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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21954

Title: A techno-economic assessment of an algal-based biorefinery
Authors: Thomassen, Gwenny
Egiguren Vila, Urko
Van Dael, Miet
Lemmens, Bert
Van Passel, Steven
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 18 (6), pag. 1849-1862
Abstract: Economic and technological assessments have identified difficulties with the commercialization of bulk products from microalgae, like biofuels. To overcome these problems, a multi-product algal-based biorefinery has been proposed. This paper performs a techno-economic assessment of such a biorefinery. Four production pathways, ranging from a base case with commercial technologies to an improved case with innovative technologies, are analyzed. All region-specific parameters were adapted to Belgian conditions. Three scenarios result in technoeconomically viable production plants. The most profitable scenario is the scenario which uses a specialized membrane for medium recycling and an open pond algae cultivation. Although the inclusion of a photobioreactor decreases the culture medium costs, the higher investment costs result in lower economic profits. The carotenoid content and price are identified as critical parameters. Furthermore, the economies of scale assumption for the photobioreactor is critical for the feasibility of this cultivation technology. The techno-economic assessment is an important methodology to guide and evaluate further improvements in research and shorten the time-to-market for innovative technologies in this field.
Notes: Thomassen, G (reprint author), VITO, Unit Separat & Convers Technol, Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium. gwenny.thomassen@uhasselt.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21954
DOI: 10.1007/s10098-016-1159-2
ISI #: 000384470700017
ISSN: 1618-954X
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2017
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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