Net energy analysis of the production of biodiesel and biogas from the microalgae: Haematococcus pluvialis and Nannochloropsis
Gokongwei College of Engineering
Microalgae have been proposed as possible alternative feedstocks for the production of biodiesel because of their high photosynthetic efficiency. The high energy input required for microalgal culture and oil extraction may negate this advantage, however. There is a need to determine whether microalgal biodiesel can deliver more energy than is required to produce it. In this work, net energy analysis was done on systems to produce biodiesel and biogas from two microalgae: Haematococcus pluvialis and Nannochloropsis. Even with very optimistic assumptions regarding the performance of processing units, the results show a large energy deficit for both systems, due mainly to the energy required to culture and dry the microalgae or to disrupt the cell. Some energy savings may be realized from eliminating the fertilizer by the use of wastewater or, in the case of H. pluvialis, recycling some of the algal biomass to eliminate the need for a photobioreactor, but these are insufficient to completely eliminate the deficit. Recommendations are made to develop wet extraction and transesterification technology to make microalgal biodiesel systems viable from an energy standpoint. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Digitial Object Identifier (DOI)
Razon, L. F., & Tan, R. R. (2011). Net energy analysis of the production of biodiesel and biogas from the microalgae: Haematococcus pluvialis and Nannochloropsis. Applied Energy, 88 (10), 3507-3514. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2010.12.052
Biodiesel fuels; Microalgae; Haematococcus pluvialis; Nannochloropsis; Life cycle costing