Microalgae Technologies & Processes for Biofuels / Bioenergy Production in British Columbia Current Technology & Barriers to Implementation
Covers three main technologies for production of algal biofuels
- Phototropic cultivation in open raceways
- Phototropic cultivation in closed photobioreactors(PBRs) and
- Heterotrophic cultivation in closed fermenters
Findings were that:
Microalgae can potentially meet B.C.’s diesel needs, as it can produce larger amounts of oil on less land when compared to other sources like soybean and canola.
- Since the harvesting process requires a high amount of CO2, algae-based technologies can have a high impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- High cost factors are a major challenge of making biofuels from algae, as none of the conversion processes examined can compete with the price fossil fuels.
- Algae-to-bioenergy technologies are still in a pre-commercial stage and require further research and design to increase productivity and reduce costs - making their adoption unlikely in the near future.
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