary industrial point sources (e.3 140 Cement Plants 86.002 Ethanol Plants 41.9 173 Total 3. affect the construction costs and design Factors for Evaluating Land for Algal Production of open systems by virtue of the need for pond lining or Land availability will be important for algae production sealing. Areas with more than 5% with any photosynthesis-based biomass feedstock. 2008a) CO2 EMISSIONS CATEGORY NUMBER OF SOURCES (Million Metric Ton/Year) Ag Processing 6.796 9. 9.

given that large-scale algae biomass production The result will be theoretical and practical upper limits on intended for bioenergy feedstock does not yet exist. (chapter 10). can represent and impose political and regulatory Despite the practical upper limits that will naturally exist constraints on land availability (Maxwell et al. for algae productivity.20 g/m2 per day. 1985). Loss mechanisms that often not considered or is relatively small compared to other capital cost.6 Factors and process steps for evaluating and constraining the available and appropriately suitable land for algae production (Adapted from Maxwell et al. as with any form of biomass. 1985 ) 82 9. Indian reservations also effectively used to drive photosynthesis ultimately places comprise a significant portion of this land. the cost of land is during hotter ambient conditions.. lower-value production with algal strains otherwise be effectively captured and used by the algae developed and improved over time to be more suitable and in photosynthesis are instead converted to thermal (heat) productive for biofuel feedstock rather than those used energy in the culture media and surrounding cultivation for today’s high-value algae biomass product markets. 2009). than real. Depending on the algae strain and culture system approach used. the potential remains for high algae biomass production relative to more conventional Further. reviewing the more recent economic analyses for algae or can lead to overheating and loss of productivity biomass and projected oil production. Land ownership practical upper limits on the biomass productivity. Optimizing light utilization in algae production projections for biofuel feedstock of 30 ... system structures. This the light and shade their neighbors farther from the light is significantly lower than the more optimistic target source. but currently reflect lower biomass fact that algal cells nearest the illuminated surface absorb productivities in the range of 10 . systems includes the challenge of managing dissipative However. Contributing to with open ponds for high-value products can serve as a productivity limits per unit of illuminated surface area is the baseline reference. Resources and Siting   . such systems have not been optimized for energy losses that occur when incident photons that cannot higher-volume. By improving productivity under colder ambient conditions. the amount of biomass growth that can be achieved per unit Relatively large-scale commercial algae production of illuminated surface (Weyer et al. the dissipative heat loading Land Availability Constraints can be a benefit in moderating culture temperatures and Land use and land value affect land affordability.or environmental impact statements could be required restrict the fraction of incident photon flux that can be as part of the approval process.60 g/m2 per day. algae productivity crops. Land that is highly desirable for development and other set-asides for publically beneficial reasons may Typography Land Ownership Current Land Value Systems Engineering All Physically Politically Land Suitable Affordable Available Available Parcels Land Land Land Land Enviromental Restrictions Current Land Use Legislation Water and and Regualtions Climate Resources Exhibit 9. It must be stressed that “potential” will be constrained by the available energy density algal biomass and bio-oil production projections at in sunlight and the relatively low efficiencies of commercial scale currently remain hypothetical rather photosynthetic processes coupled with other systems losses.

4 Integration with Water conventional wastewater treatment Treatment Facilities • Lower energy intensity than conventional wastewater treatment (a greenhouse gas benefit) Inevitably. as noted earlier. in suitable climates. 9. phosphorus. particularly in the eastern half of the deployed in the near-term and provides workforce country. Resources and Siting   83 . and potassium). and the algae production can algae feedstock production facilities. synthetic organic compounds. 1985). nutrients from treatment. Sensitive environmental or cultural land constraints Although algae-based wastewater treatment requires will also reduce the overall land availability (Maxwell many times more land area than mechanical treatment et al. excess nutrients (e. Beyond economics. organic matter. or other CO2-emitting industry operations The main connections of algae production and • Potential to treat agricultural drainage wastewater treatment are the following: and eutrophic water bodies • Treatment technology is needed to recycle nutrients and water from algae biofuel processing residuals for use in algae production. The imported wastewater Wastewater Treatment and would be treated as part of the algae production.g. represent potential co-location sites for algae training and experience in large-scale algae operations where nutrient-rich wastewater could be cultivation that would translate to future dedicated used for algae production. nitrogen. • Imported wastewater provides nutrients and water to make-up inevitable losses. Recycling Applications • Algae-based wastewater treatment provides a needed Municipal wastewater treatment facilities and agricultural service. wildlife areas. Two main types of algae production facility are wastewater (municipal and agricultural) would be captured envisioned: dedicated facilities. some land • Early opportunity to develop large-scale cover characteristics could present excellent opportunities algae production infrastructure for algae farming. A subset of wastewater treatment Inevitable nutrients losses during algae production facilities consist of evaporation facilities. Nutrient which produce algal biomass as a consequence of the recycling would be needed since wastewater flows in wastewater treatment. Examples of this type of constraint include technologies. monuments. The availability and sustainability of water supplies • Wastewater treatment revenue that in the West will also be a key consideration. which are and processing could be made up with wastewater used to dispose of wastewater or brines. biofuels industry are discussed in this subsection. phosphorus.. The same applies to land highly suited for higher-value agricultural POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF ALGAE PRODUCTION use. offsets algae production costs • Lower capital and O&M costs than 9. help provide nutrient removal service in the wastewater For large-scale algae biofuel production. nutrient recycling. treatment has the following advantages: and other historical sites. Supply and cost of nutrients (nitrogen. biomass production facilities 1985). algae-based parks. Dedicated biomass production the United States are insufficient to support large-scale facilities will also require wastewater treatment and algae production on the basis of a single use of nutrients. On the other hand.. which can also help supplement and off-set these facility types in the development of an algae the cost of commercial fertilizers for algae production. The roles of nutrients. and wastewater treatment facilities. metals. with the main purpose of by algae and then recycled from the oil extraction residuals biomass production. Land cover categories such as barren and scrubland cover a large portion of the West and may • Development of skilled algae production workforce provide an area free from other food-based agriculture • Potential for nutrient recycling at algae where algae growth systems could be sited (Maxwell et al. for additional rounds of algae production. archaeological sites.not be seen as suitable for algae production. this also avoids the perception WITH WASTEWATER TREATMENT and potential conflict of food and feed production versus fuel. and potassium) be a key issue for achieving affordable and Algae can be useful in the treatment of waters polluted with sustainable scale-up of algae biofuels production. wastewater treatment and recycling • Potential to be integrated with power plant must be incorporated with algae biofuel production. dairy and feedlot operations located throughout the • Algae-based wastewater treatment can be United States..

The major plants in that they both produce oxygen and assimilate classes of wastewaters to be treated are municipal. the major types to build and to operate than conventional mechanical of wastewaters available for combined algae production treatment facilities. 1998..$0. to oxidize waste organic matter (Exhibit 9.. organic nutrients.17 per m3 treated) or manipulation of culture conditions to promote lipid (Maglion. coupled with the tremendous need for expanded and improved wastewater treatment in the United Treatment of Organic Wastewaters for Algae Production States (EPA. municipal and industrial sources) sludge. The standard of nutrient removal and wastewater treatment. High rates of algae production lead to high rates crucial step in wastewater treatment systems.. Existing interaction of algae and bacteria in wastewater cultures algae-based treatment facilities use relatively deep leads to degradation of a wide variety of synthetic ponds (1-6 m). 2008) is high for biofuel production. These highly productive systems use shallow reactors. The treatment goals of these facilities (removal of organic removal of trace contaminants (e.. organic agricultural mechanisms of wastewater treatment by algae. the method is chemical addition to achieve coagulation and objectives of biofuel feedstock production and wastewater flocculation. 2002. but research is needed to improve the reliability of these processes (as Algae-based treatment facilities are typically less expensive discussed in chapter 4). As with other algae production systems. have yet to be demonstrated consistently chemical flocculation processes (bioflocculation and for ponds. Resources and Siting   . followed by algae separation in dissolved treatment are aligned. Heavy metals may be removed Algae Production Techniques for by adsorption to algal cells. including nutrient removal. 2007). dissolved oxygen. lakes. 2008) and throughout the world. Aksu. needed if algae are to make a substantial contribution to Less well-known are the ability of algal systems to provide national biofuel production.10 . if the nutrients and carbon at algae production facilities will be nutrient-rich algae are then also removed from the water. Muñoz et al. endocrine disrupting matter and pathogens only). The bioaccumulation of trace contaminants in high-value products (>$100/kg biomass). Non- production. Mechanical treatment technologies typically hold either high rate ponds (~30 cm) or algal turf scrubbers the wastewater for less than 12 hours. to make up for nutrient losses (Brune et al. 2005). The (e. Closed photobioreactors are not emphasized technologies hold the wastewater for at least several days in this wastewater treatment discussion since they are and in an environment similar to many natural receiving likely to be economical only when also producing waters. provides a Organic-rich wastewaters usually also contain nutrients... food processing).and potentially endocrine disrupting compounds (Oswald.g. and lakes). at least in terms of maximizing air flotation units or sedimentation clarifiers.g. natural disinfection and remove trace contaminants. and rivers). importation of wastes and/or wastewater will still be Disinfection is promoted via the production of oxygen needed in dedicated algae biomass production facilities radicals in the presence of sunlight. productivities (as does biofuels feedstock production). which is algae that would occur in the receiving waters. Algae are similar to in conjunction with wastewater treatment. which is the leading water treatment technology and wastewaters mainly contaminated with inorganic used in the United States (Downing et al. confined animal facilities). practical opportunity to install algae production facilities requiring two types of treatment.. might be prevented to a 84 9. agricultural drainage..g. whereas pond (~1 cm). The cost biomass production. For example.. Maintenance of lipid-rich strains. Thus. 2009). cost savings. This nutrients (e. These reactions are also the best-known industrial (e. of chemical addition ($0. 2002). 1988. eventually unlikely when wastewater contaminants are present.7). harming higher organisms. harvesting is a 2002). Woertz et al. recycling of concentrations is useful in wastewater treatment. but high productivity is not crucial to the (Borde et al.g.. The ability agricultural drainage. need high algae from animal facilities) is an area in need of study.. including wastewater treatment ponds. autoflocculation) are far less costly. The great depths contribute to low algae organic compounds such as phenol and acetonitrile productivity.g. 2009. Even with internal recycling.. Kohn et al. rivers. Despite a seeming of algae to assimilate dissolved nutrients down to trace abundance of wastewater and waste nutrients. Ponds for more advanced compounds such as human hormones and antibiotics treatment.g. and eutrophic waters dissolved oxygen algae release is used by treatment bacteria with low organic content but high nutrient content (e. As noted above. high-productivity algae and water treatment are those contaminated with organic ponds have a total cost that is about 70% less than activated matter and nutrients (e. Finally. and naturally occurring organic catalysts (Sinton et al... 2003. which will be a benefit as Wastewater Treatment Plants long as the resulting metals concentrations in the algae biomass are not excessive or inhibitive for later use in Integration of algae production with wastewater treatment the processing of fuel and other co-products.7. the is illustrated schematically in Exhibit 9. Borde et al.

High Rate Clarifier Clarifier Pond Raw Sewage Treated Effluent Sludge CO2 Digestor Generator kWh Food Algae Biomass Production Inputs Option Liquid Biofuel Products Reclaimed Water Fuels Fertilizer To Fertilizer b) Simplified conceptual system block diagram 9.Exhibit 9.7 Integration of algae production with wastewater treatment for nutrient removal and biomass production: Sun CO2 Reclaimed Algae Water CO2 N P Waste CO2 O2 N Biomass Water P Organics Bacteria a) Basic principles of operation. Resources and Siting   85 .

However. Furthermore. micro-screening. (GHG) emissions avoidance benefits compared to conventional wastewater treatment technologies. needed to confirm this. Treatment of agricultural drainage with on large-scale development. It is important to point out that amongst the numerous barriers to co-location of algal cultivation facilities with High rate ponds might be used as components of industrial CO2 sources identified at the Workshop and evaporation systems needed to dispose of blow-down subsequent discussions with electric utilities. 1996. hazards to wildlife from toxic compounds (e. oil field produced electric utilities may need to partner with algae cultivation/ water. CO2-Emitting Industries Agricultural drainage and eutrophic water bodies (e. calls.g. Resources and Siting   . As with any evaporation pond technology companies and fuel refiners/distributers with system. 2004). technical and market challenges. etc. market from decomposition of organic matter would not be drivers. For all biofuel wastes for algae production feedstocks... Lundquist et al. Thus.) are examples of such waters This section includes findings from discussions held at the (Benemann et al. Evaporation ponds are currently used to method for producing biofuels and co-products. but further investigation is techniques. such as bioflocculation. The topics wastewaters. chromium) must be carefully evaluated.great extend by pond treatment followed by algae • Determine growth model parameters harvesting. mine drainage.. as follows: • Large-scale (3-5 acre) demonstration of CO2- enhanced high rate ponds for nutrient removal • Determine CO2 biofixation efficiency 86 9. regulatory Successful use of high rate ponds specifically for and economic) for algae facilities that are co-located nutrient removal/recycling requires resolution with electric utilities and other industrial CO2 sources. routes of such contamination should be • Determine the cost savings and greenhouse gas studied and preventative measures developed. co-products. potentially increasing • Demonstrate recycling of biofuel processing the cost of waste disposal or recycling. very different business models and goals for algae selenium. of several issues. 9. potentially leading electric utilities through later meetings and conference to greater land availability and savings in land costs. 2008. Salton Sea.. and potential algal turf scrubbers without CO2-addition and high opportunities for the federal government. 2002). Treatment of Inorganic Wastewaters for Algae Production In addition to the ability of algae systems to treat organic-rich wastewaters. Findings from rate ponds with CO2 addition has been demonstrated in these interviews and conference calls were integrated California’s Central Valley and elsewhere (Craggs et with the Workshop inputs in developing this section. production in order for this type of co-location to be widely commercialized. their ability to treat high.5 Co-location of Algal nutrient. an overriding or other wastewater. CO2 addition or slow atmospheric of discussion included the value proposition. low-organic content wastewaters will expand Cultivation Facilities with the opportunities for algae production systems. dispose of agricultural drainage. contaminating the algal biomass likely would remain in the waste from biofuel processing. al. research efforts and policy evaluations would likely need to focus on Main Research Needs for Algae both carbon capture and the production of biofuels and Production with Wastewater co-products to overcome barriers (technical. any heavy metals autoflocculation.. waters is likely to occur in more rural settings than and additional input sought from managers at major treatment of municipal wastewaters. desired absorption is essential since inorganic carbon generation outcomes. constraints significant. Calif. These follow-on efforts were coordinated with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).g. The high rate ponds could create theme was that electric utilities primarily view algae an algal product while performing the service of water cultivation as a means of CO2 capture as opposed to a evaporation.. etc. Treatment of nutrient-rich National Algal Roadmap Workshop break-out sessions. The processing of the algal biomass for fuel • Develop algae grazer control strategies and other co-products would presumably destroy and • Develop reliable low-cost algae harvesting neutralize the contaminants. and included For algae-based treatment of low-organic content several large municipal electric utilities. integration opportunities and challenges. Mulbry et al.

beneficially used in algae production. This higher concentration would affect Coal-fired power plants may be a convenient source of the sizing and operations of algae production facilities— CO2 for algae production. cement manufacturing. introduced earlier in Exhibit on the phasing of the intermittency with respect to the 9. the CO2 would be emitted to the atmosphere if not captured and sequestered by other means (Rubin. but. construction of algae systems at natural models described in more detail in the Systems and gas-fired power plants may be a better investment. Resulting costs for • Excess heat or power may be available to provide CO2 will be site-specific and dependent on methods of heating or cooling for improved thermal capture. using algae to capture the maximum of CO2 absorption by algae in any carbon-credit or amount of CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants would cap and trade framework. etc. The regulatory implications transport. concentrated • Abundant quantities of concentrated CO2 available sources flue gas from fossil-fuel burning power plants from stationary industrial sources can supplement and other CO2-emitting industrial sources can be low concentration CO2 from the atmosphere. Costs are expected to be lower than for will allow developing algal cultivation facilities pure commercially supplied CO2. The Techno-Economic Assessment section of this report.S. while providing While the information in this section focuses on fossil. reason is that coal-fired power plants have higher CO2 emissions per unit energy produced than natural gas-fired An important policy question to consider is the value power plants. 2005). and distance of transport to algae management of algae cultivation systems – this cultivation sites. but economic viability under a broader range of geographic and climate must be determined case by case. coal-fired plant flue gas typically expected to result in a net reduction of overall GHG has about a factor of two greater CO2 concentration emissions. gas-fired power plants and fuel companies are likely to widely adopt algal that operate as peaking plants rather than base-load cultivation co-located with industrial CO2 sources. This will industries (e.6%). which typically ranges from about 5% to about 15%. Co-location of algal cultivation with industrial available.g. Offset of fossil fuel conditions on or near a year-round basis. would also emit CO2 distributed across the southern tier states provide during periods of darkness when it cannot be utilized by ample sources for algal growth on a large scale.15%) than natural gas plants (5 . as sources. found often in proximity of power CO2 sources is a promising area for further research. However. Also. Resources and Siting   87 . depending on the type of plant and fuel used. A number of large coal-burning power plants with baseload coal-fired plants. The impact on algae production would depend quantitative breakdown. the algae through photosynthesis. The emissions from fuel in lieu of permanent sequestration. the process of capturing flue-gas CO2 to make (10 . some absorption and re-use as transportation geothermal power production. and delivery of CO2 from the power plant to of this will need to be addressed before utilities the algae cultivation site.The Opportunity in Co-Locating with CO2-Emitting Sources ADVANTAGES OF CO-LOCATION OF Since photoautotropic algae growth requires CO2. in that the carbon will be require proportionally larger algae production systems re-released to the atmosphere when algal-derived per unit energy produced and higher costs per unit energy fuels are combusted. generators will have intermittent operation that would A variety of stationary industrial sources of CO2 introduce intermittency in the supply of CO2 for algae are distributed throughout the United States. which can transportation fuels may not rigorously be considered bring some advantage in terms of efficiency of capture. conditioning. fired power plants. carbon sequestration.5. The growth. policy on carbon extraction/refining. During those times. Thus. consumption by algae biofuel and other co-products must be done with approaches that provide a net GHG emissions • Excess wastewater or cooling water may be reduction. and ALGAE PRODUCTION WITH STATIONARY productivity can be enhanced by supplementing the INDUSTRIAL CO2 SOURCES limited CO2 available from the atmosphere. it is also relevant to other CO2-intensive • Potential carbon credit for utilities. While algae biofuels can be produced. fossil fuel require establishing a U. shows that fossil-fired power plants represent daylight hours when photosynthesis is active. beneficial re-use of cooling water and wastewater. plants – overcoming a primary resource challenge for algae cultivation at scale.).. fermentation-based industries. many of these facilities have higher CO2 concentrations compared to power plant flue gas. 9. Gas-fired the majority of CO2 emissions from stationary baseload generators would not be intermittent. but from an emissions control an aspect that could be incorporated into engineering perspective.

etc. ethanol plants. ethanol plants or other and optimize algae production will not be “free”. the capture and delivery of concentrated CO2 from The test-beds would ideally be located at power plants. not in the fuels business and regulated public utility in most cases there will not be a complementary commissions will be constrained in entering the fuel nutrient (N. algal technology companies.Barriers to Co-Location of Algae • Maintaining cultivation facilities during utility outages Production with Stationary Industrial and through seasonal changes in algal growth rates: Detailed models will be needed to develop and evaluate CO2 Sources approaches for managing the variable nature of both • Need for nutrient sources: While stationary industrial CO2 emissions and algal growth rates/CO2 uptake. etc. mechanisms to encourage partnering CO2 sources and nutrient sources such as wastewater between utilities and algae/fuel companies will be treatment facilities and agricultural waste streams. Specific test-bed R&D absorbed during periods when sunlight is available topics relevant to power and wastewater utilities and photosynthesis is active in the algae. CO2 is only at the national level. include: ▪▪ Technology evaluation at larger scales ▪▪ Determination of algae production facility model parameters 88 9.10 acres). and agricultural • Too much CO2 near plants for realistic absorption: drainage/water body restoration sites that also represent Large power plants release too much CO2 to a range geographical locations. universities. and be absorbed by algal ponds at a realistic scale climate conditions. the uncertainty may pose a barrier for wide commercial Directions for Research and Development adoption of the technology. P.). and new business models will be needed to • Unclear regulatory framework for carbon-capture commercialize this approach. The same generally holds true for other cultivation companies. credits: Until there are regulations in place that quantify carbon credits from algal growth facilities. Several areas for research. Their fundamental objective will be brought in from other sources. Therefore nutrients must be production arena. to conduct research at the pilot scale (3 . The use of flue gas to cultivate algae will involve non-point source emissions at ground level. Also. will be required for commercialization of may not be available adjacent to or near major algal cultivation facilities co-located with industrial power plants CO2 sources and/or wastewater treatment facilities. K) supply. • Establish national algae biomass production test-beds 2009). or in some cases algal to capture CO2 as opposed to producing biofuels and cultivation could be co-located with both stationary co-products. minimized and compared to other approaches for the ▪▪ Evaluation of temperature control (power capture and sequestration or reuse of carbon. Resources and Siting   . These costs and losses must be parasitic losses of CO2 transport. ▪▪ Techno-economic analyses • Capital costs and operational costs: There exists a ▪▪ Life Cycle Analysis and GHG abatement analysis need to evaluate capital costs and parasitic operational ▪▪ National inventory of potential production sites losses (and costs) for infrastructure and power required ▪▪ Evaluation of economies of scale vs. advantages to capture and deliver industrial CO2 to ponds and of decentralized production considering grow/harvest algae. as well as policy-development • Land availability: Suitable and affordable vacant land efforts. algal facility. and facilities that will aid the following: are based upon point-source emissions from high ▪▪ Rapid and consistent engineering design elevations. stationary industrial sources of CO2 (cement refiners. CO2 emitting industry facilities.. and other participants coordinated plants. Current plant cooling and algae pond heating) estimates are that approximately 20% .30% of a power plant’s greenhouse gas emissions can be offset ▪▪ Development of efficient test-bed facilities by algae biofuel and protein production (Brune et al. • Emissions from ponds are at ground level: Regulatory The following directions have been identified: requirements from power plants and other stationary • Develop computer models of algae production sources are governed by the Clean Air Act. required. stationary industrial sources as a supplement to enhance wastewater treatment facilities. This effort could involve a likely to be possible near the power plant consortium of R&D organizations. Thus. solar resource. distributors. sources of concentrated CO2 can potentially provide • Resistance from electric utilities: Electric utilities are ample carbon for photosynthesis-driven algal growth. Although often referred to as a “free” resource.

