http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.49Change: 0.01
R/$ = 10.50Change: -0.01
Au 1294.90 $/ozChange: 0.00
Pt 1407.50 $/ozChange: -5.50
 
 
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
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 13, 2012

E Cape varsity says its algae-to-energy research is yielding results

Back
South Africa|University Of Cape Town|Algae-to-energy Research|Bio-crude Oil|Chemical Technology|Greener Coal Product|Oil|Ben Zeelie
south-africa|university-of-cape-town-facility|algae-to-energy-research|bio-crude-oil|chemical-technology|greener-coal-product|oil|ben-zeelie
© Reuse this

Algae-to-energy research being con- ducted at the Nelson Mandela Metro- politan University’s institute of chemical technology, InnoVenton, is said to be yielding a bio-crude oil that can be separated into jet fuel and other liquid fuels.

The researchers believe the solution may be also be capable of expanding the life span of coal reserves with a greener coal product.

InnoVenton uses microalgae to convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into bio-crude oil and director Professor Ben Zeelie says talks have started with leading international airlines regarding the production of jet fuel from the resource.

“An in-depth analysis of our oil, carried out by the University of Cape Town, revealed that about 30% of the mass of oil we make is perfect for jet fuel,” he says.

In addition to jet fuel, InnoVenton is hoping to produce a significant amount of a so-called ‘bunker 150 oil’ equivalent from the bio-crude oil for power-generation purposes.

“Industries in South Africa burn millions of litres of this fuel in power and heat generators each year,” said Zeelie.
He claims the most significant of InnoVenton’s algae research pertains to the recovery of waste coal in the coal industry.

“Each year, South Africa’s mines produce about 70-million tons of coal waste, enough to run about twenty 1 000 MW power stations. The stockpile of discarded coal in South Africa is estimated at more than 2.5-billion tons, enough to run 20 power stations for more than 30 years, if we can find a way to recover and use this coal waste.”

Zeelie and his team have found that, if coal dust and algae biomass are mixed, the algae collects onto the surface of the coal and binds it with the dust.

The result is a coal-algae agglomerate, which enables the handling of the waste coal by using normal mechanised equipment.

“During this process of binding fine coal particles, the quality of the coal can be improved significantly by separating the minerals, such as common silicates, from carbon components,” says Zeelie.
He adds that studies have shown that, if coal and biomass are burned, they reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide.

If InnoVenton were to produce sufficient microalgae to recover all the fine coal produced in South Africa each year, an area of about 50 000 ha would be needed to grow the algae and it would be a R93-billion investment with a three-year payback time.

InnoVenton plans to establish a one-hectare technical demonstration photo-bioreactor facility to prove the technical and economic viability of the cultivation system later this year.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Energy News
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
France's Total said on Thursday it had discovered oil in a deep offshore area in the west of Ivory Coast, the company's second oil find in a year in the West African country. "This well is the first discovery in the San Pedro Basin, a frontier exploration area in...
A 344.5 t wax reactor has arrived at petrochemicals giant Sasol’s Fisher-Tropsch wax expansion project, in Sasolsburg, in the Free State, after five weeks of road travel from Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal. The reactor was transported through Pongola, in...
More
 
 
Latest News
Few would argue with the notion that unemployment, which stands at around 25% on the narrow definition as reported by Statistics South Africa, remains one of the country’s most pressing challenges. Fewer still could contest the view that South Africa’s education...
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday. Opening a WRC debate under the theme...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
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