Growing microalgae for the production of high-quality biomass on land not used for agriculture is one of the most promising directions in biotechnology. Biomass from microalgae is today already being used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry as well as for the production of food additives and for growing fish, mollusks and shellfish. It is expected that with the increase in scale of microalgae production they will be used as raw material for the production of bio-fuel and animal feed for livestock. Fuel from microalgae is the object of big investments, above all from petroleum companies and airlines.
Chlorella (the Latin name of the biological genus Chlorella) is a microscopic (2-8 micrometers in diameter), monocellular water “plant”, a microalga that can be found in nature in fresh-water bodies. Quite recently, Chlorella was commercialized and started being cultivated on an industrial scale.
The high and ever-growing interest in cultivating this microalga is primarily due to its unique biochemical composition. At present, Chlorella is above all recommended and used as a balanced, high-quality food additive, which yields a comprehensive, balanced nutrition for humans. Often Chlorella is even referred to as “superfood” or as “nature’s healer”.
Chlorella biomass consists to 50% of proteins with all indispensible amino-acids. Apart from the protein content, which is excellent both from a qualitative and from a quantitative point of view, Chlorella is a rich and balanced source of various vitamins, vital fatty acids, enzymes, chlorophyll, DNA, RNA, anti-oxidants and a number of other important biological components. It has been shown by experiment that the use of Chlorella has a positive influence on strengthening the immune system, stimulating digestion, and cleansing the organism of various toxic components. A number of biologically active components in these microalgae supports the regeneration and optimal development of the cells in various organs and tissues of our body. Therefore the regular ingestion of Chlorella with our food effectively helps in overcoming the numerous problems which are a consequence of the unhealthy life style and nutritional habits of many people in the modern world.
Under specific conditions it is possible to obtain a Chlorella biomass that is rich in neutral fats. Such a biomass can serve as a raw material for the production of bio-fuel, which can be economically attractive when this microalga is grown on a large scale.
BIOTEC company would like to inform you about its proprietary ICR-technology for the cultivation of Chlorella biomass and its processing into bio-fuel.
Chlorella algae are grown by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) in hermetic photo-bioreactors filled with specially treated water.
For growing the algae, you need: the reactor from BIOTEC company, water, fertilizers, light and a nutrient gas mixture enriched in carbon dioxide (CO2). In the system for preparing the nutrient medium the water is first cleaned from harmful admixtures and enriched with special mineral fertilizers and then forwarded to a storage tank.
In the gas supply system carbon dioxide (CO2) is mixed with air and then fed into a gas tank. The reactor control system feeds the nutrient medium and the special air mixture from the storage tanks into the reactor where the intensive growth of algae biomass takes place under a special light spectrum. During photosynthesis under the favorable conditions prevailing in the photo-bioreactor the algae absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and emit oxygen (O2). When absorbing one kilogram of CO2, the algae emit 727.3 grams of О2.
In the ICR technology, an important role is played by the reactor control system, which monitors and controls all reactor processes in an automated way. A BIOTEC reactor reaches its full production capacity 22 days after the algae culture is introduced into the watery medium. As soon as the algae cells reach the necessary concentration, the reactor control system automatically removes the produced excess biomass in a continuous way. Subsequently the mixture of water and algae reaches the separator where the water is removed from the algae biomass. The algae thus separated are further processed to yield fuel while the water returns to the treatment system in which the nutrient medium is prepared.
From the storage tank the algae biomass is forwarded into the cavitation plant and mixed with a catalyst developed by BIOTEC company, which interacts with the algae and transforms them into synthetic petroleum within 15 hours. After being homogenized in the cavitator, the synthetic petroleum is sent to the distillation column where a membrane system is used to split it into light fractions such as A-96 gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel and heavy fuel oil. It is also possible to produce narrow fractions such as solvents or distillates. The quality of the straight-run fuel satisfies all international standards and the fuel contains no harmful additives.
The ICR technology provides a growth rate of Chlorella algae of 85 grams per liter of water per 24 hours and yields 65% of fuel from one kilogram of synthetic petroleum.
Chlorella is one of the few algae that can be processed into high-quality fuel for use in internal-combustion engines without necessitating a change in the engines’ design.
The biomass from Chlorella algae can also be processed into biogas consisting of 70% of methane (CH4) and 30% of carbon dioxide (CO2) with a yield of 1200 m3 per ton of biomass. Using a biogas cleaning system pure methane can be produced, whose quality is no worse than that of natural methane (CH4).
ICR is a completely new approach for cultivating and processing algae!