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A perspective on novel cascading algal biomethane biorefinery systems
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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