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Title: Recovery Act – Integrated Pilot-Scale Biorefinery for Producing Ethanol from Hybrid Algae

Abstract

As a scientific and engineering endeavor, the Algenol IBR Biorefinery project has been a success by almost any measure. The vision for the system evolved significantly over the course of the project, always due to recognized opportunities for improved performance, lower energy consumption, and reduced costs. Our commitment to thorough, realistic, techno-economic and life cycle assessments has been an essential element for system innovation, technology guidance, and change management of the overall facility. The biological tools developed during this program for cyanobacteria are second to none, and are the primary reason for the remarkable improvements in organism performance. The breakthrough was the successful transformation of our most robust wild type organism (AB1) early in 2012. That was followed by a series of improvements over the next several years that produced strains wherein over 80% of the fixed carbon was converted into ethanol. At the same time, our expertise in cultivation, physiology, process engineering, CO2 management, and photobioreactor design and manufacturing grew at a comparable pace. We learned enormous amounts from the various upsets, weather variations, contamination events, and new technology related disappointments. We overcame those challenges to produce fuel grade ethanol with a low carbon footprint, and are within strikingmore » distance of economic viability even with the challenges of low fossil fuel prices.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Algenol Biotech LLC, Ft. Myers, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Algenol Biotech LLC, Ft. Myers, FL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Contributing Org.:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Georgia Institute of Technology
OSTI Identifier:
1360777
Report Number(s):
DE –-EE0002867
DOE Contract Number:
EE0002867
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS

Citation Formats

Legere, Ed, Roessler, Paul, Miller, Harlan, Belicka, Laura, Yuan, Yanhui, Chance, Ron, Dalrymple, Kofi, Porubsky, William, Coleman, John, Sweeney, Kevin, Ahlm, Pat, and Ha, Quang. Recovery Act – Integrated Pilot-Scale Biorefinery for Producing Ethanol from Hybrid Algae. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1360777.
Legere, Ed, Roessler, Paul, Miller, Harlan, Belicka, Laura, Yuan, Yanhui, Chance, Ron, Dalrymple, Kofi, Porubsky, William, Coleman, John, Sweeney, Kevin, Ahlm, Pat, & Ha, Quang. Recovery Act – Integrated Pilot-Scale Biorefinery for Producing Ethanol from Hybrid Algae. United States. doi:10.2172/1360777.
Legere, Ed, Roessler, Paul, Miller, Harlan, Belicka, Laura, Yuan, Yanhui, Chance, Ron, Dalrymple, Kofi, Porubsky, William, Coleman, John, Sweeney, Kevin, Ahlm, Pat, and Ha, Quang. Fri . "Recovery Act – Integrated Pilot-Scale Biorefinery for Producing Ethanol from Hybrid Algae". United States. doi:10.2172/1360777. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1360777.
@article{osti_1360777,
title = {Recovery Act – Integrated Pilot-Scale Biorefinery for Producing Ethanol from Hybrid Algae},
author = {Legere, Ed and Roessler, Paul and Miller, Harlan and Belicka, Laura and Yuan, Yanhui and Chance, Ron and Dalrymple, Kofi and Porubsky, William and Coleman, John and Sweeney, Kevin and Ahlm, Pat and Ha, Quang},
abstractNote = {As a scientific and engineering endeavor, the Algenol IBR Biorefinery project has been a success by almost any measure. The vision for the system evolved significantly over the course of the project, always due to recognized opportunities for improved performance, lower energy consumption, and reduced costs. Our commitment to thorough, realistic, techno-economic and life cycle assessments has been an essential element for system innovation, technology guidance, and change management of the overall facility. The biological tools developed during this program for cyanobacteria are second to none, and are the primary reason for the remarkable improvements in organism performance. The breakthrough was the successful transformation of our most robust wild type organism (AB1) early in 2012. That was followed by a series of improvements over the next several years that produced strains wherein over 80% of the fixed carbon was converted into ethanol. At the same time, our expertise in cultivation, physiology, process engineering, CO2 management, and photobioreactor design and manufacturing grew at a comparable pace. We learned enormous amounts from the various upsets, weather variations, contamination events, and new technology related disappointments. We overcame those challenges to produce fuel grade ethanol with a low carbon footprint, and are within striking distance of economic viability even with the challenges of low fossil fuel prices.},
doi = {10.2172/1360777},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri May 26 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri May 26 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This collaboration between Algenol Biofuels Inc. and NREL will provide valuable information regarding Direct to Ethanol technology. Specifically, the cooperative R&D will analyze the use of flue gas from industrial sources in the Direct to Ethanol process, which may demonstrate the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously producing a valuable product, i.e., ethanol. Additionally, Algenol Biofuels Inc. and NREL will develop both a techno-economic model with full material and energy balances and an updated life-cycle analysis to identify greenhouse gas emissions relative to gasoline, each of which will provide a better understanding of the Direct to Ethanolmore » process and further demonstrate that it is a breakthrough technology with varied and significant benefits.« less
  • DOE EE002875 Technical Report Public Release. The objective was to leverage ICM’s pre-existing corn to ethanol pilot plant to build and to commission a fully functional pilot integrated cellulosic biorefinery. ICM’s Integrated Biorefinery (IBR) project was designed to achieve four major objectives. These primary goals were achieved during the performance period from December 2009 – August 2015. The design and construction phase took place from December 2009 until August 2011, with an increase in budget of nearly 4 million dollars. This increased cost was offset by operational changes, so the amount spent for the overall project increased by less thanmore » $500,000. There were three 1,000-hour performance test conducted, which produced cellulosic feedstock.« less
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  • DOE-EE Bioenergy Technologies Office has set forth several goals to increase the use of bioenergy and bioproducts derived from renewable resources. One of these goals is to facilitate the implementation of the biorefinery. The biorefinery will include the production of liquid fuels, power and, in some cases, products. The integrated biorefinery should stand-alone from an economic perspective with fuels and power driving the economy of scale while the economics/profitability of the facility will be dependent on existing market conditions. UOP LLC proposed to demonstrate a fast pyrolysis based integrated biorefinery. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has expertise in an importantmore » technology area of interest to UOP for use in their pyrolysis-based biorefinery. This CRADA project provides the supporting technology development and demonstration to allow incorporation of this technology into the biorefinery. PNNL developed catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) for use with aqueous streams within the pyrolysis biorefinery. These aqueous streams included the aqueous phase separated from the fast pyrolysis bio-oil and the aqueous byproduct streams formed in the hydroprocessing of the bio-oil to finished products. The purpose of this project was to demonstrate a technically and economically viable technology for converting renewable biomass feedstocks to sustainable and fungible transportation fuels. To demonstrate the technology, UOP constructed and operated a pilot-scale biorefinery that processed one dry ton per day of biomass using fast pyrolysis. Specific objectives of the project were to: The anticipated outcomes of the project were a validated process technology, a range of validated feedstocks, product property and Life Cycle data, and technical and operating data upon which to base the design of a full-scale biorefinery. The anticipated long-term outcomes from successful commercialization of the technology were: (1) the replacement of a significant fraction of petroleum based fuels with advanced biofuels, leading to increased energy security and decreased carbon footprint; and (2) establishment of a new biofuel industry segment, leading to the creation of U.S. engineering, manufacturing, construction, operations and agricultural jobs. PNNL development of CHG progressed at two levels. Initial tests were made in the laboratory in both mini-scale and bench-scale continuous flow reactor systems. Following positive results, the next level of evaluation was in the scaled-up engineering development system, which was operated at PNNL.« less
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