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Title: Assessment of Algal Farm Designs using a Dynamic Modular Approach

The notion of renewable energy provides an importantmechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio,which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduced reliance on foreign energysupplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth,and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associatedwith algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the development and application of the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which is tailored to help address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments ofmultiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understandmore » the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tierwere sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algaebiomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary significantly depending on location and biomass productivity and that integration of novel dewatering equipment, order of operations, and equipment scaling can also have significant impacts on economics.« less
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  1. Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology
  2. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Hydrology Technical Group
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2211-9264
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Algal Research; Journal Volume: 5
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; microalgae; modular; supply chain; DYNAMICS