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Microalgal Biomethane Production Integrated with an Existing Biogas Plant: A Case Study in Sweden
National Engineering Laboratory for Biomass Power Generation Equipment (NELB), School of Renewable Energy, North China Electric Power University.
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (MERO)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3131-0285
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (MERO)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3485-5440
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (MERO)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0300-0762
2012 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Microalgae are considered as potential sources for biodiesel production due to the higher growth rate than terrestrial plants. However, the large-scale application of algal biodiesel would be limited by the downstream cost of lipid extraction and the availability of water, CO2 and nutrients. A possible solution is to integrate algae cultivation with existing biogas plant, where algae can be cultivated using the discharges of CO2 and digestate as nutrient input, and then the attained biomass can be converted directly to biomethane by existing infrastructures. This integrated system is investigated and evaluated in this study. Algae are cultivated in a photobioreactor in a greenhouse, and two cultivation options (greenhouse with and without heating) are included. Life cycle assessment of the system was conducted, showing that algal biomethane production without greenhouse heating would have a net energy ratio of 1.54, which is slightly lower than that (1.78) of biomethane from ley crop. However, land requirement of the latter is approximately 68 times that of the former, because the area productivity of algae could reach at about 400 t/ha (dry basis) in half a year, while the annual productivity of ley crop is only about 5.8 t/ha. For the case of Växtkraft biogas plant in Västerås, Sweden, the integrated system has the potential to increase the annual biomethane output by 9.4 %. This new process is very simple, which might have potential for scale-up and commercial application of algal bioenergy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Microalgal biomethane, Biogas plant, Life cycle assessment, Energy balance, Cold region
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-16374OAI: diva2:573945
International Conference on Applied Energy ICAE 2012, Jul 5-8, 2012, Suzhou, China

Paper ID: ICAE2012- A10560

Available from: 2012-12-04 Created: 2012-12-03 Last updated: 2013-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Nordlander, EvaThorin, EvaYan, Jinyue
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