Life cycle assessment of biodiesel production from algal bio-crude oils extracted under subcritical water conditions

Sundaravadivelnathan Ponnusamy, Harvind Kumar Reddy, Tapaswy Muppaneni, Cara Meghan Downes, Shuguang Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

A life cycle assessment study is performed for the energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions in an algal biodiesel production system. Subcritical water (SCW) extraction was applied for extracting bio-crude oil from algae, and conventional transesterification method was used for converting the algal oil to biodiesel. 58MJ of energy is required to produce 1kg of biodiesel without any co-products management, of which 36% was spent on cultivation and 56% on lipid extraction. SCW extraction with thermal energy recovery reduces the energy consumption by 3-5 folds when compared to the traditional solvent extraction. It is estimated that 1kg of algal biodiesel fixes about 0.6kg of CO2. An optimized case considering the energy credits from co-products could further reduce the total energy demand. The energy demand for producing 1kg of biodiesel in the optimized case is 28.23MJ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-461
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume170
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Biodiesel
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • LCA
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Subcritical water extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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