POSSIBILITIES OF CARBON DIOXIDE FIXATION BY MICROALGAE IN REFINERY
Other literature type
- Publisher: Croatian society for fuels and lubricants
Goriva i maziva : časopis za tribologiju, tehniku podmazivanja i primjenu tekućih i plinovitih goriva i inžinjerstvo izgaranja,
refinery; microalgae; CO2 capture; photobioreactor
Capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide is one of the most critical challenges today for businesses and governments worldwide. Thousands of emitting power plants and industries worldwide face this costly challenge – reduce the CO2 emissions or pay penalties. One possibility for carbon dioxide sequestration is its fixation in microalgae. Microalgae can sequester CO2 from flue gases emitted from fossil fuel-fired refinery plants and units, thereby reducing emissions of a major greenhouse gas. One ton microalgae require for their growth 1,8 tons of CO2 (theoretically). Microalgae thus are large consumer of CO2. Combine their affinity for CO2 with the fact that microalgae can grow practically anywhere, there is an exciting opportunity for emitting industries and power plants – to absorb the CO2 by microalgae what can be used for the next generation of biofuels production in return.
The advantages of microalgae over higher plants as a source of transportation biofuels are numerous: microalgae synthesize and accumulate large quantities of neutral lipids/oil and grow at high rates. Oil yield per area of microalgae cultures could greatly exceed the yield of best oilseed crops. It can be cultivated in saline brackish water in coastal seawater on non-arable land, and do not compete for resources with conventional agriculture. Microalgae tolerate marginal lands that are not suitable for conventional agriculture and utilize nitrogen and phosphorus from a variety of wastewater sources (e.g. industrial wastewater), providing the additional benefit of wastewater bioremediation. Microalgae produce value-added co-products or by-products (e.g. biopolymers, proteins, poly-saccharides, pigments, animal feed and fertilizer) and do not need herbicide and pesticide. Microalgae grow in suitable culture vessels (photobioreactors) throughout the year with higher annual biomass productivity on an area basis. In the current exploratory phase, VURUP Research Institute Bratislava in co-operation with Slovnaft Downstream Development learn which of the available naturally occurring microalgae strains are best suited to capture and consume CO2. The study is concentrated on the issue – what are the main CO2 producers within the oil refinery, what quality are flue gases with the emphasis on pollutants (SOx, NOx, CO, H2S, metals, solid pollutants, etc.), how each microalgae strains can live and reproduce in real conditions in photobioreactors built near the main CO2 sources at refinery and how fast the microalgae grows, how resistant it is to temperature, pH and how much CO2 it consumes. The results will help to determine further analysis in a larger second phase.