Potential of brown algae for sustainable electricity production through anaerobic digestion

Peyman Fasahati, Christopher M. Saffron, Hee Chul Woo, J. Jay Liu

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

    • 1 Citations

    Abstract

    This paper assesses the economics of heat and power production from the anaerobic digestion (AD) of brown algae (Laminaria japonica) at a plant scale of 400,000 dry tons/year. The conversion process was simulated in Aspen Plus v.8.6 to obtain rigorous heat and material balance for energy assessments and the development of a techno-economic model. The breakeven electricity selling price (BESP) was found to be 18.81 /kWh assuming 30 years of plant life and a 10% internal rate of return. The results show that the AD unit has the highest energy demand in the entire process and consumes approximately 14% of all electricity produced. In addition, the seaweed cost of 11.95 /kWh is the largest cost component that contributes to the calculated BESP, which means that a reduction in the cost of seaweed cultivation can significantly decrease the electricity production cost. A sensitivity analysis was performed on the economic and process parameters in order to assess the impact of possible variations and uncertainties in these parameters. Results showed that solids loading, anaerobic digestion yield, and time, respectively, have the highest impact on BESP.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages297-307
    Number of pages11
    JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
    Volume135
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

    Profile

    Anaerobic digestion
    Algae
    Electricity
    Costs
    Sales
    Economics
    Seaweed
    Hot Temperature
    Sensitivity analysis
    Uncertainty

    Keywords

    • Anaerobic digestion
    • Brown algae
    • Economic assessment
    • Electricity
    • Methane production
    • Seaweed

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
    • Fuel Technology
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

    Cite this

    Potential of brown algae for sustainable electricity production through anaerobic digestion. / Fasahati, Peyman; Saffron, Christopher M.; Woo, Hee Chul; Liu, J. Jay.

    In: Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 135, 01.03.2017, p. 297-307.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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