Algae processing for energy production: development of waste pyrolysis technology
Department of Environmental Science, University of Latvia, Raina bulv. 19, LV-1586 Riga, Latvia
Waste processing accordingly to waste-to-energy concept remains a major challenge to deal with growing amounts of different waste types. The aim of the study is to expand the knowledge base for biomass waste thermochemical processing into syngas and biochar on example of algae waste treatment. In accordance to this concept, waste pyrolysis technology is further advanced by evaluating, studying and adapting the most technologically and economically feasible approach and by developing a pilot scale facility with the aim to demonstrate its potential to offer the industry an innovative solution for solid waste processing. The study includes theoretical background for thermal recovery of organic waste, with application of specifics of algae waste (beach wrack). Algae waste thermochemical processing and gas analysis are tested both for process of torrefied material and with full ash content characterisation. Additional algae waste proximate/ultimate analysis were done. The synthesis gas produced by the pyrolysis process contain 30–60% CH4, 5–12% H2, 20–40% CO (remaining CO2, N2) and thus can be used for heating purposes. The another algae waste pyrolysis product – biochar is enriched with mineral components thus increasing its application potential in agriculture, however in can be used also for energy production purposes. Thermal analytics of beach wreck undertaken on different type of samples to be common for the Baltic Sea area and projections on application of gasification technology for upscale at municipality level is analysed with a view to application for municipality larger amount material.