Bio-synthetic Natural Gas from Microalgae (SunCHem)

Scope of project

There is consensus that bio-energy is one of the most cost-effective options of substituting fossil fuels and reducing the net emissions of CO2. However, its naturally available potential is limited and cultivating plants for energy use has recently been criticized because its production is competing with resources needed for the food production. Critical resources are a) valuable agricultural soils, b) fertilizers, such as phosphorus, and c) in some regions water for irrigation. We propose a novel process based on (micro)algae cultivation using the conversion of the algal biomass through a catalytic hydrothermal gasification process (SunCHem process). The process is a closed-loop system with respect to nutrients and CO2, which are recycled and reused for the growth of microalgae. Water which is not used as make up water is also reused.