In southern Spain, the all gas Chiclana project achieved a major breakthrough in its algae to power project. The project claims the potential to power 200,000 vehicles per year with a single flush of a toilet. The breakthrough has come in the shape of first crop production. The 12 million euro project cultivates fast growing micro algae using wastewater from a sewage plant and is planning on being able to fuel 200 vehicles with an algae based fuel by 2016.
The water company Aqualia is heading up the project and has announced that the first crop shows very high energy potential. The facility was opened in May 2011 and is in the second year of its first 5 year project.
7.1 million euros of the total project funding came from the European Union. The EU is hoping that 10% of the project’s energy will be used in transportation by 2020. It is also hoped that the development of the algae from waste will help curb the pressure on land intensive biofuel crops and the debate surrounding food sources and biofuel production.
The road ahead
Development of this process is still in the very early stages and Aqualia has said that during the process some its earlier production ideas have been ruled out after being proved unsustainable. Experts have also indicated that in order for the project, and others like it to be come sustainable, costs need to be dramatically cut to make production commercially viable.
Adapted from press releases by Claira Lloyd
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/09082013/success_for_biofuels_plant_544/