Technology for industrial production of microalgae biomass by means of a vortex aquareactor in order to produce biofuel

Date: 01.01.2013 Active until 15.02.2018
Profile code: 4199Technology offer
Annotation
A company from the Science Town of Koltsovo (Russia) has developed technology for industrial production of microalgae biomass by means of a vortex aquareactor in order to produce biofuel. The device developed does not have disadvantages of other systems used for cultivation of microalgae, such as low productivity, chaotic mixing, algae injuring, covering light accepting surfaces with algae, etc. The company is interested in license or manufacturing agreement or joint venture.
Description
Microalgae biomass is used for production of a large number of products, such as biofuel, medicines, antioxidants, dietary supplements, foodstuff, animal feed, fertilizers, etc. Production of biofuel is especially crucial considering the exhaustion of traditional energy resources (oil and gas) and the growing need for renewable and environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources and biofuels. In expert view, the biomass produced from algae has a much greater potential for energy generation in comparison to other renewables. According to the \"Working Papers of the Strategy for Biotechnology Industry Development in Russia until 2020”, up to 94 tons of biofuel can be received from microalgae collected from 1 hectare of water surface. For comparison, only 1.400 liters of biofuel can be obtained from 1 ha of rape and 470 liters of biofuel can be obtained from 1 ha of sown soybeans.

In order to produce microalgae biomass in industrial scale various photobioreactors are currently used. Their purpose is to create conditions for intensive photosynthesis and cultivation of microalgae by intermixing. However, the existing devices and technologies have a number of disadvantages, namely:
- light-accepting surfaces of reactors often become covered with algae and need to be constantly cleaned, which increases the cost and complexity of the construction;
- mixing is carried out chaotically and therefore less efficiently, which causes high energy costs;
- mass and gas exchanges are not fully controlled;
- mixing causes much foam, which does not allow using the entire volume of the reactor;
- when using pumps to circulate the fluid, the algae get injured;
- when arranged horizontally, light-accepting pipes occupy large space.

The proposed technology allows industrial scale production of any type of microalgae biomass. Vortex aquareactors stir liquid without dipping a mixing device into it. Vortex aquareactor is a covered tank made of transparent plastic with a specially designed activator mounted under top cover. The liquid, which is the cultivation media for microalgae, is placed into the tank and is subjected to mixing. Aquareactor can be stationary (mounted on the land) or floating on the water.
Innovative aspects
1) The technology developed and the vortex aquareactor provide mixing by a structured air flow, without dipping a mixing device into the liquid. Such a design provides the following advantages:
- efficient overall mixing;
- possibility of cultivation of any forms of microalgae, including the smallest ones;
- reduction of energy consumption in 2-3 times;
- optimal mass transfer of CO2 and O2 output.

2) Being positioned on the water the aquareactor makes it possible to use the water as a culture fluid and ensure maximum access to sunlight, which is necessary for photosynthesis. Besides, such position prevents light accepting surfaces from covering with algae because their location is above the water.
3) Creating a zone of high concentration of microalgae biomass reduces the costs for separation of biomass from water in two times.
4) Cheap plastic polymers can be used to create large-capacity devices due to the absence of difference between the pressure in the internal volume of the submerged part of the aquareactor and the pressure of the surrounding fluid.
Main offer's advantages
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Current stage of development
Available for demonstration
Intellectual rights
Patents obtained
Property right comments
Patents granted in Russia in 2008 and 2010
Organization size
<50
Collaboration comments
- Type of partner sought:small or medium size company
- Specific area of activity of the partner:production of biofuel or other types of goods from microalgae biomass
- Task to be performed by the partner sought:conducting trials, necessary for industrial implementation of the technology and aquareactor and / or establishing a joint-venture for production of biofuel


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