Micro Algae derived biofuels have been deemed as a promising biofuel. This project looks at developing novel technologies in this area.

Project Insights

  • €312,971

    Total Project Costs
  • 3 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

Ireland has ambitious targets for bioenergy deployment, which straddle transport (10% biofuels), electricity (30% co-firing in peat stations) and CHP (800 MW by 2020). Current biofuels in Ireland relies mainly on energy crops, agricultural wastes, etc. Their impacts towards meeting the increasing fuel demands remain limited due to the EU Biofuel Sustainability Criteria. Microalgae derived biofuels, known as the 3rd generation biofuels, have been deemed as the most promising biofuels. This project aims at development of novel technologies for selecting and cultivating highly productive auto-floating microalgae for large scale algal biofuel production, in conjunction with digestate purification and CO2 bio-fixation. The feasibility of the project has been justified with our preliminary study. A highly productive auto-floating microalga - Tribonema sp. has been enriched in the preliminary study, which showed high lipids productivity in digestate. This project will thoroughly explore its potential through fundamental research (growth and lipids accumulation characteristics in digestate), process development (photo-bioreactor, raceway pond system) and optimization, meso-scale demonstration, and technoeconomic & environmental sustainability analysis. The project will constitute a substantial step towards the industrial implementation of algal biofuels by addressing several major challenges (harvesting, contamination, nutrient and CO2 supply) in large scale algal biofuels production. It will also contribute to the development of biogas industry by providing a low-cost digestate treatment solution.; Overall, this project will further strengthen Ireland's renowned capacity in sustainable bioenergy and will help the country to fulfil its strategic goal of transition to a low emission, sustainable and climate resilient economy and society

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €312,971

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: National University of Ireland Galway

Xinmin Zhan | Lead Researcher(s)

Area of expertise: Anaerobic Digestion; Livestock Waste Management; Wastewater treatment; Nutrient removal and recovery; Digestate management;