Integrating Algae with Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (ABECCS) Increases Sustainability

Published

Journal Article

© 2018 The Authors. Bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) has been proposed to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but concerns remain about competition for arable land and freshwater. The synergistic integration of algae production, which does not require arable land or freshwater, with BECCS (called “ABECCS”) can reduce CO2 emissions without competing with agriculture. This study presents a technoeconomic and life-cycle assessment for colocating a 121-ha algae facility with a 2,680-ha eucalyptus forest for BECCS. The eucalyptus biomass fuels combined heat and power (CHP) generation with subsequent amine-based carbon capture and storage (CCS). A portion of the captured CO2 is used for growing algae and the remainder is sequestered. Biomass combustion supplies CO2, heat, and electricity, thus increasing the range of sites suitable for algae cultivation. Economic, energetic, and environmental impacts are considered. The system yields as much protein as soybeans while generating 61.5 TJ of electricity and sequestering 29,600 t of CO2 per year. More energy is generated than consumed and the freshwater footprint is roughly equal to that for soybeans. Financial break-even is achieved for product value combinations that include 1) algal biomass sold for $1,400/t (fishmeal replacement) with a $68/t carbon credit and 2) algal biomass sold for $600/t (soymeal replacement) with a $278/t carbon credit. Sensitivity analysis shows significant reductions to the cost of carbon sequestration are possible. The ABECCS system represents a unique technology for negative emissions without reducing protein production or increasing water demand, and should therefore be included in the suite of technologies being considered to address global sustainability.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Beal, CM; Archibald, I; Huntley, ME; Greene, CH; Johnson, ZI

Published Date

  • March 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 524 - 542

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2328-4277

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/2017EF000704

Citation Source

  • Scopus