http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.07Change: -0.08
R/$ = 10.73Change: -0.07
Au 1276.50 $/ozChange: -10.68
Pt 1420.00 $/ozChange: -4.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Mar 20, 2009

Marine algae biofuel pilot project launched in the Eastern Cape

Back
Engineering|Expertise|Port|Port Elizabeth|Africa|Cement|CoAL|Industrial|Marine|Phytolutions|PROJECT|Systems|Africa|Germany|Cement Factories|Chemical Technology|Green Technology|Products|Systems|Eastern Cape|Ben Zeelie|Power|Eastern Cape|BIOFUELS|Biofuels Technology|Bioprocessing
Engineering|Expertise|Port||Africa|Cement|CoAL|Industrial|Marine|PROJECT|Systems|Africa||Products|Systems||Power||
engineering|expertise|port|port-elizabeth|africa-company|cement-company|coal|industrial|marine|phytolutions|project|systems-company|africa|germany|cement-factories|chemical-technology|green-technology|products|systems|eastern-cape|ben-zeelie|power|eastern-cape-province-or-state|biofuels|biofuels-technology|bioprocessing
© Reuse this



The Eastern Cape has been selected as the site for a pilot project where marine algae will be used to convert carbon dioxide into biofuels and other products.

This 'green technology' could ultimately be rolled out across the country and into other parts of Africa.

The use of algae as one of the next-generation sources of biofuel has long been a subject of controversy, with past schemes both locally and abroad giving rise to dramatic claims – but with no hard proof.

However, research being carried out by Jacobs University, in Germany, using marine microalgae to capture, through photosynthesis, the carbon dioxide in flue gases at two major power stations, is yielding impressive results. A low-cost, custom-built 800-m² photobioreactor – set up at a lignite coal-based power plant – has been converting carbon dioxide into biomass since August last year.

Jacobs University has now partnered with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), in Port Elizabeth, to expand the research with the intention of establishing pilot sites at various Eastern Cape industrial sources – including breweries, refineries and cement factories – by early next year. The next step is to partner with major industrial facilities, both nationally and in other African countries.

Underpinning the German-South African partnership is a memorandum of understanding, signed in December between Phytolutions, which is jointly owned by Jacobs University and several German investors, and InnoVenton, NMMU’s internationally recognised institute of chemical technology.

InnoVenton’s Professor Ben Zeelie says the Eastern Cape was selected for the pilot project as it boasts “optimal coastal climatic conditions [in which algae can thrive], along with a mix of industrial activity”. That, coupled with InnoVenton’s expertise in bioprocessing, made it the obvious choice.

“The merging of the two scientific capabilities and the proven ability of both to undertake and demonstrate the engineering and viability of the integrated systems are of huge significance and contrast with the negative local and international publicity surrounding past schemes to achieve real results from this next-generation biofuels technology.”

By June, a 200-m² photobioreactor – capable of producing 2 t of dry biomass a year – will be up and running at NMMU. This will be followed early next year by the establishment of two 1 000-m² photobioreactors at sites adjacent to interested industrial partners, to evaluate the technology in industrial applications.

“It is envisaged that, within two years, the technology will have been optimised for African conditions, with photobioreactors sized to match carbon dioxide mitigation targets,” says Zeelie.

To keep costs down, the photobioreactors will be built locally by black economically empowered small and medium-zed enterprises, based on the original Phytolutions designs, with the algae housed in plastic bags on metal frames, and the carbon dioxide piped to each bag through long tubes.  Phytolutions has developed software to monitor the process.

Once harvested, the algae will be turned into dry biomass and converted into biofuels, glycerine and protein.

Zeelie says the project’s main goal is the mitigation of carbon dioxide into a form where it is “permanently sequestered on a significant scale, based on an economically and technically sustainable technology”.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Energy News
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will provide Egypt with petroleum products worth $8.7-billion over a year starting in September, an Egyptian official told Reuters on Sunday. Egypt has struggled to curb its swelling budget deficit and meet its soaring energy demands,...
Article contains comments
The pump prices of both grades of petrol and wholesale diesel, as well as the maximum retail prices of illuminating paraffin and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), are set to decrease from September 3, the Department of Energy said on Friday. Petrol would drop by 67c/l,...
Article contains comments
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene
The key to the development of South Africa lay in mineral beneficiation and industrialisation in joint development with its regional neighbours, South Africa’s new Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told the Centre for Education In Economics and Finance (CEEF)....
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 38 minutes ago E-tolling Gauteng's highways has failed and the system falls short of its intentions, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Tuesday. "This system is falling far short of its intentions and targets," Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage told public...
Updated 51 minutes ago Fuel cell products provider Ballard Power Systems has appointed Randall MacEwen as president and CEO, effective October 6, replacing John Sheridan, who is retiring after serving as the company’s president and CEO since 2006. Sheridan would continue to serve as an...
Updated 1 hour 14 minutes ago Sub-Saharan Africa’s digital revolution was not set to get under way  – it had already started, Ericsson VP for strategy, marketing and communication Tumi Sekhukhune told delegates at the Southern Africa Telecommunication Network and Application Conference...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks