Making Fuels from Algae
This online engineering PDH course explores the potential and the problems of algal biofuel production in detail. Beginning with a description of the biology of the diverse group of organisms called "algae" (Seaweed is a type of algae.), the course proceeds to describe issues related to cultivation: affordability, scalability, and sustainability. Next, harvesting and dewatering processes are discussed. The course ends with a presentation of the challenges of converting processed algal biomass to fuels and co-products such as animal feed, fertilizers, industrial enzymes and bioplastics.
In recent years, biomass-derived fuels have received increasing attention as one solution to the nation's dependence on imported oil for transportation fuel. In particular, biofuels derived from algae have many attractive characteristics: 1) high per-acre productivity, 2) non-food based feedstock resources, 3) use of otherwise non-productive, non-arable land, 4) utilization of a wide variety of water sources (fresh, brackish, saline, marine, produced, and wastewater), 5) production of both biofuels and valuable co-products, and 6) potential recycling of carbon dioxide and other nutrient waste streams.
This 9 PDH online course is intended primarily for chemical, civil, environmental and mechanical engineers interested in learning about the potential for producing biofuels from cultivating algae.
This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:
- Learning about algal biology and cultivation
- Learning about downstream processing: harvesting and dewatering
- Learning about current practices for lipid extraction from algae
- Learning about algal biofuel conversion technologies
- Understanding biofuel distribution and utilization
- Understanding the resource requirements for different cultivation approaches
- Understanding the large demands for water for cultivation
- Recycling and disposal of water used in cultivation
- Siting algal cultivation facilities near carbon-dioxide emitting industries
- Familiarizing with commercial co-products from algae
- Understanding transportation and storage issues of raw biomass and fuel intermediates
- Meeting fuel regulatory requirements and gaining customer acceptance
In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Chapters 1 through 9 of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) document, "National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap", dated May 2010.
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