etc. and refiners/distributors. and other sites. Resources and Siting   89 .▪▪ Flue gas or other industrial source CO2 supply ▪▪ Investigate the safety of ground-level flue gas logistics. crop fertilization. proteins: carbohydrates and C:N:P) ▪▪ Power plant cooling with treated wastewater in ▪▪ Methods of nutrient and water recycling within conjunction with algae production production facilities. ▪▪ Development of algal strains and their cultivation techniques 9. and absorption/biofixation efficiency emissions from ponds including plume modeling and algal biomass productivity given seasonal and and regulatory analysis diel variations in photosynthesis and various ▪▪ Effects of various flue gases on algae production water chemistries and co-product quality ▪▪ Control of algal biomass quality (ratios of lipids: ▪▪ Scrubbing of flue gas for NOx. storage. SOx. costs. salinity and blowdown • Evaluate policies that would encourage partnering management. pathogen safety • Develop and train the future algae production/algae ▪▪ Beneficial management of residuals for soil carbon biomass processing workforce at the national test-bed development. between public utilities/other industrial CO2 sources ▪▪ Algal biomass handling. Develop university training programs. etc. and processing and algal cultivation/technology companies prior to fuel extraction. flocculation harvesting.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2002). Kyoto.B..pdf Department of Energy (DOE).gov/algae2008/breakouts/dennehy2004. Extensive open ocean aquaculture development within wind farms in Germany: The prospect of offshore co-management and legal Borde. National perspective on saline aquifers. and Rosenthal.C.. Available online at: http://www. 150.L. Washington. Environmental Protection Agency.N.J. McKinesey Climate Change Initiative. (USGS Fact Sheet 075-03).gov/energy-water/docs/121- RptToCongress-EWwEIAcomments-FINAL. Washington. (2004). Ku. 47. Energy demands on water resources: Report to congress on the interdependency of energy and water. and Ruijs.. Thompson.R. DC. Munoz. H.. (1982).. and Thompson. Sheehan. Microalgal biomass for greenhouse gas reductions: Potential for replacement of fossil-fuels and animal feeds.B.doe. (DOE/EIA-0484). Campbell. Jessup. Washington. J. October. (2009). 45(1). 86(3).energy.R. J.S. September)..H. Available online at: http://www. Biosorption of heavy metals by microalgae in batch and continuous systems. Water rush: Deep aquifers sought for metro growth. Desalination. Al-Shammiri. W.. Green. Hess. 149-169. Dennehy.. and Denver.eia. Alley.L. B. Tagore. H.E. 117–125. (2007). Synergistic relationships in algal- bacterial microcosms for the treatment of aromatic pollutants. Roadmap for agriculture biomass feedstock supply in the United States.References Aksu. In Water Desalination and Reuse Strategies for New Mexico.. Sokhansanj.). B. (2008).R. Lundquist. and Oswald. E. Washington. S. Krause... Cushman. K.sandia.. Turhollow.. J. and Benemann. Mean monthly. Carbon capture & storage: Assessing the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Department of Energy. Weissman. Hettenhaus.. DC.C. Clark.pdf Downing. W. Inventory of U.F. Washington. 135(11). (2002). Washginton. Low cost reclamation using the Advanced Integrated Wastewater Pond Systems® Technology and reverse osmosis. Springer-Verlag. J.J.S. G. 90 9.. F. US Department of energy Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Enery. Hatti-Kaul.J. Available online at at: Clean Watersheds Needs Survey 2004 Report to Congress. Department of Energy (DOE). (2006a). (1998).doe.. Energy Information Administration (EIA). (2009. U. DC.J.orau. Environmental Protection Agency. Resources and Siting   .R. (1996). GHGT-6.Y. J. R. US Department of Energy..K. April 15). 6.S. R. Water Science and Technology. Wastewater Treatment with Algae (37-54). (DOE/SC-0095).J.J. and annual pan evaporation for the United States. Patin. International energy outlook 2009 (chap.. Hoskinson. New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute.. DC.E.S.. (2009).gov/oiaf/ieo/emissions. and Brune. (2008)... A controlled stream mesocosm for tertiary treatment of sewage. 1136-1144. J.. J. In Y-S Won & N. Erbach.. W. (2004. Breaking the biological barriers to cellulosic ethanol: A joint research agenda. X. Benemann. J.. R.html Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).. Adey.C. J. Available online at: http://genomicsgtl. (2002). (2003). Guieysse.. Van Olst. E. Desalination of groundwater: Earth Science Perspective. B. 8). I. (NOAA Technical Report NWS 34).J.html Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Geological Survey. D. Easterly. (2003).L. and Wright. Massingill. Available online at: http://www. Berlin. (February 11. 95-122. The controlled eutrophication process: Using microalgae for CO2 utilization and agricultural fertilizer recycling.K. R. S. Farnsworth. D. (2008). H.R.. Environmental Protection Agency.epa. Zubieta.. Human-related sources and sinks of carbon dioxide. J. DC. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990–2007. L. Washington. Bioresource Technology. Department of Energy. (2006b).F. T. 2009). 189-203. Department of Energy. and Oswald.. Delgado. A.C. Naucler. DC. Ecological Engineering.. DC. M.htm Craggs. H. Available online at: http://www. T. Emissions of greenhouse gases report. Washington.. Available online at: http://www. W. Foust. T.. R. Available online at: www. A. Brune. B. (2002). CO: U.Y. Japan. D. H. Ocean Coastal Management..X. Tam (Eds..eia. O. Journal of Environmental Engineering. Albuquerque Journal. D. (DOE/ EIA-0573). Bracco. 293-300. D.pdf. J. J. W. seasonal. 2002. M.abqjournal. Evaporation rate as a function of water salinity. A...

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techno-economic modeling and analysis can across the overall algae-to-biofuels supply chain. and deployment engagement of key public and private stakeholders so approaches.g. and market conditions and constraints.1). Such serve a range of purposes and goals that include: analyses can provide improved understanding and insight to help guide successful industry development within the • Assess technical performance and cost/benefit real-world context of technical.. processes. coupled applied across this space and done at different levels of with economic feasibility in the practical implementation precision and granularity. comparative yield and energy balance for different pathways • Assess economic impact of R&D strategies and 10. to an overall regional and marketing. infrastructural.. and quantitative modeling and analyses of systems and processes are needed that span different enterprise levels In short. and environmental) critical technical risks and overcome challenges to developing to meeting performance objectives and reaching goals for an algal biofuels industry.g. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis Successful development of an algae-based biofuels and challenges along each of these pathways. significant investment is expected to be required to overcome the various technical and economic Exhibit 10. and processes.Separation Hydrocarbons Consolidated Intermediate Lipids Carbohydrates Proteins & Alcohols* Biomass Constituents * Biologically produced in-situ by the organism Biochemical Thermochemical Direct Anaerobic Conversion Conversion Conversion Synthesis Digestion Processes Renewable End Use Fuels Biodiesel Alcohols Biogas Co-Products & Products Hydrocarbons 10. Enabling successful advancement and or national resource and supply chain assessment. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  93 .2. environmental. systems.Dewatering . can commercialization of the still relatively immature provide informed guidance for targeting investments in field of algal biofuels also requires the confidence and select technologies. objective successful commercialization. Toward this end. Systems modeling and analyses technical innovations in systems and processes. e. ranging from individual unit and integrated scale-up for commercial production operations to an integrated enterprise. e.1 Objectives of investments. systems. political. tradeoffs among different technologies.10. economic. as discussed co-products industry requires the optimum combination of throughout the Roadmap.1 High level illustration of various approaches and pathways to developing algae-derived biofuelsand co-products ALGAE Species Unicellular Multicellular Selection & Cyanobacteria Microalgae Macroalgae Biology Open Terrestrial Closed Terrestrial Open Offshore Cultivation Systems Systems Systems System: Hybrid . It can also help track performance and they can make necessary investments over time to reduce progress (technical. comparative cost per Techno-Economic Analysis gallon of biofuel for different pathways Given the numerous potential approaches and pathways available for algae biofuels and co-products (as illustrated in Exhibit 10. as illustrated in Exhibit 10.Harvesting Systems .Fractionation Phototrophic Mixotrophic Phototrophic Heterotrophic Phototrophic .

• Assess environmental impact of R&D strategies 10.2 TEA Scope and Methods
and investments, e.g., comparative net greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions per gallon of biofuel for Exhibit 10.3 illustrates at a high level the essential
different pathways elements of techno-economic modeling and analysis.
• Assess consequences and constraints of alternative These intersecting elements present a broad systems
pathways for algal feedstock, biofuels, and co- perspective that integrates the interdependent science
products industry build-up, e.g., land, water, CO2, and engineering aspects specific to developing algae
other nutrients, energy, and infrastructure. biofuels, keeping environmental, economic, and
policy aspects in view to provide critical insight
• Inform R&D and business development investment
and information needed for decision-support.
• Inform policy decisions and explore “what if” Techno-economic assessment for algae biofuels is
scenarios highly interdisciplinary and will range from GIS-based
• Provide insight and actionable information needed resource and siting assessment, to engineering modeling
to successfully guide technical advancement, of systems and processes at the unit operations level, to
integrated system scale-up, and commercialization interdependency analyses of the entire supply chain. Exhibit
10.4 illustrates a broad systems perspective of issues and
DOE’s Biomass Program employs a wide range of approaches for the overall algae biofuels supply chain from
analytical tools, data, and methodologies to support siting and resources to product end-use. The categories
decision-making, guide research, and demonstrate shown follow the process steps in the algal biofuel supply
progress toward goals. In conjunction with the Algae chain sequence. Such summarization of key areas to be
Roadmap, Biomass Program’s strategic and portfolio addressed to enable algal biofuel production provides
analysis efforts are expanding to include algae with guidance for the scope of content that should be integrated
techno-economic modeling and analysis (TEA), life cycle into systems techno-economic modeling and analysis.
assessment (LCA), and geographic information system
(GIS) based resource assessments.

Exhibit 10.2 Systems and Techno-Economic Modeling and Analysis as a decision-support tool
It can track and assess performance, and evaluate investment cost/benefit/risk tradeoffs to inform both technical and programmatic decisions

S&T, Systems & Processes Areas
Biofuel Conversion
Cost, Performance, and Risk Metrics

Extraction & Fractionation
Harvesting & Dewatering
Algae Science & Biomass Production
Stage-I Advances Systems Infrastructure & Integration
Uncertainty Range

Cost & Risk
Reductions Stage-II Advances
Improvements Commercialization Threshold

Cost & Risk

T0 (current status) T1 T2 (e.g., 5-15 years)

Roadmap Timeframe Multi-Stage R&D,
Demonstration, Commercializtion, Deployment

94 10. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis 

Energy & Fuel Economics; Algal Biomass & Biofuel
Energy-Water-Environment Production Systems,
Interdepencies; Process Engineering
Carbon Emissions & & Other Sciences

Policy Analysis

Exhibit 10.3 Techno-Economic Modeling and
Analysis addresses interdependent issues

The scope of TEA will ideally include the capability to level, which in turn must function within climate and
apply and integrate detailed process engineering and weather conditions that vary with geographical location,
physics-based modeling at the unit operations level the approach needs to be both multi-level and multi-scale.
with multi-scale and multi-path systems modeling and
comparative tradeoff assessment. This can include An algae biofuels and co-products supply chain will be a
geospatial (GIS-based) data collection, analysis and complex interdependent system with numerous alternative
visualization, systems and processes optimization, pathways and functional elements and feedbacks at various
and dynamic interdependency analyses of the overall spatial and temporal scales and resolutions, as suggested
supply chain at a local, regional, national, or global in Exhibit 10.5. System and process simulation and
scale. A major environmental impact element will optimization under a system engineering framework can
be life cycle analysis (LCA) to assess GHG impacts prove very beneficial for system design and operation. For
and other resource use footprint (e.g., water). example, optimizing conditions that produce the highest
neutral lipid content of the algal biomass under a range
The overall goal is to capitalize on the power and insight of design conditions, when bio-oil feedstock production
available through application of well developed computer is the primary pathway and objective, may not lead to the
modeling and analysis tools combined with disparate highest overall biomass or lipid productivity. Similarly,
database information that exists or can be developed. achieving the most affordable and sustainable production
For example, a process-based algae growth model that of algal feedstock, in terms of resource use intensity
accurately reflects and integrates the dynamic behavior of and cost per unit of end-use biofuel produced under a
the key biological processes with the engineered growth specific set of scenario conditions, may not result from the
system and its time-dependent physical and chemical pursuit of the algal oil production pathway altogether.
conditions (including local time-varying climate and Sensitivity analyses and global system optimization
weather) can not only provide more detailed input to and comparative tradeoff assessments across a range of
the techno-economical performance analysis of algae approaches and conditions are among the critical modeling
cultivation, but can also reveal opportunities for improved and analysis needs. Meeting such needs requires a flexible
system and process design and operation. Since the modeling and analysis framework and suite of tools that
characteristics of the biological system at the microscopic can specifically address the broad scope and multiple
algae cell level affect the performance of the engineered pathways spanned by an algae biofuels supply chain
cultivation system and processes at a higher integrated system. Geospatial GIS-based data integration and analysis

10. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  95

Exhibit 10.4 Scoping the content for Systems Techno-Economic Modeling and Analysis: Key topic areas and issues for the overall algal
biofuels supply chain


Algal Biology Cultivation Harvesting & Extraction & Processes Biofuels Policy &
Sitting & Inputs
S&T Systems Dewatering Fractionation Co-Products, Regulation
& Services

Geolocation/ Species Selection Open Ponds Filtering Extract Processes Conversion Processes Taxes
elevation & Matching to - lined Flocculation/ - Solvent - Biochemical Incentives
Land characteristics Growth Conditions - unlined Settling - Acoustic - Thermochemical
- Electromagnetic - Digestion Permitting
Characterization - raceway
Climate/Weather Airlift Flocculation - Other - Hydrotreat/ Enviromental
- wastewater
Solar Insolation Performance treatment Centriuge Seperation/ Refine Impact
Water Souces/ Strain Improvement Closed PBRs Drying Fractionation Fuels Health & Safety
Issuses - horizontal tube Biological Assist - Membrane - Biodiesel Algae Control
- brackish Biomass Growth
- vertical tube - brine shrimp - Distillation - Green diesel & Regulation
- wastewater & Oil Conditions
- vertical planar - fish - Centrifuge - Aviation
- produced Photoautotrophic Other
- other - Other - Gasoline-like
- desalination organism operation Other
Hybrid System Intermediate - EtOH
concentration Products - Biogas/methane
Heterotrophic Combinations
-marine - TAG Oil - Other
organism operation - covered ponds
- fresh - Other Lipids Co-Products
Algae Pathogens, - pond/PBR mix
- losses, re-use ▪ Polar - Feed
- salt build-up Predators, and Heterotrophic ▪ Neutral - Fertilizer
CO2 Sources Mitigations - Industrial - Carbohydrates - Chemicals
- power plants Bioreactors - Proteins Services
- cement plants - Wastewater - Other - Carbon capture
- fermentation/ Facilities Compounds - Water treatment
other - Water
Chemical/Materials Monitoring & Direct secretion
Energy/Power Maintenance of EtOH or
hydrocarbon fuel
precursors into
growth medium,
avoiding Harvest &
Dewatering steps

is also key to siting and resource assessment and the design, uncertainty in data while still capturing the underlying
analysis and optimization of facilities location and supply dymanics of the overall system. Although quantitative
chain logistics (from algae cultivation through end-use uncertainty will remain, the results can provide qualitative
fuels and products biorefining, transport, and distribution). system behavior and trends still useful in helping
guide technical, economic, and policy decisions. More
Algal biofuels remain an emerging field at a relatively thorough analysis and modeling refinement, informed
immature stage of development. As a result, data for by field data expected to become available as larger-
detailed unit operations and process analyses for different scale pilot and demonstration projects are established
technical approaches for algae cultivation, harvesting, and and operated, will more clearly reveal the most critical
post-processing into fuels and other co-products is currently challenges and guide investments and technical advances
sparse and uncertain. Selected modeling and analysis needed to enable successful commercialization of
approaches can be used to effectively accommodate such economical, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

