Magdalena Zielinska


2 Technology for Biogas Upgrading with Immobilized Algae Biomass

Authors: Marcin Debowski, Marcin Zielinski, Magdalena Zielinska, Paulina Rusanowska, Miroslaw Krzemieniewski, Agata Glowacka-Gil, Agnieszka Cydzik-Kwiatkowska


Technologies of biogas upgrading are now perceived as competitive solution combustion and production of electricity and heat. Biomethane production will ensure broader application as energy carrier than biogas. Biomethane can be used as fuel in internal combustion engines or introduced into the natural gas transmission network. Therefore, there is a need to search for innovative, economically and technically justified methods for biogas enrichment. The aim of this paper is to present a technology solution for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass. Reactor for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass can be used for removing CO₂ from the biogas, flue gases and the waste gases especially coming from different industry sectors, e.g. from the food industry from yeast production process, biogas production systems, liquid and gaseous fuels combustion systems, hydrocarbon processing technology. The basis for the technological assumptions of presented technology were laboratory works and analyses that tested technological variants of biogas upgrading. The enrichment of biogas with a methane content of 90-97% pointed to technological assumptions for installation on a technical scale. Reactor for biogas upgrading with algae biomass is characterized by a significantly lower cubature in relation to the currently used solutions which use CO₂ removal processes. The invention, by its structure, assumes achieving a very high concentration of biomass of algae through its immobilization in capsules. This eliminates the phenomenon of lowering the pH value, i.e. acidification of the environment in which algae grow, resulting from the introduction of waste gases at a high CO₂ concentration. The system for introducing light into algae capsules is characterized by a higher degree of its use, due to lower losses resulting from the phenomenon of absorption of light energy by water. The light from the light source is continuously supplied to the formed biomass of algae or cyanobacteria in capsules by the light tubes. The light source may be sunlight or a light generator of a different wavelength of light from 300 nm to 800 nm. A portion of gas containing CO₂, accumulated in the tank and conveyed by the pump is periodically introduced into the housing of the photobioreactor tank. When conveying the gas that contains CO₂, it penetrates the algal biomass in capsules through the outer envelope, displacing, from the algal biomass, gaseous metabolic products which are discharged by the outlet duct for gases. It contributes to eliminating the negative impact of this factor on CO₂ binding processes. As a result of the cyclic dosing of gases containing carbon dioxide, gaseous metabolic products of algae are displaced and removed outside the technological system. Technology for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass is suitable for the small biogas plant. The advantages of this technology are high efficiency as well as useful algae biomass which can be used mainly as animal feed, fertilizers and in the power industry. The construction of the device allows effective removal of carbon dioxide from gases at a high CO₂ concentration.

Keywords: Biogas, Carbon Dioxide, Microalgae, upgrading, immobilised biomass

Procedia PDF Downloads 35
1 Possibility of Membrane Filtration to Treatment of Effluent from Digestate

Authors: Marcin Debowski, Marcin Zielinski, Magdalena Zielinska, Paulina Rusanowska


The problem with digestate management is one of the most important factors influencing on the development and operation of biogas plant. Turbidity and bacterial contamination negatively affect the growth of algae, which can limit the use of the effluent in the production of algae biomass on a large scale. These problems can be overcome by cultivating of algae species resistant to environmental factors, such as Chlorella sp., Scenedesmus sp., or reducing load of organic compounds to prevent bacterial contamination. The effluent requires dilution and/or purification. One of the methods of effluent treatment is the use of a membrane technology such as microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO), depending on the membrane pore size and the cut off point. Membranes are a physical barrier to solids and particles larger than the size of the pores. MF membranes have the largest pores and are used to remove turbidity, suspensions, bacteria and some viruses. UF membranes remove also color, odor and organic compounds with high molecular weight. In treatment of wastewater or other waste streams, MF and UF can provide a sufficient degree of purification. NF membranes are used to remove natural organic matter from waters, water disinfection products and sulfates. RO membranes are applied to remove monovalent ions such as Na⁺ or K⁺. The effluent was used in UF for medium to cultivation of two microalgae: Chlorella sp. and Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Growth rates of Chlorella sp. and P. tricornutum were similar: 0.216 d⁻¹ and 0.200 d⁻¹ (Chlorella sp.); 0.128 d⁻¹ and 0.126 d⁻¹ (P. tricornutum), on synthetic medium and permeate from UF, respectively. The final biomass composition was also similar, regardless of the medium. Removal of nitrogen was 92% and 71% by Chlorella sp. and P. tricornutum, respectively. The fermentation effluents after UF and dilution were also used for cultivation of algae Scenedesmus sp. that is resistant to environmental conditions. The authors recommended the development of biorafinery based on the production of algae for the biogas production. There are examples of using a multi-stage membrane system to purify the liquid fraction from digestate. After the initial UF, RO is used to remove ammonium nitrogen and COD. To obtain a permeate with a concentration of ammonium nitrogen allowing to discharge it into the environment, it was necessary to apply three-stage RO. The composition of the permeate after two-stage RO was: COD 50–60 mg/dm³, dry solids 0 mg/dm³, ammonium nitrogen 300–320 mg/dm³, total nitrogen 320–340 mg/dm³, total phosphorus 53 mg/dm³. However compostion of permeate after three-stage RO was: COD < 5 mg/dm³, dry solids 0 mg/dm³, ammonium nitrogen 0 mg/dm³, total nitrogen 3.5 mg/dm³, total phosphorus < 0,05 mg/dm³. Last stage of RO might be replaced by ion exchange process. The negative aspect of membrane filtration systems is the fact that the permeate is about 50% of the introduced volume, the remainder is the retentate. The management of a retentate might involve recirculation to a biogas plant.

Keywords: Microalgae Cultivation, membrane filtration, Chlorella sp, digestate

Procedia PDF Downloads 200