Industrial Production of Microalgae

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algal poduction

Text of Industrial Production of Microalgae

Industrial production of microalgae biomass with flat-panel airlift photobioreactorsALGAE 2009, Hamburg

Dr. Peter Ripplinger, Subitec GmbH, Stuttgart

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Subitec GmbH: our company profile Basics of microalgae cultivation Our product: the Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Photobioreactor Pilot plants The current situation and future perspectives

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Microalgal biotechnology

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

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Vision

Subitec is revolutionising the use of algae biomass:

On the basis of the globally patented flat-panel airlift photobioreactors, designable algae biomass can for the first time be produced on an industrial scale with a low consumption of resources.

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

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Company profile

Spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) in Stuttgart Two patent families regarding the Flat Panel AirliftPhotobioreactors granted worldwide Pilot plants with E.ON Hanse AG (in Hamburg) and EnBW AG (near Stuttgart) since 2008 Numbers of employees: 6

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

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Products and Services

Systems for the cultivation of microalgae based on 5 L, 30 L und 180 L-FPA photobioreactors R&D partner for biorefinery concepts based on algae biomass Production of algae biomass for the cosmetic and pharma industry and for product development Development of cultivation processes for the production of lipid-rich algae

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

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Process development for new algae strains

Agar culture

flasks

10L bottles

FPA photobioreactors

50 mL 0 1

200 mL 4

500 mL 6 10

5L 14

30L 16

180L 18 [ time in weeks]

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

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Customers needs

Roquette Soliance / KD-Pharma Cognis AG Carroux Innovation Scretting, BioMar CO2 Fixation Solvay E.ON AG EnBW AG Vattenfall Europe AG RWE Power AG Infinita Renovables SA

Feed & Food

BioenergyAlgafluid SA

FairEnergie GmbH

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

Prices and market volume of algae products

Price 100 /kg

Pharmaceuticals / Cosmetics

Fine chemicals / Food 10 /kg Protein (Feed) 1 /kg Biomass Energy

Market volume1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile 9

Positioning along the value chain

Algae production Photobioreactor development Process optimisation Engineering of production facilities

Processing Harvesting/Separation Pulping Extraction Product formulation

Products Pharmaceuticals Cosmetics Dietary supplements Feed Energy

Subitec core competence

Subitec together with industrial partners

Markets

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

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Pilot Plant Stuttgart-Vaihingen

Pilot plant of the Subitec GmbH in Stuttgart-Vaihingen (2005)

1. Subitec GmbH: our company profile

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Subitec GmbH: our company profile Basics of microalgae cultivation Our product: the Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Photobioreactor Pilot plants The current situation and future perspectives

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Why Microalgae?

+ + + + + + -

Productivity per ha is 5 to 10-fold higher than for crops or other plants designable biomass Usage of CO2 from combustion processes Microalgae biomass is free of lignocellulose No competition with the production of food; no use of arable land for the microalgae cultivation Net energy production is possible High capital costs2. Basics of microalgae cultivation 13

designable algae-biomass

Carbohydrates as energy storage

Lipids

Valuable Pigments Substances

Proteins

growing culture (optimal N/P-supply)

Lipids

Valuable Pigments Substances

Carbohydrates

Lipids as energy storageValuable SubstancesProteins

Pigments

Carbohydrate s

ProteinsLipids

Carbohydrates

2. Basics of microalgae cultivation

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Comparison of different culture systems

Open ponds

Tubular systems low medium/high medium/high high high

Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Reactor low high high low medium

Risk of contamination Volumetric productivity Cell density Energy input per volume Capital costs

high low very low low low

2. Basics of microalgae cultivation

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Is net energy production achievable?