96 10. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis 

etc.Heterotrophic . One approach with photoautotrophic microalgae integrated systems modeling and analysis across the is modeling major cultivation system categories 10. and utilize a range of and industry development effort.Open systems . their alternatives.Autotrophic . scales.5 The dynamic coupling and interdependencies across the algal biofuels and co-products supply chain 10. soil) Broader .Primary Energy Electric Power and Process Heat Generation Capital Construction. location. Replacement Market Externalities: Cost of Energy. tilt.Water Water Capture . Cost of Petroleum & Conventional Fuels. develop.Materials Energy Feedbacks .3 Suggestions for TEA and supply chain. different levels within the broad systems scope presented. be considered in algae biofuels modeling and analysis production plant. similar to the modeling approaches. Incentives & Barriers Siting .Requirements Harvesting Dewatering Extraction Oil / Lipids . unit operation. Maintenance. Demand & Price for Co-Products vs. Monitoring. and therefore.GMOs Biology .Equipment .Closed systems &/or Drying & Seperation . geology.Characteristics .Climate/Weather Feedbacks Conversion Carbohydrates Biofuels Algae Cultivation .Species .Capital Co-Gen . Exhibit 10. or enterprise level rather than broader efforts. individualized modeling and analysis efforts and configurations of rapidly evolving systems and by industry and technology development organizations processes.Hybrid systems Feedbacks Resources Proteins & Conversion .Labor .Nutrients (NPK) or Treatment & Re-Use .7. as exemplified by Exhibit 10. unavailable for broader use and objective assessment and validation. Workshop participants the role that systems TEA and LCA can and should play generally agreed that modeling and analysis should be a in support of algal biofuels development. It was noted that there Preparation for the Algae Roadmap Workshop and the is a need and role for both integrated systems modeling as discussion among participants during and after the event well as detailed engineering design and process modeling.Performance . Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  97 .CO2 / Flue Gas Conditioning Other Coproducts . Exhibit that the needs for coupled models of differing fidelity and 10.6 illustrates various complementary modeling and scales will be defined in the early stages of the systems analysis approaches and techniques that come into play at modeling R&D effort and will evolve as time goes on. Included in the Workshop discussions was the question of Due to their more limited and immediate business how best to approach the multiple and disparate paths objectives. and levels of detail best suited to and analysis efforts underway by DOE in support of the perform the necessary modeling and analyses based on other bioenergy and biofuels programs. Also identified critical part of a national algae biofuels research program was the need to adapt. identified the need to clearly define the scope and determine and that the two should be coupled. that should tend to focus on a technology or process. It is also expected available and emerging information and data. Operations.Temperatures Design & Economy Feedbacks Nutrient . Policy & Regulation. Details of systems’ and processes’ technical and economic performance achieved by industry and LCA Approach (Workshop other technology developers are also usually considered Results and Discussion) proprietary.Solar Insolation Environment .Land (cost.

Engineering & construction estimates from industry . various groups doing ad-hoc modeling and assessment specifically focused on their chosen approach and Standardized interface requirements and definitions could technologies (e. transport. Higher-Level Dynamic Meta-Systems Modeling (Integrated Analysis Framework) • Broad value-chain scope. can link to other models & analyses Process Flow Enginering Modeling Static CAPEX & OPEX Calculations • System and process equipment cost estimates • Mass & energy balance calculations . economic. or a hybrid competing options and the broader scope of interdependent combination..Technical. processes and integrated systems for commercialization. resource use. and activating only those portions of the issues and tradeoffs that need to be addressed together to hybrid configuration model desired. and Life Cycle Analysis of open pond. The size of the “matrix” engineering design. how better inform technical. and optimization of of possibilities could quickly become unmanageable. etc. with time delays. Narrowly “beginning-to-end value chain” for algal biofuels focused and detailed technical and economic modeling production with adequate resolution and detail is very and analysis is valuable and necessary for those doing challenging and still emerging. and interface approaches. 98 10. constraints & impacts .Vendor/ Supplier cost estimates (ASPEN+) • Engineering and construction cost estimates • Process GHG footprint (LCA) assessment . across an emerging approach..Required build-up of new infrastructure. with learning curves & improvement projections . development.. storage • GREET (Argonne National Lab) infrastructure • LEM (UC/ Davis). The disadvantage of such a be established for system and process functional blocks that distributed and narrowly focused approach is that it is often would enable the development of an open-source modeling done in isolation with limited or no consideration of other and assessment platform with “plug & play” flexibility.g. pipelines) Other LCA Modeling • Fuel processing.Integration with existing infrastructure . enviromental.) • Cost of biofuel production • Water resources (fresh wastewater. GIS Analysis. • Cost (& offsets) of co-products production other) • Carbon footprint cost accounting • Climate/ Weather/ Temperature Conditions • CO2 resources ( point source emitters.. closed photobioreactors. specific technologies. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  . and essentially represents what exists today with “community of practice” for the algae biofuels industry.. • Other infrastructure and enviromental features Exhibit 10. regional. and national level. from resources & sitting through production to end use • Algae biofuel and co-products industry scale-up potential... and processes and performance parameters is another definitions. production availability. Flexibility and usefulness Developing numerous detailed models that are each could be increased to the extent that such modeling uniquely customized to a specific combination of systems and analysis can be done using common standards. Etc....6 Multiple levels and complementary approaches available for Algal Biofuels Systems and Processes Techno-Economic Modeling. and policy issues • Feedbacks and Multiple Sector Interdependencies. Beyond this.ICARUS cost estimate software (or equivalent) • Operations & Maintenance cost estimates Geographic Information System (GIS) Analysis and Visualization • Cost (& offsets) of co-product feedstock • Land resources (characteristics. economic. and policy decisions to best conceptualize a model that spans the overall at the state. platform).

Fertilizer Inputs 1.4 BY PASS 6.3 Biochemical E.End Use Exhibit 10.3 Hybrid systems & settling 1. Lipids H. Triglycerides N.2 Thermochemical & Separation D.1 Solar . Exhibit 10. Carbohydrates O. 4.Field . assessment. Aviation 6. To facilitate system-level • Universities doing a wide range of technical/ thinking during the Workshop.2 Co-products 1.0 Extraction Conservation 6. Energy Source derivative biomass & Markets 3.) and non-technical issues.1.4 Systems Analysis Flexibility in being able to link custom subsystem or process models into an overall meta-system Overview modeling and analysis framework would provide a System analysis is foundational to designing a strategy capability that could be of significant value and benefit for algal biofuel deployment. Other Q.5 Light or Alt.2 Fuel .2 Cyanobacteria R. moving in this direction (Getman.0 1.1 Closed system 1. etc. 5.2 Open system 2.4 BY PASS A.0 Harvesting L.0 Drying . Chemicals 2. Materials 2.g.5 Biological assist Harvesting (shrimp.3 Centrifuging biomass 3.1.1 Algae species 3. Hydrogen K.4 Off-shore systems 3.1.1. processes.2 Land Cultivation 3. USDA.Transport fish excrement.1 Microalgae Conservation F. Feed 1.3 CO2 2. processes of the flow diagram that shows a representative number • Private investment / funding sources 10. 10.7 is a revised adaptation systems.1 Flocculation 2.5 provides • DOE & national labs doing R&D.3 Water 3. Green diesel 6. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  99 . universities.3 Macroalgae R. Biogas / Methane Metabolites I.2 Filtering 8. A system is an aggregation to different stakeholder communities such as: of subsystems interacting such that the system is able to deliver an over-arching functionality. a process flow diagram was economic/policy R&D and assessment developed and presented at every breakout track discussion to illustrate the intricate interdependencies of algal • Industry developing and commercializing technologies. Exhibit 10.1 Chemical C.. and other technical Defense.7 High-level multi-pathway algae biofuel process flow diagram for the algal biofuels and co-products supply chain Much more detailed or custom models of individual Work currently underway on the Knowledge Discovery subsystem or process blocks could then be developed by Framework (KDF) by DOE’s Biomass Program is various others in industry. etc.Storage 4.1 Fuel 5. Gasoline-like 6. and represents utilizing different techniques such as high performance an example of a GIS-based information gathering physics-based modeling (e.) 4. Dried Algal 1. 2009). and national labs.1.5 Biological Assist 2. Biodiesel 5. Proteins P.1.0 J. biofuel production. EPA. Wet algal or biological assist Infrastructure 1. and a high-level illustration of the interdependent character tracking of program investments of the overall algae biofuels value chain that involves a • Other federal and state agencies (Department of broad range of systems. Fatty Acids M. cultivation systems) or process engineering models using widely accepted and applied commercial process modeling tools like AspenPlusTM or customized spreadsheets. Ethanol 1.Distribution . computational fluid dynamics and analysis platform that can be productively used modeling of open raceway ponds or closed photobioreactor and leveraged for algae biofuels development.2 Electromagnetic 5.3 Chemical G.1 Physical (Thermo/Mechanical) 5.

and others beyond balance systems level view of an algal biomass and algal those selected for inclusion in the figures also exist or lipid cultivation and extraction system. GIS Assessments sustainable production of microalgae biomass. evaluate costs.8 represent a large detailed process engineering data may be lacking. and understanding key information from each node in the and other local environmental conditions.) uncertainties. such as: processes that are shown in the process flow diagram • Land and water resources of Exhibit 10. availability of suitable land. especially where Both Exhibit 10. unit operations level require the systematic calculation efficiency of water use. Example engineering analysis tools scale-up was touched on earlier in chapter 9. wind electrolysis. and organic molecule reforming. and chemical kinetics of the systems and of these resource can have on algae biofuel production processes used.) interdependencies and feedbacks. and each numbered node attempt to develop a comparative analysis based on so represents a mass or energy balance calculation. Inputs to each will likely emerge. Many of the process steps will differ depending Exhibit 10. These Engineering analyses (technical and economic) at the include climate and the adequate availability of water. risk. hydrodynamic. identifying and appropriately modeling • Water evaporation loss (function of climate. number of permutations of potential pathways to algal biofuel production. thus Fuel Initiative. most of which are still immature and An example of this type of analysis is presented in emerging. • Fuel processing. nuclear energy. and environmental impacts. assumptions in individual processes to the overall system. of a given algal biomass production system and show 2009).5 and Exhibit 10. etc. from algae growth processes involved to appropriately formulate and conduct to fuel and co-product processing and end-use. Critical climatic and natural (energy requirements and costs) of the systems and resource data can be readily accessed. The impact that availability and cost biological. (N. solar insolation. Sub-level accurate analyses. The cost include AspenPlusTM and FLUENTTM. • Other infrastructure and environmental features Engineering Analyses and Several critical resource factors will impact large-scale. development of mass and energy based systems models energy and environmental tradeoffs and set research can help evaluate different proposed processes for priorities and inform policy by sound analysis. P. and Analysis tools (referenced also in chapter 9) are indispensible for algae production and supply Other chapters of this Roadmap point out the lack chain systems analysis due to their ability to perform of availability of detailed information about the mapping and resource analysis spanning local. and tracking of mass and energy balances that include and availability of supplemental CO2 and other nutrient evaluation of the thermodynamic. producing algal biofuels and co-products by quantifying precipitation.8. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  . Though it may seem daunting to system component are shown. Exhibit 10. transport. and benefit tradeoffs of CO2 capture through biofixation which require sufficient understanding and detailed using photoautotrophic microalgae cultivation enhanced 100 10. The many process permutations. • CO2 resources (point source emitters. A substantial number of barriers are (characteristics. characteristics of algae themselves and the characteristics and national scales. etc.) enumerated and designated as goals to be achieved. Established in 2003 in response to the Hydrogen what steps in the process are most energy intensive. etc. Collecting such as time-dependent solar insolation. availability. there is precedence for this value of this kind of systems mass and energy balance sort of undertaking in DOE’s Hydrogen Analysis (H2A) assessment is that it can help assess the overall viability Project within the overall Hydrogen Program (DOE. This program could serve as a guide for moving Geographic Information System (GIS) Visualization forward with analysis of algal biofuel production. K) supplies. The pathways toward a hydrogen economy. H2A was designed to consider various highlighting areas for research and development. more approximate preliminary spreadsheet analyses are more appropriate as a first step. regional. storage infrastructure technical performance. among others. pipelines) offs from various scenarios with regard to cost. Simpler and process becomes the primary task of the systems analysis. and comparing trade. This may also require coupling processes that made up different thematic topic discussion with appropriate external data and driving functions sessions in the Workshop are all inter-related. The overall viability and examine the sensitivity of different options for hydrogen production include goal gasification.of multiple path process options available for every step technical information and data about the systems and in the algal biofuel production chain. Systems analysis can help manage the complexity of • Climatic characteristics (temperature. temperature.8 represents a mass and energy on the product or co-product chosen.8.

