In the Chinese province Shandong, a coal-fired power plant will be putting into operation the first industrial-scale plant worldwide for CO2 storage by algae. Within the framework of this project, the German GEA Westfalia Separator Group has been awarded a contract to the amount of around €1 million for three high-performance separators (see photo) for harvesting and washing the algae. Storage of approximately 2,500 kg/d of CO2 is possible with the three separators.
Algae are the most important CO2 consumers: 1 kg of dry algae biomass is capable of storing approximately 2 kg of CO2 and releases simultaneously 1.6 kg of O2.
The algae are cultivated by feeding purified fluegas from the coal-fired power plant into the algae suspension. The algae convert the CO2 contained in it into proteins, lipids and carbohydrates with the aid of sunlight. The separators handle the core process of harvesting the algae biomass, concentrating it by the factor 50 and washing it with fresh water in a second stage. The algae are finally dried and used as high-grade proteins, for example, as an animal feed additive.
Revenue is generated both through trading with CO2 certificates as well as selling animal feed.
- GEA Westfalia Separator Group, Oelde, Germany