Air Clean Up

  • First Industrial-Scale Plant for CO2 Storage by Algae

First Industrial-Scale Plant for CO2 Storage by Algae

Dec 16 2010 Read 1127 Times

In the Chinese province Shandong, a coal-fired power plant will be putting into operation the first industrial-scale plant worldwide for CO2 storage by algae. Within the framework of this project, GEA Westfalia Separator (Germany) has been awarded a contract to the amount of around one million Euros for three high-performance separators for harvesting and washing the algae.

Algae are the most important CO2 consumers on our planet; one kilogramme of dry algae biomass is capable of storing approx. two kilogrammes of CO2 and releases simultaneously 1.6 kilogrammes of oxygen. In this case, the algae are cultivated by feeding purified flue gas from the coal-fired power plant into the algae suspension. The algae convert the CO2, contained in it into proteins, lipids and carbohydrates with the aid of sunlight. The separators from GEA Westfalia Separator Group handle the core process of harvesting the algae biomass, concentrating it by the factor 50 and washing it with fresh water in a second stage. The algae are finally dried and used as high-grade proteins, for example, as an animal feed additive.

Storage of approx. 2500 kilogrammes CO2 per day is possible with the three separators. This special separator design of the GEA Westfalia Separator Group is already used in other algae purification processes and is already well established in algae biotechnology. This process makes it possible on the one hand to reduce air pollution and to store CO2 to slow down global warming. Second, there is a positive cost effect.

The process pays off within a few years since both revenue is generated through trading with CO2 certificates as well as selling animal feed.

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