December 3, 2011

Algae and carbon dioxide, raw materials to produce biofuel

Biodiesel production plant. (Photo: BFS, biopetroleo)

The company Bio Fuel System (BFS) started oil production from microalgae and from carbon dioxide (CO2) in a pilot plant installed in Alicante.

One of the main advantages of this artificial oil production system is the competitive price that the fuel market has.

According to the supporter of the initiative, the French engineer and president of the company Bernard AJ Stroïazzo-Mougin, solar energy and CO2 fed microalgae are used in the process as raw materials.

Another highlighted feature of this project is that during the production process the gas causing the greenhouse effect is consumed, which is very beneficial to the environment, El Periodico de Catalunya reported.

Thanks to the "competitive" prices of this process that was started last April, the construction of the first factories producing black gold began in Carboneras (Almería), the Portuguese island of Madeira and near Marseille (France).

So far, the discovery has not been widespread because, according to Stroïazzo-Mougin, the idea was to verify that the system was viable from the industrial point of view.

BFS President noted that the price of each barrel of oil ranges between USD 60 and USD 70.

He also indicated that the by-product obtained in this process is a large volume of omega 3 fatty acids, which has a growing commercial value in the food sphere.

"This is the key to make the production process profitable. The demand for omega 3 is growing and even in Britain the possibility of financing its supply is being considered through the public system because of its great impact on lowering cholesterol," added the executive.

The bio-oil has two major advantages over biofuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol:

  • The cultivation of the raw material does not require areas that can compete with agriculture destined for feeding, like soybean and sugar cane. Microalgae are grown in vertical methacrylate tubes (photobioreactors) and it is not even necessary to replace the specimens because they reproduce themselves;
  • The amount of CO2 that is absorbed by microalgae is almost two times higher than that emitted by the fuel produced by burning. The plant in Alicante is directly connected to Cemex cement plant and the plant in Carboneras will have a similar connection.
Original post available here.

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