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A perspective on novel cascading algal biomethane biorefinery systems
Murphy, Jerry D.
Synergistic opportunities to combine biomethane production via anaerobic digestion whilst cultivating microalgae have been previously suggested in literature. While biomethane is a promising and flexible renewable energy vector, microalgae are increasingly gaining importance as an alternate source of food and/or feed, chemicals and energy for advanced biofuels. However, simultaneously achieving, grid quality biomethane, effective microalgal digestate treatment, high microalgae growth rate, and the most sustainable use of the algal biomass is a major challenge. In this regard, the present paper proposes multiple configurations of an innovative Cascading Algal Biomethane-Biorefinery System (CABBS) using a novel two-step bubble column-photobioreactor photosynthetic biogas upgrading technology. To overcome the limitations in choice of microalgae for optimal system operation, a microalgae composition based biorefinery decision tree has also been conceptualised to maximise profitability. Techno-economic, environmental and practical aspects have been discussed to provide a comprehensive perspective of the proposed systems.
Anaerobic digestion , Biogas upgrading , Biorefinery , Circular bioeconomy , Microalgae
Bose, A., O'Shea, R., Lin, R. and Murphy, J. D. (2020) 'A perspective on novel cascading algal biomethane biorefinery systems', Bioresource Technology, 304, 123027. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2020.123027