Water Footprint of Diluent and Hydrogen Production via Thermochemical Conversion of Algae

Authors: Junior, Edson Nogueira; Oyedun, Adetoyese Olajire; Kumar, Amit
Description: Currently, there is an increasing body of research relative to the use of algae as biomass for the production of bio-oil and biodiesel, often through the processes of lipid extraction or esterification. More recently, thermochemical conversion as a method of converting algal biomass into desired products (including biofuel) has been considered as more viable option for algal utilization. This particular area of research seems promising because of the very low environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the entire life cycle of biofuel production based on algae.

However, other negative impacts can still provide challenges in the advancement of this market and the implementation of full scale facilities in the future capable of obtaining many different products from algae and in large quantities. This study specifically looks into the water footprint of hydrogen production via conventional gasification and hydrothermal gasification processes and diluent production via pyrolysis and hydrothermal liquefaction. Also, this study takes into consideration the differences in water usage between two different methods of algae cultivation (raceway ponds and photobioreactors), since the cultivation phase is normally the one which requires the highest amount of water. These studies were conducted in the context of the province of Alberta, where there are high demands for diluent and hydrogen by the oil sands industry. The results indicate that in terms of water footprint, photobioreactors are recommended over ponds in the Alberta scenario, while the differences between different thermochemical conversion methods are comparatively small.
Keywords: Water, Algae Biomass, Hydrothermal Liquefaction, Pyrolysis, Gasification, Diluent, Hydrogen
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2017 Annual Conference, Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 6-10 August 2017.
Session name: Session 5A: Innovative Approaches to Bioenergy Production
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Date: 2017-08-07
Publication type:
  • Technical conference
Type: Text.Article
Format: PDF
Identifier: CSBE17191
Coverage: Canada
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering

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