Algae Bioenergy State of Technology Review
IEA Bioenergy Webinar Series – 25 January 2017
Presented by Lieve L.M. Laurens, Senior Scientist, and Jim McMillan, Chief Engineer both of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Even though algae remain an attractive target for bioenergy applications over the longer term because of their high photosynthetic efficiency, the near-term prospects for primary algae-based energy/fuels production are poor due to the relatively high cost of cultivating and harvesting algae. The past 6 years have nonetheless seen substantial progress in research, development and demonstration of algae-based bioenergy and bio-products. With low fossil fuel prices, the algae-based industry is increasingly focusing on manufacturing higher value (non-fuel/energy) products that can be profitable today. Algal biomass-based co-products can provide the critically needed revenue to reduce the net cost of producing algal-based biofuels. As such, a biorefinery approach appears essential to realize the full value of algal biomass. Progress in minimizing/reducing the energy, water, nutrients and land use footprints of integrated algal-based operations needs to be a primary objective of larger scale demonstrations and future research and development.
Download presentation Laurens – Algae Bioenergy Report – IEA webinar – 170124-final rev1