..g.8 Notional baseline algae feedstock production system Sunlight H2O Energy & Solvent & Water & O2 Other Inputs Energy Energy H2O Recycle Microalgae Photo. and data are also integral to system analysis as they reveal financial sets developed and leveraged to provide the necessary investment or market incentives needed for algae biofuel assessment capabilities to guide research. followed downstream by the necessary concentrations. storage. e. The conditions with multiple species of algae could be useful. and transport of water. in press). of combining these types of spatial and physical data to To the extent that operations can be effectively co-located project possible algal production scenarios as a function of or established within reasonable distances across the geography and climate is an interesting avenue of inquiry. storage. storage. P. Operation & Maintenance cost estimates transport. ambient temperature. and policy decisions. Primary Secondary Primary Secondary Neutral Lipid Bioreactor Harvesting Harvesting Dewatering Solvent Air & CO2 Dewatering Extraction &/ or Pond e. business deployment..9 is an example of the and costs of supplying inputs needed for algae production application of high-performance computational modeling (suitable siting. • Equipment. solar insolation. from the operation and monitoring of larger scale algae distribution. At the the technical design of systems and their operations for front end of the supply chain.g. nutrients. and distribution infrastructure could benefit from GIS analysis. Biomass e. Hexane System Chemical Dissolved Air Recovery & Centrifuge Drying Solvent Nutrients Flocculation Flotation (N. the data available to implement this type of analysis are thought to be preliminary and refinement Producing biofuels that are highly compatible. tools and capabilities to an open raceway pond system that supplemental CO2. Equipment. etc. Co-products Polar Lipid Site Preparation Carbohydrate 10.. Hexane microfiltration e. geographic location attributes and time dependent climate The economics of algae-based biofuels and co-products and weather data. Structures. The possibility fuel and co-product markets at the end of the suppy chain. including example calculations presented later in this chapter. e. analysis and LCA (CAPEX ) and operational expense (OPEX) calculations for algae. re-use Potrential Protein Biofuel Feedstock Materials. tools. Some examples are: development. the addition of CO2 from industrial sources will affect on the size and the optimum site locations of biorefinery the economics of algal biofuel production.) forcing functions and boundary transport. for • Discounted cash flow analysis example. or totally based on model improvement and validation with data fungible.. Land. with the appropriate models. e. These and related issues should be an integral Economic analysis tools for static capital expense part of techno-economic modeling. resource management. Exhibit 10. • POLYSYS At the downstream end. with the existing hydrocarbon fuel handling. and Capture & Neutral Lipid Systems Infrastructure. etc. Potential facilities relative to upstream algae biomass production CO2 capture and utilization in algae biomass production and downstream fuel and co-product markets. Midstream will be the includes an algae growth model driven by environmental logistics of transport. is discussed in more detail through a few selected The combination of GIS resource assessment. Utilities.g. and energy).) Water Energy Residues: TAGs & Other Facilities. and biorefining into fuels and (e. and end-use infrastructure would result in production systems under a range of site and climate easier and more widespread market acceptance. and distribution into the various end-use conditions (James and Varun. nutrient other co-products. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  101 . supply chain.. sourcing. same would apply to co-products and their potential markets. can provide powerful feedstock production and downstream processing can be capabilities for estimating performance and for improving integrated with existing infrastructure and markets. with physics-based modeling of will depend in large measure on the degree to which algae cultivation systems and algae growth. Currently. the relative location and • ICARUS cost estimate software (or equivalent) logistical costs associated with fuel processing. This information.g. can help determine the practical upper limit • Cost (& offsets) of co-product feedstock production • Cost of biofuel production • Carbon footprint cost accounting Exhibit 10.g.. the economics can be expected to improve.g. this will include the logistics different site conditions.

temperature. O2…) to model growth rates. • Availability. Capture and re-use of non-fresh water. approach the same order of magnitude as large scale There are. on the other hand.700 gal/ac-yr. and fertilizer.000 gal/ac-yr and perhaps a practical that can be captured.) (Weyer et al. Areas The various inputs necessary for algal biofuel production of the country with the highest solar resource best have been described earlier in this chaper and in other suited for algae growth also tend to be more arid and chapters of the Roadmap. and it will affect the amount limit on the order of ~4. on cost of production and scale for commercial viability.5. Si. particularly with open systems subject to macroalgae and microalgae cultivation (autotrophic. and nutrient gradients • Solar insolation and other environmental. cost.) will also affect both conditions. productivity. can potentially help fill this need. photosynthetic efficiency. and basis. availability. The daily. and annual variation in other assumptions made in the analysis (which include solar insolation. as well as other climate-related the availability of high solar insolation consistent with factors such as temperature and weather (cloud lower latitudes and/or high percentage of clear weather cover. but it is appropriate here to briefly note • The supply. wind. and this factor varies widely across the Sugar from commodity crops and other organic country among inland.. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  . are amount of water required nationally could begin to not unique to the development of algal biofuel technology. coastal.350 . but these commercial algae industry build-up scenarios. and offshore sites. Under large power. These aspects were discussed in some detail in Chapter 9. and sustainability of suitable water Impact of Geographic Variability of supplies for algae production will be a key input factor Inputs on Algal Biofuel Production Costs for inland cultivation. 50% oil content. and affordable accessibility of such water sources.S. like cost of subject to more limited water supplies. though important for overall TE analysis. Computational Fluid Dynamics Model of Algal Raceway Pond Using Modified EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers Codes • The Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) solves 3D Navier-Stokes equations of open channel flow to model speed. but will variation of resource availability will have major impacts be dependent on the geographical location. etc. the productivity and reliability of production. Open raceway pond example of physics-based algae cultivation system modeling and anlaysis. and cost of organic carbon the following: feedstock needed as input for heterotrophic microalgae production will play a major role in the commercial • The average annual insolation is generally the viability and extent to which national production dominant and rate-limiting factor for autotrophic algal capacity can expand using the heterotrophic approach. Certain elements. climate. P. heterotrophic. aspects of large scale agriculture. based of culture that will need to be processed on a daily on the expected losses. vary over the U. carbon materials from industrial or municipal waste This variation will determine the spatial surface streams can provide bridge feedstock in the near- 102 10. and will be heavily dependent on geographical location and local conditions. water. Such analysis can enable both performance prediction and pond system design optimization after appropriate refinement and validation with monitored field system data (Adapted from James and Varun. seasonal. 2009). evaporative loss. and mixotrophic) for which geographical in particular.9. availability. Exhibit 10. the variations. it will affect the amount of CO2 the order of ~38. and meteorological forcing functions • Includes algal biomass growth model • CE-QUAL couples nutrient kinetics and 22 independent variables (N. etc. in press) area of cultivation systems needed to achieve a set Recent analysis suggests an upper theoretical limit on amount of product. precipitation.

availability. water evaporation rates will provide some level of and affordable accessibility of such nutrient sources. but major sustainable scale-up of national contaminants that inhibit algae growth). though it is not yet energy crops. nitrogen than conventional biomass be possible to get the most benefit of economies of crops on a mass balance basis (Alexander et al.. scale. and costs of offshore cost of lignocellulosic material deconstruction into marine operations will have a major impact on simple sugars and other organic carbon compounds costs of production.g. 2009. 2009). 2009) can potentially help supply specific strains for extended durations. Algae can be production capacity will demand the use of sugars effective at capturing and concentrating heavy metal and other suitable organic carbon source materials contaminants (Aksu. For open nutrients for algae production scale-up. The affordability of • Land prices and availability can also impact the cost generating organic carbon feedstock from such of biofuel production at inland and coastal sites. K) required as inputs for algae growth will straightforward to calculate the impact of the cost also play a role in commercial viability and extent of of land. and co-products like animal feed. Conversely. the logistics and costs could impact the suitability of residual biomass for associated with producing. the amount of nutrients required nationally versus the matching of affordable production scale to could begin to approach the same order of magnitude the sustainable and affordable supply of the required as large scale agriculture. (Huang. such as are present in some forms of flue gas. infrastructure facilities for offshore. transporting. The key tradeoffs will be between the cost Under large commercial algae industry build-up of overall production (capital and operating costs) scenarios. if not more. This As with cellulosic ethanol. and municipal waste streams will be location-dependent. and petroleum). and perhaps also for offshore sites. on the industrial build-up. the right of access and use..e.. 2009). waste materials from agriculture clear how best to factor this into the calculation. risks. The quality of the systems will provide the same engineering problems CO2 source will also play a role for algal growth. Finally. carbon credits materials in the form of woody and herbaceous must also enter into this analysis. Even in active thermal management for growth during periods the case of co-location. 2008). it may be co-located industries or the CO2 source may allow necessary to transport CO2 over some distance. temperature control. where recent cost and supply input resources with the required output product issues have had negative impacts on the industry processing and distribution infrastructure and markets. In necessary to distribute the facility over a number of the absence of nitrogen fixation. but for each approach operational costs for algae (Massingale et al.. 9. P. but this the cost of operations. availability. The capture and reuse of nutrients • As in traditional agriculture. it will be advantageous to co-locate cultivation requiring active cooling that can add prohibitively to facilities with stationary industrial CO2 sources. and is a consideration that appropriately processing lignocellulosic biomass requires further investigation. the temperature during from various agricultural and municipal waste streams the growing season will restrict the ability to cultivate (Woertz et al. Commercial fertilizer costs are overall cost of total algal biomass and intermediate tied closely to the cost of energy supplies (natural gas feedstock fraction (e. and and processing improvements needed to reduce the the associated logistics. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  103 . As noted here and in chapter closed systems operating inland can overheat. other) production. but evaporation will also add to • CO2 availability and cost of delivery will play a major operating cost (for water replacement and/or for salt role in autotrophic microalgae cultivation scalability management with brackish or saline water. Cost of site preparation and suitable for feeding heterotrophic microalgae. 2005). materials will also depend on technical advances For offshore sites. 1998. carbohydrates. coastal. and cost of other nutrients sites will all be location-dependent. N. some sources are likely to require more cleanup than others (especially if there are plans for animal feed as a co-product and/or if the CO2 source stream includes 10. Mehta and Gaur. and operating expense. Waste heat and energy from will not be feasible in all instances and thus. the size of an autotrophic algae of suboptimal (high or low) temperature. and and costs as transporting and distributing CO2. and inland • The supply. Malcolm et al. If it is agriculture (Huang. but applying facility will require extensive pipeline infrastructure for this heat or energy to extensive algal cultivation CO2 distribution. It is reasonably (i.. 2008) it will likely be an optimum minimum and range to the same extent as for large scale commercial of size for a commercial production facility.. derived originally from lignocellulosic biomass. dependent on the geographical location. it may not much. algae can require as smaller parcels of land or offshore sites. and forest industries. lipids. and can be an appreciable factor in proteins. term. adding to the cost. but this will be systems operating at inland sites in the summer.

