Micro algae Chlamydomonas and biogas

Microalgae (from the Chlamydomonas family) to improve the functioning of the biogas units Source BE from ADIT

The working group led by Prof. Gerd Klöck and Dr. Anja Noke, biotechnologists at the Institute for Environmental and Biological Techniques at the University of Applied Sciences Bremen, focus their work on the development of new processes for the industrial use of microalgae. In this context, since July 1, 2008, he has been leading a project on the improvement of biogas installations, entitled AlgenBiogas. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports it for a period of 3 years, to the tune of 245.000 euros within the “FHprofUnd” program (research in specialized higher schools in collaboration with companies).

The biogas produced in the reactors contains, in addition to the desired fuel, methane, other gases such as CO2 and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). If these gases are present in too high concentrations and the proportion of methane falls below a certain threshold, then the biogas can no longer be used for combustion.

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The objective of AlgenBiogas is the development of a process for removing H2S and CO2 from biogas using microalgae. They can indeed use these gases to increase their own biomass. The oxygen produced during this photosynthesis can then be removed by a suitable process. The microalgal biomass formed is then used as a substrate for the process of biogas formation. Previously, useful substances like omega 3 and omega 6 acids or carotenoids can be extracted from algae.

A suitable pilot plant must be built and tested over several months in conjunction with a biogas unit, in collaboration with the companies Algatec (Bremen) and MT-Energie (Lower Saxony). The research and development work should lead to the design of a commercial installation, which will make it possible to supplement new or already operating biogas units.

A parallel sub-project, which begins at the Higher Specialized School of Anhalt, will, among other things, make it possible to choose and cultivate suitable microalgae and to extract products from algal biomass. The partners of the Anhalt School in this project are the BiLaMal group, and the companies Stollberg and LUM GmbH.

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For more information, contact:

- Teacher. Dr. Gert Klöck - Fakultät 5 "Natur und Technik", Neustadtswall 30,
D28199 Bremen - tel: +49 421 5905 4266, fax: +49 421 5905 4250 - email: Gerd.Kloeck@hs-bremen.de - http://www.hs-bremen.de/internet/de/index.html
- Presentation of the FHprofUnd program (in German)
- Another project using algae to eliminate CO2

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