ARRA Research

ICCS (Research) -

Recovery Act: Beneficial CO2 Capture In An Integrated Algal Biorefinery For Renewable Generation And Transportation Fuels

Performer: Phycal Inc.

Project No: FE0001888

Project Description

NETL is funding Phycal for an approximate five-year effort to further develop its microalgal IBR concept at pilot scale. Phycal is leasing a 34-acre parcel in Wahiawa, Hawaii to carry out the project; state officials and the local community have indicated widespread support. In Phase 2, Phycal will continue to work with its partners to validate the use of industrial emissions-derived CO2 and integrate their technologies into the facility design. Phycal and its partners will purchase necessary lab equipment, small scale production equipment, and perform experiments to show that technologies being recommended for the project can be scaled up for on-site demonstration purposes. Researchers will develop, test, and demonstrate all systems for the successful growth of algae, extraction of oil, and production of commercial energy products.

Phycal will stagger the design, construction and testing tasks of the pilot plant into two different size modules to ensure that lessons learned from unit operation performance at smaller scale are incorporated into the design and scale-up engineering for the larger scale. The first module will allow Phycal to fabricate and integrate an essential portion of the IBR facility for the first time in the state of Hawaii. Although the systems have been run under simulated conditions at the Ohio R&D site, new information will be gained during operation. These insights will be used to modify the design, if necessary, in the second module, and consequently allow changes to construction and testing. Module 1 will be approximately 20 percent of the total proposed pond production and 37.8 percent of the budgeted costs. Module 2 will be comprised of the remaining balances of production and costs. Module 1 will be
composed of the initial site construction for the entire project site, processing equipment, smaller ponds, inoculation ponds and the work trailers for the personnel assigned to the site. Module 2 will consist of additional and substantially larger raceway ponds and additional processing equipment to add to the levels of Module 1.

Some of the key project elements are (1) open ponds using processed wastewater enriched with nutrients; (2) the Heteroboost™ process to boost lipids prior to extraction; and (3) anaerobic digestion of delipidated biomass to produce methane gas. Algal oil and methane gas produced on-site will be tested and qualified for use as both transportation and power generation fuels in the form of renewable diesel, renewable naphtha, and hydrotreated renewable jet fuel.

Project Details