Novel Algae Technology for CO2 Utilization


Algae-based CO<sub>2</sub> utilization process
Algae-based CO2 utilization process
Helios-NRG, LLC
Website:  Helios-NRG, LLC
Award Number:  SC0017077
Project Duration:  02/21/2017 – 08/26/2020
Total Award Value:  $1,164,536
DOE Share:  $1,164,536
Performer Share:  $0
Technology Area:  Carbon Use and Reuse
Key Technology:  Biological Conversion
Location:  East Amherst, New York

Project Description

Helios-NRG, LLC, in partnership with The State University of New York at Buffalo, is advancing an algae-based process for the efficient capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plant flue gas and production of biofuels and other valuable products to mitigate the cost of carbon capture. The process begins with a multi-stage, continuous flow (MSC) photo-bioreactor system for high growth rate microalgae to metabolize the CO2 from flue gas. The algae is then concentrated in a novel de-watering system (developed in a prior U.S. Department of Energy-funded project), a fraction of the algae is extracted after de-watering for production of high-value chemicals and nutraceuticals, and the remainder of the algae is converted, using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), into liquid biofuel. In Phase I, algae species that are capable of handling flue gas contaminants (e.g., arsenic, mercury, and selenium) and achieve high CO2 capture will be identified, the performance of the algae de-watering technology will be advanced, high-value co-product synthesis by the algae will be validated, and a preliminary techno-economic analysis will be prepared.

Predecessor Project: SC0015719

Project Benefits

Development of an advanced algae technology that enables 90 percent of the CO2 from coal-based power plants to be captured and converted to liquid biofuels and high-value chemicals makes carbon capture economically feasible, potentially reducing the net cost of CO2 capture to less than $10/tonne.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Isaac Aurelio:
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett:
Principal Investigator 
James Maloney:

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