eliciting discussion. delays. co-generation addition to net GHG emissions. data base resources. use. and water. algal oil feedstock Life Cycle Analysis production cost analyses were reviewed based on a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a “cradle-to-grave” range of sources to gauge the status of algal biofuel analysis approach for assessing the resource use and technology. There are indications. ISO. waste stream 2002 and 2004). the calculations for the cost of algal biofuel 10. costs. and in comparison with fuels citable sources are quite dated.S. LCA is important for assessing relative Oswald. 2006. EPA. 1993). the UC/Davis Lifecycle Emission Model (Delucci. A dynamics simulation model also phased approach that consists of four major components: provides an integrated analysis framework that can include: goal definition and scoping. 1997. and tools have been developed that include Argonne National • Algae biofuel and co-products industry scale-up Laboratory’s GREET “well-to-wheels” model (ANL. These included technical reports prepared environmental impacts and tradeoffs of industrial systems for the U. from manufacture. 2009. operating costs. it is system performance for an industry that has yet to be likely that a technology that will require the production commercially realized is one of the biggest challenges for of immense volumes of biofuel at affordable cost so it techno-economic analysis. While these variations Data gathering and validation of technical and economic may be minor relative to the technical uncertainties. 1996. however.. peer-reviewed literature (e. including the raw material acquisition required to manufacture the product 10. life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). These 1993. In resource capture and reuse. and compiling suggested directions for research and development from the participants. 1996). Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  . constraints and impacts 2009). and co-product credits.g.11 illustrates the typical life cycle stages considered in an LCA and the typical inputs/ Dynamics Modeling outputs measured.6 Preliminary System (EPA. LCA is a systematic technique to assess Systems dynamics modeling is a powerful and flexible the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated modeling approach that can foster collaborative analysis with a product. and other resources. and maintenance. Exhibit 10. and policy issues • Feedbacks and Multiple Sector Interdependencies with links to other models and analyses 104 10. 2004) up systems. LCA for biofuels can also • Integration with existing infrastructure assess impacts and tradeoffs associated with utilization • Required build-up of new infrastructure with time intensity for water. Bernard. 1997). and • Broad value-chain scope: from resources and interpretation as illustrated in Exhibit 10. and specifically leverage past and current LCA knowledge base present a challenge in designing scaled work specific to biofuels (ANL 2009. UNEP.g. Delucchi. The process employs a and scenario studies.. learning curves and improvement projections • Technical.g. siting through production to end use LCA methodologies. • Input resources. While most algal biofuels production. or service. environmental. nutrients. modeling. output flows. EPA. resource use. to final disposal. variability in approach to final costs (from per gallon LCA is considered to be a key element of the scope of TE of algal oil to per kg of “raw” biomass) and illustrate modeling and analysis within the context of this roadmap. 2001 and 2002). energy.In summary. energy) impacts among different approaches to personal communications with field experts. they also present a wide based on other renewable and non-renewable feedstocks. potential. 1987).5 Algae Production production will benefit from detailed inputs that take into consideration the variations in cost and availability of the Costs and Uncertainties essential elements for cultivation. white papers / industry analyses. Tapie and GHG emissions and other resource utilization (e. EPA. To facilitate the Workshop’s can play a significant role in the national energy economy objectives of identifying needs. Department of Energy (e. and numerous others (EPA. life cycle inventory analysis (LCI). Benemann and and processes. 1997.12 (ISO.. process. a general lack of demonstrated operating parameters The systems modeling and analysis framework for algae and widely varying basic assumptions on a number of biofuels must include the integration of appropriate parameters from algal productivity to capital depreciation LCA methodology and metrics (Curran. that a and including algae (Kadam. shortcomings of the existing literature and modeling 2005). 2009). would be subject to narrow operating margins. with petroleum at approximately $100 per barrel. combination of improved biological productivity and fully integrated production systems can bring the cost The term “life cycle” refers to the major activities in the down to a point where algal biofuels can be competitive course of the product’s life-span. economic.

expanding The model described above was initially prepared in detail later as available and needed outline form for the algae roadmap workshop. ISBL and OSBL been developed further since the workshop. e. The model will eventually include • Identify external factors that will impact cost more detailed systems and processes modules for multiple • Provide plan for entry of algal biofuel into a renewable pathways being pursued for algae biofuels and co-products. The model approaches1 currently includes only a limited amount of available data. continued progress INPUTS OUTPUTS Atmospheric Raw Materials Acquisition Emissions Waterborne Raw Materials Wastes Manufacturing Solid Wastes Use / Reuse / Maintenance Coproducts Energy Recycle / Waste Management Other Releases System Boundary Exhibit 10. fuel portfolio along with the ability to do Monte Carlo simulation. • Inform and perhaps guide formation and/or varying parameters values within pre-set ranges in order modifications to public policy to describe the uncertainty or robustness of model output. Interactive graphical user interfaces. Workshop effort and is currently a work in progress. • Incorporate appropriate insights and benefit from alliances with industry associations 10. and resource constraints.11 Scope of Life Cycle Analysis (Adapted from EPA 1993) 10. • Establishing interface requirements between To adequately inform research and investment decisions sub-systems for algal biofuel deployment.7 Potential Directions The Techno-Economic Analysis can accomplish this by: for R&D Effort • Stressing dynamics over detail initially.The development of a system dynamics model for \in techno-economic analysis and the capture of data conducting scenario analysis of algal biofuels production from fielded systems as they emerge over time can scale-up and operations was initiated as part of the roadmap provided needed additional information.can facilitate the • Identify critical path elements that offer opportunities use of the model to conduct rapid ‘what if’ analyses and for cost reduction tradeoff studies using different yield scenarios. technical • Identify research areas most in need of support and economic performance for various pathways. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  105 . and has • Employing modular modeling. The preliminary participants specifically suggested that the following modeling uses algae production and resource availability areas be addressed in the modeling and analysis. data and assumptions from the same information sources discussed earlier in this chapter and in chapter • Determine the current state of technology 9.g.

Goal Defination and Scope Interpretatation Inventory Impact Analysis Assessment Exhibit 10. Throughout the roadmap workshop and report development When done in a closely coordinated spiral development process. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  . units. the complementary bi-lateral feedback of process performance uncertainties (technical and economic) information and insight between the modeling and analysis. Addressing the uncertainties in a systematic more rapid technological advancement leading toward and integrated modeling and analysis framework will help commercialization. operation.12 Phases of a Life Cycle Analysis (Adapted from ISO. 1997) • Leveraging university and industry resources algal biofuels industry. and the experimental and operational investigations These have been noted in this and earlier chapters of the with larger-scale systems in the field. the development. can facilitate Roadmap. etc. guide needed investments and speed the deployment of an 106 10. A critical complementary need is • Maintaining industry standard notation. have been identified along various steps in the value chain. significant algae-to-biofuels production system and fashion. monitoring. and evaluation of larger-scale algae biofuel production systems and processes that can provide data to validate and improve the modeling.

H. ISBN 0-07-015063-X. Dunahay.jsp?query_id=1&page=0&osti_id=493389 Curran (1996). International Standards Organization.27. Geographic Information Science and Technology Group. (2006).com/core/ Benneman. November 2009.pdf Rittmann. Available online at: http://www.. Energy v. Kadam. Life Cycle Assessment: Inventory Guidelines and Principles.html Getman. (Grant (2008). US-EPA LCA Resources Web Site (latest update July 2009): Available on line at: http://www. 905-922. Mehta. (2008). TP-510-29417.hydrogen. Bioenergy conversion factors. Belarbi. P.. Y. Mark (2004). F. Biosorption of heavy metals by microalgae in batch and continuous systems. Molina.epa. S. 491-515.G. Kadam. (2002). Sheehan.biblio..” In: Wastewater Treatment with Algae. (EPA/600/R-92/245). (1993). 20–43. pp. J. March 2009. (2009). T. E. A. 2004. Medina. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).L. Energy Convers.K. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (in press). K. Environmental management . D. Y-S Won and N. Huang. “Microalgae Production from Power Plant Flue Gas: Environmental Implications on a Life Cycle Basis”. and Roessler. February 2009. (2001).html Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2003). (1996). “Factors Contributing to the Recent Increase in U. S. B. Thomas-Hall.F. and Marca Weinberg (2009). Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).gov/docs/legosti/fy98/24190. J. DOE Hydrogen Program. 100(2). Available online at: http://www. Stephens. Wen-yuan (2009). ERS Report AR-33. Kadam. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). pp.E. 1(1). Environmental Life Cycle Assessment. Fertilizer Prices. Marcel Aillery. P.. B. and energy use in transportation (GREET) model. (NREL/TP-580-24190). Malcolm. and Gaur.. Mgmt. regulated emissions. eds. Systems and economic analysis of microalgae ponds for conversion of CO2 to biomass. Life cycle assessment: Principles and practice. including AspenPlus® and Aspen Process Economic Analyzer (formerly Aspen Icarus Process Evaluator®). UCD-ITS-RR-04-45. McGraw-Hill. and specifically the DOE Hydrogen Analysis (H2A) Project: http://www. Kruse. (1997).Principles and Framework. S. (1998). Available online at: http://www.transportation. U. E. 2002-08”. 20. (2005) Use of algae for removing heavy metal ions from wastewater: Progress and prospects. Berlin. Posten. International Standards Organization. USDA. Opportunities for renewable bioenergy using microorganisms.Y. James. C. Report prepared for the Pittsburg Energy Technology J. A look back at the U. Biotechnology Advances. The greenhouse gas. http://www.localenergy.. O. “Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Lifecycle Analyses of Transportation Fuels“. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology.nrel. DOE (2009). NREL Report No.Life cycle assessment . AspenTech software product portfolio. Marx. B. (2009). G. Office of Research and Development. pp.P. v. 113-152. W. http://www. Benemann. and Hankamer.C. Recovery of microalgal biomass and metabolites: Process options and economics. Optimizing algae growth in open-channel (EPA/600/R-06/060). Bioenergy knowledge discovery framework. Schenk. E. 25(3). Suppl.H. Bioenergy Research. Tam.R. M. Second generation biofuels: High-efficiency microalgae for biodiesel production.References Aksu.. Journal of Computational Biology. Curran (ed). S505-S510..anl. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. and Oswald. Scott A. 203-212. Springer-Verlag. “Ethanol and a Changing Agricultural Landscape”..S. USDA ERS Report Number 86. 2002. K. (1997).S.osti.. Argonne National Laboratory (2009). Acien Fernandez. 1997. “Environmental implications of power generation via coal-microalgae cofiring”. and Varun.pdf 10. Office of Research and Development.L. Cincinnati: Ohio.R. (2003). and Chisti. (1998) AspenTech (2010). 37-54. http://www. A. DOE’s aquatic species program – Biodiesel from algae. Mussgnug. Cincinnati: Ohio..aspentech. Systems and Techno-Economic Analysis  107 .. K. DE-FG22- 93PC93204).A. “Power Plant Flue Gas as a Source of CO2 for Microalgae Cultivation: Economic Impact of Different Process Options”. ISO 14040..38.

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g.1 shows the potential benefits of for membership and intellectual property models. 2002). infrastructure projects. but also for research and technology developments of national interest (Stiglitz and Wallsten. By focsuing these partnerships on pre- competitive research or critical problems shared by all Exhibit 11. Industry benefits from public-private partnerships from the 1999).1 The Benefits of Algal Biofuels While benefiting both private and public entities from Public-Private Partnerships shared investment toward mutual objectives. but not necessarily producing transportation envisioned by the Council on Competitiveness (1996): biofuels from cultivated algal biomass at scale. national laboratories and universities) for development of algal biofuels.A 11. 2006). pre-revenue.. Various models for such partnerships employed of a shared R&D objective. including specific studies on the impacts firms. investment. in turn.. 11.1 Benefits of algal biofuels public-private partnerships Public Benefits Shared Benefits Private Benefits Energy Security Innovation Quickens Technolgy Commercialization Long-term Clean Fuel Shared Risk & Industry Growth & Market Stability Capital Efficiency Solution Shared Investment Competitive Edge Climate Change Migration Domestic Energy Supply Breakdown Legal & Jobs Creation Sustainable Industry Regulatory Hurdles Clean Energy & Development Science Leadership Growth Stimulates Labor Pool A In this situation. Gallagher et al. industry) and public entities (e. Partnerships are defined as cooperative arrangements engaging companies. including characteristics Exhibit 11. thereby facilitating growth and development infancy. however. as well as reduces the risk of private 2001. and industry. Public-Private Partnerships   109 . has increasingly invoked commercialization of algal biofuel technology. academia can be either public or private. 2001. Brown et al. in past efforts are discussed in the context of applicability to the algal biofuels challenge. many focusing on one to a few elements in national laboratories. Indeed. given benefit could pull together the current expertise and the fact that the algal biofuels industry is still in its facilities. Partnerships based participants. universities..S.. public- private partnerships have the potential to accelerate Since the 1980s...g. the business strategies of many existing partnership most relevant to the advancement of the algal companies are focused on one or more aspects of biofuels industry is perhaps the research partnership algae. algal biofuels industry.11. given the current state of of a sustainable. Public-Private Partnerships The Workshop participants emphasized the need The algal biofuels industry is evolving with numerous for DOE and other federal agencies to partner with players. More specifically. analyses of various federal agencies exposure to fundamental science and engineering R&D. increase the capital efficiency of commercial et al. and government programs aimed at public-private which can support a quickening pace of innovation. The type of this industry. This partnerships are documented (Audretsch et al. collaboration between private entities (e. also noted the unique partnership on sharing of knowledge and capabilities for mutual environment in algal biofuels development. the U. leading public-private partnerships not only for large-scale to rapid industry growth and a stable market. Link could. This chapter discusses potential models for public-private and government agencies and laboratories in partnerships in general and specifically as related to algal various combinations to pool resources in pursuit biofuels. many of which may be investor-backed and of DOE programs on the clean energy sector (Brown. academia. realizing benefits in both categories. The the algal biofuels value chain. 2002.

