Welcome to FIS   Sponsored By
United States
Subscribe to FIS | Register with FIS | Advertise with FIS | Newsletter | About FIS | Contact us
   


Cornell University research on algae biofuel. (Photo: Cornell University)

New research on algae-to-biofuel schemes quantifies uncertainty

Click on the flag for more information about United States UNITED STATES
Friday, January 04, 2013, 22:50 (GMT + 9)

A Cornell University team has used the Monte Carlo approach to quantify the role of uncertainty associated with process parameters in life cycle analysis (LCA) of algae-to-biofuel schemes for determining metrics such as Energy Return on (Energy) Invested (EROI) and global warming potential (GWP). 

The results, reported in a paper on the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, show that uncertainties exist at all stages of biofuel production from microalgae, from cultivation to dewatering to conversion processes and production of coproducts.

This indicates, the researchers suggest, that the values reported in earlier studies are not incorrect, but, rather each represent a specific case. These cases should not be used solely to conclude whether algal biofuels are expected to be energetically viable or environmentally sustainable, the authors say. 

Instead, LCA results, especially those associated with developing technologies such as algal biofuel, should be reported as ranges of expected values to provide decision makers with reliable results, they conclude.

The results of the study are generally in agreement with previous studies highlighting the role of critical processing steps in algae biofuel production—such as the need to develop viable wet lipid extraction technologies, incorporate high-energy coproducts, and reduce energy consumption of algae cultivation. However, the new study extends previous LCA studies with the Monte Carlo approach.

"Despite algae’s potential as a renewable energy feedstock, it is not yet clear if algal biofuels can be produced economically in an environmentally sustainable manner. […]

...Our work was motivated by the lack of comprehensive uncertainty analysis in earlier LCA studies. To obtain a better understanding of the expected performance of proposed algae to biofuel processes, LCA models should include an uncertainty analysis that quantifies the effect of simultaneously varying all model parameters on results. Such an improvement would more reliably inform industry and policy makers on expected EROI values and environmental sustainability of algal biofuels." —Sills et al.

For their study, the Cornell team assumed that marine algae were cultivated at a coastal location in a 1210-ha production facility with access to seawater. The functional unit for the study is 1 MJ of liquid biofuel: biodiesel (fatty acid for their study). The model comprises five unit processes:

  • cultivation;
  • harvesting and dewatering;
  • lipid extraction;
  • lipid conversion to a liquid transportation fuel; and
  • coproduct production from defatted algae.

Alternative technologies were modeled for each of the five stages. Each process stage was analyzed separately and assembled with the other stages to create six alternative case studies.

A base case analysis, performed to emphasize the importance of the uncertainty analysis, found—as other studies have—that processes with high nonrenewable energy demands were associated with high GWP values (e.g., thermal drying and algal cultivation).

 

editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


 Print


Click to know how to advertise in FIS
MORE NEWS
Canada
Aug 27, 05:10 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Closed Area For Shellfish Harvesting Mid North Shore
New Zealand
Aug 27, 05:10 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - NZ Navy and Fisheries sting finds large proportion of tuna boats breaching the rules
Norway
Aug 27, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Leroey says acquisition of Havfisk and Norway Seafoods is approved
United Kingdom
Aug 27, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Minneapolis sees rise in foodborne illness from norovirus, Vibrio bacteria found in oysters
United Kingdom
Aug 27, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Nomad Foods Seeking Further Acquisitions Despite Challenging Market Conditions Impacting Sales
Gambia
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - FAO, Fisheries Sign Agreement to Enhance Aquaculture Employability
Kuwait
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Ministry of Commerce monitoring fish prices
Canada
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Vale pleads guilty to discharging waste harmful to fish in Labrador
Viet Nam
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Vietnam’s seafood industry feels the pinch after mass fish deaths
United States
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Benefits and risks of fish consumption provided by new app
United States
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Scientists looking to understand future ocean acidification effects on commercial fishing
Viet Nam
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Toxic metals detected in Hà Tĩnh seafood samples
United Kingdom
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Revealed: Plastic is found in a THIRD of fish caught in Britain because of toxic microbeads
Viet Nam
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Việt Nam looks forward to EVFTA benefits
United States
Aug 27, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Alaska's pink salmon record broken twice in 2-day span on Kenai River



