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Assessment of a dry and a wet route for the production of biofuels from microalgae: Energy balance analysis - Literature review Example

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Microalgae release various high value by-products of metabolism that are useful in production of renewable energy when cultured on a large scale, especially due to its ability to develop completely closed algae to bio-fuel cycle. Microalgae are converted into energy both…
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"Assessment of a dry and a wet route for the production of biofuels from microalgae: Energy balance analysis"

Download file to see previous pages In the dry extraction route, Microalgae is cultured in the presence of makeup nutrients, water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight before undergoing the processes of flocculation, centrifugation, mechanical dehydration, thermal drying, and cell disruption, leading up to dry extraction (Xu et al, 2011).
Oil cake and lipids are produced at the dry extraction stage, in which the oil cake undergoes pyrolysis to form pyrolysis oil and biogas, as well as char that is shunted back into the pyrolysis stage (Xu et al, 2011). Lipids, on the other hand, are treated with methanol for trans-esterification to occur, producing glycerol and bio-diesel. In the process, water and carbon dioxide are also recycled from the mechanical dehydration stage. In the wet process, the microalgae are cultured in similar conditions to the dry process, after which they are flocculated, centrifuged, and mechanically dehydrated, leading up to wet extraction. The products here are lipids and residues, of which the former is hydro-treated to form green diesel. The residues undergo supercritical gasification to produce hydrogen gas that is used in the hydro-treatment phase (Xu et al, 2011). In addition, supercritical gasification also produces water, carbon dioxide, and other gas products, of which the former two by-products are recycled in the microalgae culture.
For a long time, there has been a need for less energy-intensive models of bio-fuel production from microalgae, particularly by reducing energy consumed during dewatering (Xu et al, 2011). Thus, because the two routes discussed above do not consume significant energy in the dewatering process, they have been used in making the process of renewable energy production from microalgae more efficient. The ability of both routes to produce more efficiently bio-diesel was tested by comparing the energy balance of the wet and dry ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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