environment. including the development of biofuels. these partnerships can • The partners collaborate on the basis of only be expected to last for the life of the project. technology scale-up and demonstration. This may result in the formation of teams of proposers 11. 2008). prizes have been offered by various for the advancement of technology and know-how to organizations to support solving critical. conferences. Partnerships are facilitated in than they can individually. because some awards are based on having solved the problem. these organizations provide for opportunity to facilitate deeper collaborations. Basic research and early stage technology with limited funding Networking events such as workshops. and may compete poorly in this type of award. However. However. national. Through their structure. as well as a platform to share research. concept of collaborating on a common basis is the sharing of pre-competitive research results. Such solicitations have Public-Private Partnerships the potential to accelerate technology development. non-profit foundations.3 Forums for Public. which could both be a benefit have worked together for many years may not generate (new complementary capability) and a challenge (the the new thinking and fresh approaches that could be understanding of how to work together). 110 11. such forums may favor mature • Consortia and trade organizations technology in the final stages of development where the • Team-oriented prizes focus can be on assembly into a working system. scientists and engineers can learn of new research. global problems. Often these types develop and license technology with new partners. Public-Private Partnerships   . By maintaining an active directory. labor). particularly in instances in which the team would not At the highest level. be proportional to the value of the contribution. Government solicitations are also an option to promote regulatory issues. Implicit in the gained through openness toward new partnerships. and private investors) into a single competition. as common interest.. consortia and trade organizations can also be an effective • The partnership should not openly conflict with the vehicle for researchers looking for a new approach or interest of other groups (Micheau. which could allow In recent years. successful partnerships have have necessarily come together without a government- been identified to include the following attributes: funded solicitation. These events are often 11. while increasing the opportunity to through public-private partnerships. Through these events. of solicitations are system-oriented. and potential partners can explore areas of mutual interest. with the ultimate seminars can be important tools for creating a collaborative solution only as good as existing technology will allow. and provide publicity • Networking events such as seminars and conferences and marketing toolsets for competitors to attract future • Team-oriented government solicitations investors.2 Components of Successful in a project-level partnership.B. • The benefits of partnership outweigh the cost Consortia and trade organizations are membership of collaboration. new partnership. into a working system to solve a problem. Prize forums can also leverage reward money There are several forums for creating public-private from a variety of different funding sources (state and partnerships: federal government. these environments through collaborations among • The benefits received from the partnership should the membership.4 Partnership Challenges in the point at which new researchers can enter and where the Algal Biofuels Industry new thought or methodology is shared with the peers. where no single entity can address the complex research challenge. they are often formed to serve no other purpose. Partnerships can bring together parties that have not organizations that promote a closed circle of partners who worked together before.g. organizations that may provide an opportunity for • The partners can achieve more through collaboration lasting partnerships. industry would retain its collaborative research to tackle complex problems competitive edge. and demand that the winning team meet or exceed certain success Private Partnerships criteria.players (e. However. or levels beyond the capability of any individual entity.C Prize forums can pull together developed technology 11.

11. etc. in order to fully realize the potential key technological challenges must be addressed for of the algal biofuels industry. particularly between industry and public-policy and regulatory challenges. Algal biofuels will likely face similar issues since natural environmental constraints Different consortia models exist and it is possible to could have a significant impact on algal productivity. overcoming the lab-field and information technology. algal oil extraction. Because the ecosystem in the algal type of partnership can help incentivize commercial biofuels industry is unique and differs greatly from investment of similar full-scale algal operations.5 Modeling Partnerships for • Pre-commercial-scale user facilities that are Technology Development accessible to researchers and developers Of the different forums for public-private partnerships. Doing so may help define the boundary problem(s) for focus by a public-private consortium • Share knowledge of algal cultivation and and bring clarity to the composition. This type of partnership would greatly accelerate semiconductors. consortia. biofuels. government solicitations. and fuel conversion. By reducing scaling risks. events.mitcep. conversion process. construction personnel. The exhibit compares tested and scaled before full-scale deployment in the PPP models from five different industry sectors – field. collaborative consortia for technology development are • The generation of basic methods and standards. several in algal biofuels. dewatering pathway. and academia. technologies developed in the • Industry Growth.xprize. • Technology development in algal biology. Does it seek to grow the industry? laboratory have traditionally not translated well to the • Shared Investment. collaborate on the development of dynamic and expected contributions of the membership. facilities could allow for new technologies to be road- as illustrated in Exhibit 11. Public-Private Partnerships   111 . or trade organizations—can be an be the workhorse that generates labor for this new industry. These consortia require • Labor force and intellectual talent to draw upon. aviation. economic.g. it is useful to conceptualize Technology partnerships could be used for following the various models for public-private consortia in terms objectives: of the five attributes of successful partnerships within the context of particular scenarios (e.).2. develop new algae-based fuels and co-products. nanotechnology. lawyers. How inclusive is the membership and utilization to advance fuel conversion to its industry (or segment thereof)? technologies toward marketable products • Technology Commercialization. These include: are needed to engage field experts (e. etc. public-private partnerships the algal biofuels to become viable. are needed to ensure that academia develops students capable of addressing the challenges industry faces As discussed in greater detail in this document.. Is it structured to develop and commercialize new technology? In the biofuels industry. Therefore. technology development. and the most difficult to implement. 2009). These PPP models are scaling barrier and the lack of private capital to conduct mentioned only to serve as examples of the four external such applied research.. all of the key attributes for successful partnerships noted earlier. this characteristics. prize and innovate new cost-cutting measures. Also. Collaborative partnerships. A compare some of these existing public-private consortia public-private partnership for pre-commercial-scale user models against these four external characteristics. monitoring of growth operations • Collaborate on the development of technologies Considering the following four external characteristics for biomass harvesting and extraction of can help evaluate consortia models: algal components from the biomass • Share knowledge of fuel requirements • 11. algal growth and harvesting.g. marketing • An open environment to share ideas and technology and public relations specialists. it will need labor to run its are formed or sustained through networking operations. performance aspects of development of new natural or GMO algal strains the fuel. the established industry sectors represented by most B http://www. Academia will competitions. effective way to address technological. distributors) across the across the entire algal biofuels value chain. requirements.) or an open access repository and collaborate on the end goals (specific intended use. particular algal • Share knowledge of existing algal strains through strain. value chain to address technical and non-technical needs. to road-test their C http://www.Public-private partnerships—whether they As this industry expands. real estate developers. Does it share investment equitably? field (Willems.

then adopted development • Now funded facilities amongst members • PPP owns created IP and • Develops solely by industry • Public conferences provides non-exclusive.2 Comparison of Some Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Models TECHNOLOGY SHARED INDUSTRY FOCUS ENTITY TYPE OPENNESS OF PPP INDUSTRY GROWTH COMMERCIALIZATION INVESTMENT • Collaborate on pre-competitive R&D • Designed selected by membership to increase competitiveness of • Transfer of technology by existing US firms in publication or member- marketplace • Open membership website data transfer • Provides • Cost-shared Non-Profit • Represent • Technology further commercialization by government Corporation industry interests developed to manufacturing network that and industry at Semiconductors (501c6) with • Forums inspiring solutions with external drives economic start-up physical cross collaboration partners. However. high-risk Agency • Partners with barriers through funding Research industry and • Industry partners to targeted R&D • State funding Centers universities commercialize developed IP • Industry growth • Financial and Biofuels (not a • Public conferences • IP licensed to interested supported through other resources separate legal and workshops parties with an evaluation education from national entity with of commercialization labs • Opportunities for potential • Limited industry employees) collaboration involvement to • Transfer of technology by address issues on publication industry growth 112 11. Exhibit 11. and determine how to best adapt / implement these attributes. coordinated royalty-free license to industry roadmap to members focus R&D and spur • PPP can also license IP to on economic growth third parties • R&D conducted at Research • Address game. for an algal biofuels public-private consortium to meet its specific mission successfully. Public-Private Partnerships   . • Government Government Centers or partner facilities changing.models presented. this industry may find that no specific model will meet all of its needs. discuss and debate the merits of each. it could be helpful to consider these attributes and models.

businesses of years employees exclusively to each other • Significant industry royalty-free involvement • Transfer of technology by provides market publication. royalty. Public-Private Partnerships   113 . • No federal amongst committee to with employees royalty basis as needed to funding researchers from address issues on achieve the widest possible universities and industry growth dissemination. TECHNOLOGY SHARED INDUSTRY FOCUS ENTITY TYPE OPENNESS OF PPP INDUSTRY GROWTH COMMERCIALIZATION INVESTMENT • Open membership • Consortium of industry. non-exclusively general aviation funding for over 8 with NASA • Consortium of • Commercialization afforded market. academic • Pre-competitive research and national lab • Government selected by all members Non-Profit partners. academic as members agree to cross large established • Industry match separate legal and government license background and firms and small for same number entity with partners newly developed IP non. • Industry gifts collaboration through Advisory legal entity free basis or exclusively. • Industry growth funding for over 5 • Research conducted by Corporation • Technical through education years national labs and member Nanotechnology (501c6) with workshops. standardization operational. facilities business. only licensed to member financial • PPP provides non-exclusive. including years Aviation & FAA (not a industry. companies 11. and regulatory designed to reduce bottlenecks operational costs Industry • IP licensed exclusively or and increase • Government consortium • Open membership. and transfer focus and of knowledge through commercialization member-only database network • Donor-driven • Research conducted by model • Industry growth university • Industry and supported through University • Software is open source • State funding university partners education of California licensed over 4 years Information • Numerous forums • Limited industry Institute • Other IP is either licensed • University funds Technology Research inspiring cross involvement (not a separate non-exclusively. and members commitment for paid-up license to industry social issues over 3 years members inspire cross collaboration amongst members • Collaborative research amongst consortium • Technology members designed development and to reduce technical. • Technology • Founding universities physical technical.

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Appendices Appendix 1 : Workshop Participants Walter Adey Smithsonian Institution John Aikens Lybradyn Mark Allen A2be Carbon Capture Gennady Ananyev Princeton Alex Aravanis Sapphire Energy Ed Archuleta El Paso Water Utilities Paul Argyropoulos Environmental Protection Agency Ricardo Arjona Abengoa Bioenergy Virginia Armbrust University of Washington Bob Avant Texas A&M Tom Avedisian U.S. Department of Energy David Bayless Ohio University Jacques Beaudry-Losique U. Andrew Braff Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Jim Brainard National Renewable Energy Laboratory Jerry Brand University of Texas at Austin Tom Brennan Arch Ventures Michael Briggs University of New Hampshire Jim Bristow Joint Genome Institute Kevin Brown - Malcolm Brown University of Texas at Austin Nathan Brown Federal Aviation Administration (Office of Environment And Energy) Kent Bryan City of Celina 115 Appendices   . Department of Agriculture Doug Borger Lockheed Martin John Bouterse Envo Smart Sara Boyd BCS.S.S. Diplomacy Isaac Berzin And Strategy Catalino Blanche U. Inc. Lauder School of Government. Department of Energy Biomass Program Leslie Bebout NASA Ames Research Center Lucie Bednarova General Motors Amha Belay Earthrise Nutritionals John Benemann Benemann Associates Linda Benjamin Food and Drug Administration Christoph Benning Michigan State Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

Department of Agriculture Heriberto Cerutti University of Nebraska .S.William Buchan NASA Ames Research Center Jay Burns Bionavitas Arthur Butcher CPS Energy Thomas Byrne Byrne & Co Martin Carrera BP Matt Caspari Aurora Biofuels Chris Cassidy U. Biomass Program Daniel Fishman BCS.C. Das University of Georgia John Datko Air Force Office of Scientific Research Chris Davies Independence Bioproducts Brian Davison Oak Ridge National Laboratory Mark Decot U.S.Lincoln Alice Chen Environmental Protection Agency Parag Chitnis National Science Foundation Daniel Cicero National Energy Technology Laboratory Mike Cleary National Renewable Energy Laboratory John Coleman Algenol Jim Cook Univenture Doris Cooksey CPS Energy Keith Cooksey Montana State University Michael Cooney University of Hawaii – Manoa David Daggett Boeing Al Darzins National Renewable Energy Laboratory K. Department of Energy Biomass Program Michel Delafontaine Hawaii Biocrude Gregg Deluga General Electric Global Research Harrison Dillon Solazyme Dan Drell Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research Donn Dresselhuys Old Dominion University Bruce Eldridge University of Texas at Austin Tj Evens U.S. Department of Agriculture Paul Falkowski Rutgers University John Ferrell U. Todd French Mississippi State Christian Fritsen Desert Research Institute Matthew Frome Solozyme Maria Ghirardi National Renewable Energy Laboratory Appendices   116 . Department of Energy. Inc.S.