Lenguaje
FEATURED EVENTS
  
TOP STORIES
Foodservice companies fail to offer sustainable seafood, Greenpeace states
United States A Greenpeace report denounces that some of the largest US foodservice companies are failing to provide consumers with seafood that meets basic standards for sustainability and social responsibility.
Aquaculture farm's requirements strengthened after EU’s warning
Viet Nam Vietnamese authorities have warned local aquaculture companies that they will not renew their export licenses unless the latter comply with safety standards following a recent warning from the EU.
Sockeye salmon return to the Frazer River hits record low
Canada Given the number of sockeye salmon return to the Fraser River is expected to hit a record low this summer, the Government has suspended all the fisheries of this resource, including commercial and indigenous fishing.
New tilapia reproducer centre will promote sustainable aquaculture
El Salvador The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock expects that a new centre specialising in tilapia breeding, built with aid from the government of China Taiwan, sets the foundations for a more profitable and sustainable production.
 
Maruha Nichiro Corporation
Nichirei Corporation -Headquarter-
Pesquera El Golfo S.A.
Ventisqueros - Productos del Mar Ventisqueros S.A
Wärtsilä Corporation -Wartsila Group Headquarter-
ITOCHU Corporation -Headquarter-
BAADER - Nordischer Maschinenbau Rud. Baader GmbH+Co.KG (Head Office)
Inmarsat plc - Global Headquarters
Marks & Spencer
Tesco PLC (Supermarket) - Headquarters
Nueva Pescanova, S.L. - Group Headquarters
Sea Harvest Corporation (PTY) Ltd.
I&J - Irvin & Johnson Holding Company (Pty) Ltd.
Blue Continent Products (Pty) Ltd - (Oceana Group Limited)
Pesquera San Jose S.A.
Nutreco N.V. - Head Office
CNFC China National Fisheries Corporation - Group Headquarters
W. van der Zwan & Zn. B.V.
SMMI - Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co., Ltd. - Headquarters
Icicle Seafoods Inc. -Headquarter-
Starkist Seafood Co. - Headquearters
Trident Seafoods Corp.
American Seafoods Group LLC - Head Office
Marel - Group Headquarters
SalMar ASA - Group Headquarters
Sajo Industries Co., Ltd
Hansung Enterprise Co.,Ltd.
BIM - Irish Sea Fisheries Board (An Bord Iascaigh Mhara)
CEFAS - Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
COPEINCA ASA - Corporacion Pesquera Inca S.A.C.
Chun Cheng Fishery Enterprise Pte Ltd.
Food Project (Siam) Co., Ltd.
VASEP - Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers
Gomes da Costa
Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
NISSUI - Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. - Group Headquarters
FAO -Food and Agriculture Organization- Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (Headquarter)
Hagoromo Foods Co., Ltd.
Koden Electronics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S - Headquarters
BVQI - Bureau Veritas Quality International (Head Office)
UPS - United Parcel Service, Inc. - Headquarters
Hamburg Süd Group - (Headquearters)
Armadora Pereira S.A. - Group Headquarters
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Headquarters)
Omega Protein Corporation -Headquarter-
Marona S.A.
Marine Harvest ASA - Headquarters
Marubeni Europe Plc -UK-
Findus Ltd
Icom Inc. (Headquarter)
WWF Centroamerica
Oceana Group Limited
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. -Headquarter-
Friosur S.A. - Headquarters
Cargill, Incorporated - Global Headquarters
Benihana Inc.
Leardini Pescados Ltda
Mitsubishi Corporation Marine Products Depts. D.Team
CJ Corporation  -Holding Headquarter-
Greenpeace International - The Netherlands
David Suzuki Foundation
Fisheries and Oceans Canada -Communications Branch-
Mitsui & Co.,Ltd - Headquarters
Ocean Trawlers Group - Ocean Trawlers HK Ltd.
Natori Co., Ltd.
Carrefour Supermarket - Headquarters
FedEx Corporation -Headquarter-
AKBM - Aker BioMarine ASA
Seafood Choices Alliance -Headquarter-
Austevoll Seafood ASA
Walmart / Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Supermarket) -Headquarter-
New Japan Radio Co.Ltd (JRC) -Head Office-
Gulfstream JSC
INVE Group - Head Office
Marine Stewardship Council - MSC Worldwide Headquarters
Royal Dutch Shell plc (Headquarter)
Genki Sushi Co.,Ltd -Headquarter-
Iceland Pelagic ehf
AXA Assistance Argentina S.A.
Caterpillar Inc. - Headquarters
Tiger Brands Limited
Morpol ASA - Group Headquarters
SeaChoice
National Geographic Society
AmazonFresh, LLC - AmazonFresh

Copyright 1995 - 2016 Fish Info & Services Co.Ltd| All Rights Reserved.   DISCLAIMER