Microalgae production in open raceway paddle wheel mixed ponds.(Photo: energybiosciencesinstitute.org)
New pilot plant to produce biofuel from algae
Thursday, December 23, 2010, 03:10 (GMT + 9)
A consortium of companies are seeking to develop - in the town of Chiclana, in the province of Cadiz - a project to produce biofuel from algae on a large-scale and in sustainable manner as well as at a low cost.
The commissioning of the plant will require an investment of EUR 11.5 million, of which EUR 7.5 million will be funded by the European Union.
It is estimated that the initiative will provide 40 new jobs.
The project's environmental R&D+i (Research, Development and Innovation), called 'All-gas-oil' will be developed in the WWTP of El Torno and municipal salt areas.
The importance of this plan lies in the use of nutrients (algae) contained in wastewater, to achieve two goals: first, get second-generation biofuels and other products of high ecological value, and on the other, recycling such waters.
In addition, this project has a positive environmental impact, which is another added value to the initiative.
It is estimated that with the commissioning of the plant, it will be possible to produce sufficient biogas to continue operating a fleet of 200 cars.
The development of this project will last five years, divided into two stages. The first phase will last two years and will focus on research. Only in the second phase (covering three years) will it be devoted to actual production.
In the second phase is planned to install a ten hectares plant for seaweed farming.
This project was presented at the Seventh Framework Programme 'FP7 Biofuels from Algae' of the European Union (EU) and got top marks for its scientific and technological excellence as well as long-term sustainability.
In Spain there are various research projects for the production of biofuel from microalgae. In the province of Cadiz, they are already conducting an initiative of this kind in a pilot plant owned by Celulosa Investment, of the Aurantia Group.
Business groups such as Acciona, which invested EUR 2.5 million for a pilot biodiesel plant in Caparroso, or Repsol, through the Business Unit for New Energies, are also work in the production of second generation biofuels.
- Red seaweed could be a viable biofuel
- Over USD 14 million invested in new biofuel production
By Silvina Corniola