The innovation comprises several main components:
• Microalgae cultivation and recovery in photo-bioreactors;
• Beneficiation and upgrading of discarded coal and coal fines using the microalgae biomass;
• Conversion of the coal-microalgae composites (Coalgae®) into energy products such as bio-crude oil, synthetic gas and clean coal.
• Coalgae® is a biomass-rich fuel made from a waste product that can be used as a direct replacement for coal
• The cultivation system has lower water losses and greater microalgae yields compared to open pond raceways
• The carbon dioxide and micronutrients required for microalgae cultivation can be sourced from flue gas emissions produced by coal-fired power stations and other industries, thus reducing point source carbon emissions
• Better environmental management of coal fines, which can reduce costs compared to alternative methods
• Upgrading the quality of the discard coal by reducing the ash content
• Extends the life of coal mines by depleting reserves at a lower rate
• Incorporates renewable energy into the energy mix and improves sustainability ratings
• Complies with increasingly strict environmental legislation
• Fuel source for boilers/kilns to produce heat and electricity
• Fuel source for household cooking
• Raw material for Coal to Liquids process
• New business opportunities exist that were previously restricted by the carbon footprint of the potential customers’ processes.
TRL 6: prototype system verified: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (beta prototype system level).
A substantial number of patent applications have been filed and granted. These patents focus on the energy process including production of algae and oil using photo bioreactors and direct liquefaction, and mixing of coal fines with algae to produce briquettes that can be used as a “green” coal.
Please click here to download the information on this page.
For more information, please contact the Nelson Mandela University Innovation Office:
☎ +27(0) 41 504 4309