Fray Symposium - Integrated Minerals Recycling in Biofuel Production – The SunCHem Process
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2011-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS2011 Volume 5: Environmental, Policy, Health, Legal, Management, Economical & Social Issues

Editors:Florian K
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2012
Pages:646 pages
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)

    Integrated Minerals Recycling in Biofuel Production – The SunCHem Process

    Christian Ludwig1; Christian Ludwig1;
    1PAUL SCHERRER INSTITUT, Villigen PSI, Switzerland;
    Type of Paper: Invite
    Id Paper: 552
    Topic: 7


    Christian Ludwig (1,2), Frédéric Vogel (1), Martin Brandenberger (1), Mariluz Bagnoud (1,2), Andrea Testino (1,2), Rudolf Struis (1,2) and Ludwig Hermann (3)(1) Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), General Energy Research Department (ENE), CH 5232 Villigen PSI(2) École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC-IIE), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland(3) Proman Management GmbH, Weingartenstraße 92, 2214 Auersthal, AustriaWith the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima the current discussions about greenhouse gases, peaking oil fields and other limitations related to fossil energy carriers, and the perspectives of new renewable energy technologies has reached a new point of culmination. However, by all this hype, it gets forgotten that many other non-energy resources are also limited and may even more severely endanger the social freedom at many places on the globe. Moreover, future renewable energy supply is coupled with the use of other limited resources. Among the potential renewable energy resources there is consensus that bioenergy is one of the most cost-effective options of substituting fossil fuels and reducing the net emissions of CO2. However, its naturally available potential is limited and cultivating plants for energy use has recently been criticized because its production is competing with resources needed for the food production. Critical resources are a) valuable agricultural soils, b) fertilizers, such as phosphorus, and c) in some regions water for irrigation. In our opinion it is therefore necessary to find biofuel technologies which address all three points. Together with many partners from academia and industry Paul Scherrer Institut is currently developing a new technology that can address all of the above points and moreover is very energy efficient. The novel process is based on microalgae cultivation using the conversion of the algal biomass to methane through a catalytic hydrothermal gasification process (SunCHem process e.g. [1,2]). The process is a closed-loop system with respect to nutrients and CO2, which are recycled and reused for the growth of microalgae. Water which is not used as make up water is also reused. In this presentation we will dicuss the potential and key challenges faced which need to be tackled in order to successfully implement the technology in the market. This example will also show that mineral processing technology in the future will not only be relevant in the raw material production or the end-of-life processing of goods but that they may play a prominent role in the use phase of bio-energy supply chains. References[1] Haiduc, A.G., Brandenberger, M., Suquet, S., Vogel, F., Bernier-Latmani, R., Ludwig, Chr., SunCHem: an integrated process for the hydrothermal production of methane from microalgae and CO2 mitigation, J. Appl. Phycology 21:5 (2009) 529-541[2] Stucki, S., Vogel, F., Ludwig, Chr., Haiduc, A.G., Brandenberger, M., Catalytic gasification of algae in supercritical water for biofuel production and carbon capture, Energy & Environ. Sci., 2, (2009) 535-542


    phosphorus, biofuels, bioenergy, CO2, nutrients, minerals cycles

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    Ludwig C and Ludwig C. Integrated Minerals Recycling in Biofuel Production – The SunCHem Process. In: Florian K, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS2011 Volume 5: Environmental, Policy, Health, Legal, Management, Economical & Social Issues. Volume 5. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach;2012. p..