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  • Lauro Andr Ribeiro

    MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED

    BIOFUELS: SUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY

    ASSESSMENT

    Doctoral Thesis in Sustainable Energy Systems, supervised by Professor Patricia Carla Gama Pinto Pereira Silva Vasconcelos Correia and Professor Stephen Connors,

    submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and

    Technology of the University of Coimbra

    September, 2014

  • MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS:

    SUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENT

    PhD Thesis in Sustainable Energy SystemsEnergy for Sustainability (EfS / MIT Portugal Program

    Doctoral Thesis in Sustainable Energy SysEngineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra to obtain the

    Professor Doutor Patricia Carla Gama Pinto Pereira Silva Vasconcelos Correia

    Main financial support: CAPES (Ref

    i

    MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS:

    SUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENT

    Lauro Andr Ribeiro

    PhD Thesis in Sustainable Energy SystemsEnergy for Sustainability (EfS / MIT Portugal Program)

    Thesis in Sustainable Energy Systems, submitted to the Department of Mechanical

    Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra to obtain the Doctor degree

    Supervisors:

    Professor Doutor Patricia Carla Gama Pinto Pereira Silva Vasconcelos Correia

    Professor Stephen Connors

    Coimbra, September 2014

    CAPES (Ref. 5621-10-0)

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS: MICROALGAE AS FEEDSTOCK FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS:

    SUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENTSUSTAINABILITY AND POLICY ASSESSMENT

    PhD Thesis in Sustainable Energy Systems

    tems, submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra to obtain the

    Professor Doutor Patricia Carla Gama Pinto Pereira Silva Vasconcelos Correia

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    ii

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    I would like to acknowledge the Brazilian National Council for the

    Improvement of Higher Education (CAPES) for the main financial support of this

    doctorate (Ref. 5621-10-0). I also thank the Energy for Sustainability Initiative of the

    University of Coimbra, namely its coordinator, Professor Antnio Gomes Martins, the

    R&D Project EMSURE Energy and Mobility for Sustainable Regions (CENTRO 07 0224

    FEDER 002004) for co-founding costs for participating in some conferences.

    I would like to thank my supervisor Professor Patricia Pereira Silva for the

    strong support in all my journey here in Portugal. Since the beginning, and through these

    five years of studies, she provided great guidance and granted me the freedom to pursue

    my own ideas. I am really grateful to have had her as my supervisor.

    To my co-supervisor Professor Stephen Connors, I would like to thank all the

    valuable suggestions and contributions during my research, even in difficult times. I would

    also like to thank Professor Antnio Areosa Martins for his interest and for introducing me

    to the algae cultivation world.

    A special thanks to Professors Leila Ribeiro and Fernando Luis Dotti who

    helped enthusiastically with my model and mathematics. It would have been much more

    difficult without your readily support.

    I express my gratitude to all colleagues, friends and staff that somehow helped

    me in this journey. In particular, to Maria Ldia Cardoso for her huge heart and for giving

    me an opportunity in a difficult moment; to Ana Ramos who patiently answered to all my

    enquiries; to Luis Felipe Machado do Nascimento who always enlightens me with his

    wisdom; and to Patrcia Dias for her friendship.

    Finally I would like to thank my family to whom this thesis is dedicated, for all

    the support and encouragement. To my loving mother, who gives me strength in all times

    and is always positive and cheerful. To my sisters, for all their love, support and guidance,

    and to Thasa for her wonderful friendship and companionship. I feel that what we both

    have learned about life in these years strengthened our commitment and affection to each

    other to live life to the fullest. Thank you.

  • ABSTRACT

    iii

    ABSTRACT

    Due to the dwindling of the global oil reserves, that are becoming harder and

    more expensive to explore, and the current efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions from

    fossil fuels consumption, new and renewable energy sources, in particular, must be

    developed and implemented. Therefore, the proposed study aims to analyze the use of

    microalgae as an advanced biofuel feedstock with an emphasis in its sustainability, and

    assess the economical, technological and political factors that can be critical to the success

    of this technology. The methods used to analyze the prospects of using microalgae as a

    feedstock for biofuels and to develop future diffusion pathways of emerging biofuels were

    a combination of a qualitative Delphi Survey with experts and modeling future scenarios

    using Stochastic Automata Networks. In this way, it was possible to draw several

    conclusions related to the potential development for microalgae commercialization in the

    biofuel market and to demonstrate the effectiveness of some public policies in the

    dissemination of advanced biofuels in the future.

    Keywords: Biofuel, Microalgae, Policies, Economy, Emerging Technologies, Advanced Biofuels, Scenarios, Assessment, Sustainability, Market Diffusion, Model, Delphi, Stochastic Automata Network.

  • RESUMO

    iv

    RESUMO

    Devido diminuio das reservas mundiais de petrleo, que esto tornando-se

    mais complexas e caras para explorao, e os esforos atuais para reduzir as emisses de

    gases relacionados ao consumo de combustveis fsseis, novas fontes de energia

    renovveis precisam ser desenvolvidas e implementadas. Portanto, este estudo tem como

    objetivo analisar o uso de microalgas como matria-prima para biocombustveis

    avanados, com nfase em sua sustentabilidade, e avaliar os fatores econmicos,

    tecnolgicos e polticos que podem ser cruciais para o sucesso desta tecnologia. Os

    mtodos utilizados para analisar as perspectivas do uso de microalgas como matria-prima

    para biocombustveis e desenvolver futuros caminhos para a difuso destes

    biocombustveis emergentes foram uma combinao de uma pesquisa qualitativa com

    especialistas com o mtodo Delphi e modelagem de cenrios futuros, utilizando Redes de

    Autmatos Estocsticos. Desta forma, foi possvel tirar vrias concluses relacionadas com

    o potencial de cultivo e comercializao de microalgas no mercado de biocombustveis e

    demonstrar a eficcia de algumas polticas pblicas na disseminao de biocombustveis

    avanados no futuro.

    Palavras-chave: Biocombustvel, Microalgas, Polticas, Economia, Tecnologias Emergentes, Biocombustveis Avanados, Cenrios, Avaliao, Sustentabilidade, Difuso no Mercado, Modelo, Deplhi, Redes de Autmatos Estocsticos.

  • CONTENTS

    v

    CONTENTS

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .............................................................................................................................. ii

    ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................................................... iii

    RESUMO ......................................................................................................................................................... iv

    CONTENTS ...................................................................................................................................................... v

    LIST OF FIGURES ......................................................................................................................................... vii

    LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................................................... ix

    ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................................................................... x

    1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................. 13

    1.1. Background and Motivation ......................................................................................................... 13 1.2. Definition of the problem and research questions ........................................................................ 15 1.3. Methodology ................................................................................................................................ 15 1.4. Significance of the study ...........................................................................