Energy content of algae biomass - energy input for cultivation _________________________ Net energy production

???16

2. Basics of microalgae cultivation

Comparison of the energy input per kg DW of different production systems

160 140 120 100Energy input (MJ/kg ODW)

80 60 40 20 0

Energy content of algae biomass

Raceway pond

tubular PBRs2. Basics of microalgae cultivation

FPA reactors

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Subitec GmbH: our company profile Basics of microalgae cultivation Our product: the Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Photobioreactor Pilot plants The current situation and future perspectives

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Light supply in dense algae culturesInhibition 2000 E m-2 s-1 Optimum 400 E m-2 s-1 Limitation 0 E m-2 s-1

Problems: Inhibition of photosythesis Optimal light intensity is 5 to 10fold lower than the natural light intensity Limitation due to dense cultures

Solution: Continous transportation of the algal cells through the different zones Use of the flashing light effect

Light

Cross section of the reactor

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FPA technologyHalfshells of the FPA made from deep-drawn plastic sheets

Process engineering efficient light supply to all cells complete homogenious intermixing low mechanical stress to the cells simple temperature and pH control efficient gas exchange Cost-effectiveness high volumetric productivity high cell densities high reactor volumes low capital and operating costs high reliability

static mixers flow

3. Our product: the Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Photobioreactor

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FPA-Reactor, 3rd Generation (2008)

Technical data:

Heights Lengths Thickness

270 cm 175 cm 5 cm

Volume Material

180 l PVC or PETg21

3. Our product: the Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Photobioreactor

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Subitec GmbH: our company profile Basics of microalgae cultivation Our product: the Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Photobioreactor Pilot plants The current situation and future perspectives

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Pilot Plant Eutingen-Weitingen

Pilot plant of the Subitec GmbH in Eutingen-Weitingen (2008) 4. Pilot plants 23

Pilot plant Eutingen-Weitingen

Owner and operatorSubitec GmbH

Project partnerEnBW AG

Site

Hof Weitenau; Biogas plant in Eutingen-Weitingen

Plant descriptionCulturing system for microalgae on the basis of 180 Liter Flat-Panel-Airlift Photobioreactors Total volume: 4.13 m (3 modules with 8 reactors each)

Start of operation2008 4. Pilot plants

Flow chart production module

4. Pilot plants

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Layout of the pilot plant in Eutingen-Weitingen

4. Pilot plants

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Pilot plant in Hamburg-Reitbrook

CustomerE.ON Hanse AG

SiteErdgasspeicher Hamburg-Reitbrook

Plant description

Culturing system for microalgae on the basis of 180 Liter Flat-Panel-Airlift Photobioreactors Total volume: 1,44 m (2 modules with 4 reactors each)

Scope of services

Planning, construction and technical assistence for the operation of a cultivation system for microalgae Use of flue gas from a CHP

Start of operationMay 2008

4. Pilot plants

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Pilot plant in Reutlingen

CustomerFairEnergie GmbH

SiteStadtwerke Reutlingen

Plant description

Culturing system for microalgae on the basis of 180 Liter Flat-Panel-Airlift Photobioreactors Total volume: 4.32 m (4 modules with 6 reactors each in a greenhouse)

Scope of services

Planning, construction and technical assistence for the operation of a cultivation system for microalgae Use of flue gas from a CHP

Start of operationMarch 2010

4. Pilot plants

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Pilot plant in Spain (180 m, basic engineering)

4. Pilot plants

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

A short history of Subitec GmbH Basics of microalgae cultivation Our product: the Flat-Panel Airlift (FPA) Photobioreactor Pilot plants The current situation and future perspectives

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Microalgae cultivated in the FPA reactorLab scale Marine algae Isochrysis spec. (clone T.iso) Nannochloropsis oculata Tetraselmis suecica Platymonas subcordiformis max. DW (g/l) 10 13 16 12

Prod. (g DW/l*d) 0,5 1 0,6 0,5

Other algae (sweet water) Chlorella vulgaris Chlorella sorokiniana Eigenisolat DSN 5.1 Haematococcus pluvialis 12 12 16 2,5a 5b Phaeodactylum tricornutum 25d 12e 0,8 1,3 0,7 0,5 0,3 1,5 0,9

5. The current situation and future perspectives

Growth curve of an outdoor cultivation (30 L FPA reactor)

Grow th Curve Phaeodactylum tric. in autumn 2007

inoculation10 9 8 dry weight [g DW/l] 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1.9.07 8.9.07 15.9.07 22.9.07 Date 29.9.07

production phase2,50

2,00 vol. productivity [g DW/l* d]

1,50

1,00

0,50

0,00 6.10.07 13.10.07 20.10.07

Dry weight Outdoor cultivation

Productivity

5. The current situation and future perspectives

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Annual productivity in different climate zones

Productivity per ha and year (t