skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Re-utilization of Industrial CO2 for Algae Production Using a Phase Change Material

This is the final report of a 36-month Phase II cooperative agreement. Under this project, Touchstone Research Laboratory (Touchstone) investigated the merits of incorporating a Phase Change Material (PCM) into an open-pond algae production system that can capture and re-use the CO2 from a coal-fired flue gas source located in Wooster, OH. The primary objective of the project was to design, construct, and operate a series of open algae ponds that accept a slipstream of flue gas from a coal-fired source and convert a significant portion of the CO2 to liquid biofuels, electricity, and specialty products, while demonstrating the merits of the PCM technology. Construction of the pilot facility and shakedown of the facility in Wooster, OH, was completed during the first two years, and the focus of the last year was on operations and the cultivation of algae. During this Phase II effort a large-scale algae concentration unit from OpenAlgae was installed and utilized to continuously harvest algae from indoor raceways. An Algae Lysing Unit and Oil Recovery Unit were also received and installed. Initial parameters for lysing nanochloropsis were tested. Conditions were established that showed the lysing operation was effective at killing the algae cells. Continuous harvesting activitiesmore » yielded over 200 kg algae dry weight for Ponds 1, 2 and 4. Studies were conducted to determine the effect of anaerobic digestion effluent as a nutrient source and the resulting lipid productivity of the algae. Lipid content and total fatty acids were unaffected by culture system and nutrient source, indicating that open raceway ponds fed diluted anaerobic digestion effluent can obtain similar lipid productivities to open raceway ponds using commercial nutrients. Data were also collected with respect to the performance of the PCM material on the pilot-scale raceway ponds. Parameters such as evaporative water loss, temperature differences, and growth/productivity were tracked. The pond with the PCM material was consistently 2 to 5°C warmer than the control pond. This difference did not seem to increase significantly over time. During phase transitions for the PCM, the magnitude of the difference between the daily minimum and maximum temperatures decreased, resulting in smaller daily temperature fluctuations. A thin layer of PCM material reduced overall water loss by 74% and consistently provided algae densities that were 80% greater than the control pond.« less
  1. Touchstone Research Laboratory Ltd, Triadelphia, WV (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Touchstone Research Laboratory Ltd, Triadelphia, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States