Using CO₂ to enhance carbon capture and biomass applications of freshwater macroalgae

Cole, Andrew J., Mata, Leonardo, Paul, Nicholas A., and De Nys, Rocky (2014) Using CO₂ to enhance carbon capture and biomass applications of freshwater macroalgae. GCB Bioenergy, 6. pp. 637-645.

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A major limiting factor in the development of algae as a feedstock for the bioenergy industry is the consistent production and supply of biomass. This study is the first to access the suitability of the freshwater macroalgal genus Oedogonium to supply biomass for bioenergy applications. Specifically, we quantified the effect of CO₂ supplementation on the rate of biomass production, carbon capture, and feedstock quality of Oedogonium when cultured in large-scale outdoor tanks. Oedogonium cultures maintained at a pH of 7.5 through the addition of CO₂ resulted in biomass productivities of 8.33 (±0.51) g DW m⁻² day⁻¹, which was 2.5 times higher than controls which had an average productivity of 3.37 (±0.75) g DW m⁻² day⁻¹. Under these productivities, Oedogonium had a carbon content of 41–45% and a higher heating value of 18.5 MJ kg⁻¹, making it an ideal biomass energy feedstock. The rate of carbon fixation was 1380 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ and 1073.1 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ for cultures maintained at a pH of 7.5 and 8.5, and 481 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ for cultures not supplemented with CO₂. This study highlights the potential of integrating the large-scale culture of freshwater macroalgae with existing carbon waste streams, for example coal-fired power stations, both as a tool for carbon sequestration and as an enhanced and sustainable source of bioenergy.

Item ID: 29737
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1757-1707
Keywords: algal biomass, bioenergy, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, feedstock quality, freshwater, macroalgae, Oedogonium
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Funders: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC)
Projects and Grants: MBD Energy Research and Development program for Biological Carbon Capture and Storage
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2013 06:11
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1002 Environmental Biotechnology > 100203 Bioremediation @ 70%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060701 Phycology (incl Marine Grasses) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 85 ENERGY > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850501 Biofuel (Biomass) Energy @ 60%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820399 Industrial Crops not elsewhere classified @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960611 Urban Water Evaluation (incl. Water Quality) @ 10%
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