Phosphorus recovery in algae-based biofuels

Project leader: Stavros Papadokonstantakis, Chalmers. Additional participants: Andrea Gambardella, Johan Askmar and Yiyu Ding, Chalmers University of Technology.

The project has studied the subject of seaweed-based fuels and how they can be made more attractive for society by performing phosphorus recycling from the products after processing of the seaweeds.

Hy­drothermal liquefaction is a technology for producing biofuels that has been gathering increasing interest, and by using seaweed (macroalgae) as a feedstock it can reduce the strain on food production and land use. Using macroalgae also has the added benefit of remediating eutrophic coastal waters since the macroalgae during marine cultivation absorb some of the excess nutrients, in this case phosphorus (P), from the surroundings.

After the hydrothermal lique­faction of the macroalgae, the phosphorus can be recovered and used to produce struvite, a natural fertilizer that can replace the conventional mineral fertilizer.

The purpose of this study has been to iden­tify profitable and environmentally friendly technological solutions connecting phosphorous recov­ery with macroalgae processed with hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and at the same time diver­sify the products outcome of biofuel production.

Results are further presented in an f3 report. They will also be presented at the Process Systems Engineering Conference (PSE 2018) in San Diego, July 1-5, 2018. A proceeding has been prepared and accepted and will be linked from this project's site after the conference.

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