Microalgal production - A close look at the economics

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Abstract

Worldwide, microalgal biofuel production is being investigated. It is strongly debated which type of production technology is the most adequate. Microalgal biomass production costs were calculated for 3 different micro algal production systems operating at commercial scale today: open ponds, horizontal tubular photobioreactors and flat panel photobioreactors. For the 3 systems, resulting biomass production costs including dewatering, were 4.95, 4.15 and 5.96 € per kg, respectively. The important cost factors are irradiation conditions, mixing, photosynthetic efficiency of systems, medium- and carbon dioxide costs. Optimizing production with respect to these factors, a price of € 0.68 per kg resulted. At this cost level microalgae become a promising feedstock for biodiesel and bulk chemicals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-27
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • light-path
  • photobioreactor
  • biofuels
  • cultivation
  • gold

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