S.S. LLC Arthur Grossman Stanford Guritno “Guri” Roesijadi Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Molly Hames U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Gross If. Biomass Program Suzanne Goss Jacksonville Electric Authority Paul Grabowski U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Program Laurel Harmon UOP Deanna Hatch Organofuels Incorporated Pat Hatcher Old Dominion University David Hazlebeck General Atomics Bob Hebner University of Texas at Austin Grant Heffelfinger Sandia National Laboratories Erik Helm Environmental Protection Agency William Henley Oklahoma State Doug Henston Solix Biofuels Jurg Heuberger County of Imperial Kevin Hicks U.S.S. Biomass Program Michael Graves University of Massachusetts Bailey Green Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Eli Greenbaum Oak Ridge National Laboratory Nathanael Greene Natural Resources Defense Council Michael Gregoire U. Department of Energy. Department of Agriculture Mark Hildebrand Scripps Institute Masahito Hiratake Mitsubishi International Kent Hoekman Desert Research Institute Neil Hoffman U. Department of Energy. Department of Energy. Department of Agriculture Ed Hogan Natural Resources Canada John Hogan NASA Ames Research Center John Holladay Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 117 Appendices   . Golden Field Office Anders Handlos Grauslund Novozymes Zia Haq U.S.Warren Gillette Federal Aviation Administration (Office of Environment And Energy) Jim Gillingham Valero Dan Ginosar Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Robert Glass Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Steven Gluck Dow Chemical Steve Gorin National Renewable Energy Laboratory Alison Goss Eng U.

Miller Chevron Chevron Gil Jackson United States Agency for International Development Jacob Jacobson Idaho National Laboratory Robert Jagusch Minnesota Muncipal Utilitees Association Eric Jarvis National Renewable Energy Laboratory Jeff Jeter Honda Libby Jewett National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration James “Jim” Sears A2be Carbon Capture Michael Johnson Massachusetts Institute of Technology Glen Kertz Valcent Alex Kinnier Khosla Ventures Douglas Kirkpatrick Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Melissa Klembara U. Inc Qiang Hu Arizona State University Neil Huber Army Michael Huesemann Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Peter Hug Recombinant Innovation. Department of Energy Biomass Program Geetha Kothandaraman ConocoPhillips Walt Kozumbo Air Force Office of Scientific Research Heidi Kuehnle Kuehnle Agrosystems Peter Lammers New Mexico State University Cynthia Lane American Water Works Association Todd Lane Sandia National Laboratories Mario Larach Kai Bioenergy Corp.Andy Horne Natural Resources Development Jeff Houff Hydrogeologic.C. Hunter-Cevera University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute Mark Huntley University of Hawaii Stephen J. LLC J. Rachel Lattimore Arent Fox LLP Edward Laws University of Hawaii at Monoa Gordon Leblanc Petrosun Joo-Youp Lee University of Cincinnati Paul Lefebvre University of Minnesota James Lester Stratus Consulting Jack Lewnard Gas Technology Institute Casey Lippmeier Martek Kent Lohman Midwest Research Institute Tryg Lundquist California Polytechnic State University Appendices   118 .S.

Shell Global Solutions Inc. N. Kenneth Moss Environmental Protection Agency Chuck Mueller Sandia National Laboratories Jeff Muhs Utah State University Walter Mulbry U. Department of Energy Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones Livefuels Jerry Morris Innovation/Biodomain .John Magnuson Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Len Malczynski Sandia National Laboratories Mike Manella ADM Russell Martin Blue Source Anthony Martino Sandia National Laboratories Margaret McCormick Targeted Growth Patrick McGinn National Research Council John McGowen Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University Diane McKnight University of Colorado-Boulder Steve Meller Procter & Gamble Omar Mendoza United States Air Force Walter Messier Evolutionary Genomics Blaine Metting Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Anelia Milbrandt National Renewable Energy Laboratory Greg Mitchell Scripps Institution of Oceanography John Mizroch U. Department of Agriculture Alyson Myers Kegotank Biofuels Nick Nagle National Renewable Energy Laboratory David Nobles University of Texas at Austin Charley O’kelly Blue Marble Energy Lou Ogaard CEHMM Kelly Ogilvie Blue Marble Energy John Ohlrogge Michigan State University Jose Olivares Los Alamos National Laboratory Phil Ovitt Senator Brownback Office George Oyler Johns Hopkins University Stephen P.S.S. Roberta Parry Environmental Protection Agency 119 Appendices   .V. Mayfield Scripps Research Institute Mike Pacheco National Renewable Energy Laboratory Paul Panesgrau National Renewable Energy Laboratory Frank Parker Organofuels Incorporated Helen Parker Algaelink.

S. LLC Gerson Santos-Leon Abengoa Bioenergy Richard Sayre Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Philippe Schild European Commission Gerald Seeley Old Dominion University/Company Mark Segal Environmental Protection Agency Mike Seibert National Renewable Energy Laboratory Joel Serface Kleiner Perkins Appendices   120 . Biomass Program Ron Reinsfelder Shell Global Solutions Bruce Resnick Cargill Curt Rich Van Ness Feldman Mark Riedy Andrews Kurth Kathy Roach MurphyTate. Biomass Program Schild Philippe European Commission Philip Pienkos National Renewable Energy Laboratory Maria Piera Abengoa Bioenergy John Pierce Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Daniel Pike AF Research Lab Jennifer Pinkerton LA Department of Water & Power Bradley Plantz University of Nebraska-Lincoln John Plaza John Plaza Robert Polak Phycal Juergen Polle Brooklyn College Matt Posewitz Colorado School of Mines Steve Potts EPA Office of Water Peter Pryfogle Idaho National Laboratory Steve Przesmitski National Renewable Energy Laboratory Theras Pugh American Public Power Association Ron Putt Auburn University Nigel Quinn Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Kenneth Reardon Colorado State University Hal Reed American Water Valerie Reed U. Department of Energy. Department of Energy.Ron Pate Sandia National Laboratories Leslie Pezzullo U.S. LLC John Robbins Exxonmobil Paul Roessler Synthetic Genomics Roger Ruan University of Minnesota Jim Ryan MOR Supercritical.

Biomass Program John Spear Colorado School of Mines Karl Stahlkopf Hawaiian Electric Company.S. Inc.V. Biomass Program Evonne Tang National Academy of Sciences Jeff Tester Massachusetts Institute of Technology Robert Thomas South Australia R&D Institute Jonathan Trent NASA Ames Research Center Pat Unkefer Los Alamos James Van Etten University of Nebraska Peter Van Den Dorpel Algaelink. Department of Energy. LLC Tanja Shonkwiler Jamestown Ny (Outside Counsel) Blake Simmons Sandia National Laboratories Knut Simonsen DTE Energy Resources. Jean Vandergheynst UC Davis Tom Verry National Biodiesel Board Sanjay Wagle Vantagepoint Venture Kevin Wanttaja Salt River Project Michael Webber The University of Texas at Austin Alan Weber Marc-IV Consulting Donald Weeks University of Nebraska . Cai Steger Natural Resources Defense Council Dan Stepan Energy & Environmental Research Center Jake Stewart Organic Fuels Mark Stone Desert Research Institute Belinda Sturm Kansas University Transportation Research Institute Sidhu Sukh University of Dayton Xiaolei Sun Arizona Public Service Sam Tagore U. Department of Energy.Lincoln Alan Weimer University of Colorado at Boulder Zhiyou Wen Virginia Tech Norman Whitton Sunrise Ridge Algae 121 Appendices   .S. Inc. N. Evan Smith The Verno Group Seth Snyder Argonne National Laboratory Milton Sommerfeld Arizona State University Glenn Sonntag U.Pamela Serino Defense Energy Support Center Chris Shaddix Sandia National Laboratories Alex Shearer SRI International John Sheehan Sheehanboyce.

Department of Energy Golden Field Office Grant Heffelfinger Sandia National Laboratories Mark Hildebrand Scripps Institution of Oceanography John Hogan NASA Ames Research Center Qiang Hu Arizona State University Michael Huesemann Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Eric Jarvis National Renewable Energy Laboratory Geoff Klise Sandia National Laboratories Alina Kulikowski-Tan Carbon Capture Corp Pete Lammers New Mexico State University Jared Largen BCS.Elizabeth Willet Mars Symbioscience Bryan Willson Colorado State University Byard Wood Utah State University Christopher Wood Platt River Power Authority David Woodbury Biofuel Producers of America (Bpa Paul Woods Algenol Ben Wu Livefuels Don Wyma National Intelligence Officer For Science And Technology Joyce Yang U.S. Maria Ghirardi National Renewable Energy Laboratory Stephen Gorin National Renewable Energy Laboratory Tom Gross IF. LLC. Inc. Appendices   122 . Department of Energy Biomass Program Chris Yeager Savannah River National Laboratory Ross Youngs Univenture Tim Zenk Sapphire Energy Zhenqi Zhu Stevens Institute of Technology Yonathan Zohar University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute Appendix 2: Contributors Jim Brainard National Renewable Energy Laboratory Tom Brennan Arch Ventures Bill Buchan NASA Ames Research Center Mike Cleary National Renewable Energy Laboratory Michael Cooney University of Hawaii – Manoa Al Darzins National Renewable Energy Laboratory Daniel Fishman BCS. Molly Hames U. Inc.S.

Guri Roesijadi Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Mike Seibert National Renewable Energy Laboratory Joel Serface Kleiner Perkins Chris Shaddix Sandia National Laboratories Blake Simmons Sandia National Laboratories Amy Sun Sandia National Laboratories Joyce Yang U. Biomass Program Philip Pienkos National Renewable Energy Laboratory Juergen Polle Brooklyn College Matthew Posewitz Colorado School of Mines Ron Putt Auburn University Kathy Roach MurphyTate.Yantao Li Arizona State University Tryg Lundquist California Polytechnic State University Rajita Majumdar BCS. Biomass Program 123 Appendices   . Department of Energy. Biomass Program Chuck Mueller Sandia National Laboratories Nick Nagle National Renewable Energy Laboratory Michael Pacheco National Renewable Energy Laboratory Ron Pate Sandia National Laboratory Leslie Pezzullo U. Department of Energy.S.S. Department of Energy. Len Malcynski Sandia National Laboratories Tony Martino National Renewable Energy Laboratory Steve Mayfield Scripps Institution of Oceanography Anelia Milbrandt National Renewable Energy Laboratory Joanne Morello U. Inc.S. LLC.

Gale PetroAlgae. Biodesign Institute. LLC Carnegie Institution for Science (Staff member).Appendix 3: Respondents to Request for Information on the Draft Roadmap Daniel Angell TPA Inc. Solazyme (Chief of Genetics) Douglas Haughey not listed Joel E. Wenbert The Eden Tube Project Norman M. School of Life Sciences Marc von Keitz and Steve Heilmann University of Minnesota. 2) General Systems Research LLC Matthew Frome Solazyme Michael R. Kostka Florida State University David Lewis The University of Adelaide Margaret McCormick Targeted Growth Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones LiveFuels. Dr. Dr. Shenderov BioLogical Technologies. Rittmann Arizona State University G. Paul Woods Algenol Xiaohan Yang Oak Ridge National Laboratory Tim Zenk Sapphire Energy Appendices   124 . Whitton. Algal Farms Inc. Inc Matt Peak Prize Capital María Piera Alberola Abengoa Matthew Posewitz Colorado School of Mines Bruce Resnick Cargill Center for Environmental Biotechnology. Valentin Soloiu Georgia Southern University Lance Stokes ECI Environmental Compliance Jefferson Tester Cornell University Willem Vermaas Arizona State University. Robert S Weber Sunrise Ridge Algae. Biotechnology Institute David L. Roesijadi Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Mary Rosenthal Algal Biomass Organization Richard Sayre and Ursula Goodenough Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Washington University Gerard Seeley Jr. Bruce E. Stanford University Arthur Grossman (Adjunct Professor). Bob Avant et al Texas AM Halil Berberoglu University of Texas Shulin Chen et al Washington University Barry Cohen National Algae Association Anju Dahiya 1) The University of Vermont . Inc. Inc. Mark Segal Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Alexander D.


DOE/EE-0332 .energy.eere.

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