Bioenergy potential of Ulva lactuca: Biomass yield, methane production and combustion

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  • Annette Bruhn
  • Jonas Dahl, Danih Technological Institute, Denmark
  • Henrik Bangsø Nielsen, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • Lars Nikolaisen, Danish Technological Institute, Denmark
  • Michael Bo Rasmussen
  • Stiig Markager
  • Birgit Olesen
  • Carlos Arias, Danish Technological Institute, Denmark
  • Peter Daugbjerg Jensen, Danish Technological Institute, Denmark
  • Department of Marine Ecology
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Plant Biology
The biomass production potential at temperate latitudes (56°N), and the quality of the biomass for energy production (anaerobic digestion to methane and direct combustion) were investigated for the green macroalgae, Ulva lactuca. The algae were cultivated in a land based facility demonstrating a production potential of 45T (TS) ha(-1)y(-1). Biogas production from fresh and macerated U. lactuca yielded up to 271ml CH(4) g(-1) VS, which is in the range of the methane production from cattle manure and land based energy crops, such as grass-clover. Drying of the biomass resulted in a 5-9-fold increase in weight specific methane production compared to wet biomass. Ash and alkali contents are the main challenges in the use of U. lactuca for direct combustion. Application of a bio-refinery concept could increase the economical value of the U. lactuca biomass as well as improve its suitability for production of bioenergy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume102
Issue3
Pages (from-to)2595-2604
ISSN0960-8524
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

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