Nano Science and Technology Institute
Nanotech 2014 Vol. 3
Nanotech 2014 Vol. 3
Nanotechnology 2014: Electronics, Manufacturing, Environment, Energy & Water
Chapter 5: Solar Power, Fuel Cells, Renewables & Carbon Capture

Commercial pilot for closed-loop wastewater treatment and biofuel production using microalgae

Authors:M. Atwood, L. Novoveska, E. Sundstrom, P. Valdez
Affilation:Algae Systems LLC, US
Pages:399 - 401
Keywords:microalgae, biocrude, photobioreactor, hydrothermal liquefaction, wastewater
Abstract:In wastewater treatment, significant energy is used to dilute, discharge, or landfill valuable resources. This situation is untenable due to energy costs and global scarcity of clean water. Algae Systems has developed and patented a novel system for treatment of municipal wastewater with algae grown in low-cost floating photobioreactors. Algae Systems has built and operated a pilot plant in which raw wastewater and concentrated CO2 are converted to clean water and liquid fuel. Primary-treated wastewater is deployed to four quarter-acre arrays of photobioreactors floating on the Mobile Bay. Harvested algae biomass is dewatered, producing concentrated slurry. The treated effluent has no detectable nitrogen and phosphorus, >60% reduction in chemical oxygen demand, and no measurable fecal coliform. Concentrated algae slurry is processed in a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) reactor to produce fuel. The resulting fuel, termed biocrude, is useful as a near-direct replacement for crude oil. The Algae Systems solution demonstrates a beneficial alignment of economic and sustainability concerns within an integrated process. Wastewater and waste CO2 are converted to clean water and transportation fuel. With adoption of this technology, treatment of wastewater can be transformed from an energy sink to an energy source, while improving the economics of wastewater treatment.
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