Francesco Romagnoli, Dagnija Blumberga and Emanuele Gigli
Biogas from Marine Macroalgae: a New Environmental Technology — Life Cycle Inventory for a Further LCA
The main goal of this paper is to analyze the innovative process of production of biogas (via fermentation processes) using marine macroalgae as feedstock in a pilot project plant in Augusta (Sicily, Italy). Algae, during their growth, have the capacity to assimilate nutrients and thus subsequent harvesting of the algal biomass recovers the nutrients from biowaste sources giving the possibility to transform negative environmental externalities in positive mainly in terms of eutrophication and climate change impact categories.
The paper presents a novel environmental technology for the production of biogas and 2nd generation biofuel (liquid biomethane) after an upgrading process through the use of a cryogenic technology. The paper would also like to make the first attempt at understanding the possibility to implement this innovative technology in the Latvian context.
The first calculations and assumptions for the Life Cycle Inventory for a further Life Cycle Assessment are presented.
Andrea Cappelli, Emanuele Gigli, Luca Muzi, Roberto Renda and Silvano Simoni
Energetic and Environmental Impacts Related to Transport and Assembling Processes in ABiogas Production Plant from Marine Macroalgae (FP7 Project BioWALK4Biofuels)
GHG emissions, eutrophication and energy dependence are problems that the EU has to face in the near future.
The BioWALK4Biofuels project aims to find a common response to these challenges, taking advantage of spontaneous biological processes: the growth of algae and anaerobic digestion of biomass.
This project is being built thanks to European funding under the 7th Framework Programme.
To evaluate the results obtained, a first LCA study was carried out that, as regards the data on infrastructure and on the assembly of the plant, refers to data supplied by manufacturers, while the study of algal growth was made on the basis of a model of cultivation that takes account of the aspects that most affect this key process among all the ones that cooperate in the whole plant.
The electricity and heat produced through a co-generator fueled by biogas produced from algal biomass, according to this study, are responsible for GHG emissions reduced by 52% compared to traditional technologies.
The biogas produced during the 4 years of the project allows the substitution of 85 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe).