Autonomous liquid growing Algae environment

Goal is: Producing solid/liquid fuel from algae. The system consists of a algae-water loop and a processing setup.

Similar projects worth following
To let the Algae grow, probably just a lot of CO2 and light is needed.
Therefore it will be pumped in a waterloop and be flowing over a suface out in the sun.

The collector will be made out of plasic bags, which have notches made from cord.

The hardware consists of a pump of a windshield washer of a car + psu, some tubes and canister, plasic bags and cord

Of course, the system is controlled by a mcu, a colour detection system, temperatur and waterlevel sensors.

The algae biomass has to be processed to be burnable:

- for dry fuel:
somehow dehumidify the algea in a easy way

- for liquid fuel:
In two steps:

1) decomposing (split up) the cell structure with non-toxic and cheap/ recycleable chemicals or via an ultrasonic transducer

2) separating the components with a centrifuge and collect the burnable mass

The resulting material can be then transported and stored. It should be able to be used like fossil coal or gasoline.

Agae fuel

This is about on growing algae in a water cycle. Right now i am living with friends on the canarian islands, where we have perfect conditions for this kind of research.

The algea, i.e. spirunella, can ideally double its biomass in 24 hours, runs photosynthesis in every cell, and consists up to 40% of burnable fat.
It can be pumped and processed in water because it has no roots, therefore can be applied in a artifical setup.

The resulting biomass should burn when dehydrated, and the long term goal is to transform it to liquid fuel.
The resulting material can be then be transported and stored as you like.

Because i am lazy and started this stuff just some weeks ago, mainly in theory and research, the setup is really very basic. First there will be some days test run to see how fast the algae grows.

We have a pump of a windshield washer of a car + psu, some tubes and canister, plasic bags and cord.

There is some bamboo wood growing outside, i am looking for a metal rod to push through, to scoop it out and use it as a water pipe. That will be the top and the base for the plastik bag setup, like a solar-thermal installation.

I want to find out, if its profitable to spray the water from some distance onto the plasic film, so it catches more air.

The processing will be:
- for dry fuel, dehumidify the algea in the sun
- for liquid fuel: first decomposing the cell structure with non-toxic and cheap/ recycleable chemicals or via an ultrasonic transducer (audio amplifier + nano spray impregnated high power tweeter),
then isolating the ingredients, with a sperating funnels, or a centrifuge (maybe modified washing machine).

Why Biomass as energy storage:

The main reason for me to do practical research on algae is, that is was the conclusion of a friends and my thoughts on developing a energy storage. We have discussed a metalhydride hydrogen storage tank system, which would be seriously dangerous at high energy density. Storing fluids and solids is just easyer.

Of course, storing electrical power by growing algae under i.e LED-light isnt so clever. This method wont beenot a energy storage device comparedike a electric battery for charge and discharge, but it may supply heat for your 50° C shower water (could be like 5KW for 10 min).

The need for a energy storage is, that energy (i.e from the sun) can be collected for a long period, days or months, and be released in a short amount of time.

Also, the natural temperature differences (summer, winter) result in times where there is a energy surplus (its too hot) or times there there is a erngy low. A tank with algae fluid collected in summer would work as a seasonal energy storage. You could even use all the tanker ships to move algae from hot regions to cold regions...

This is also interesting for every day life, because often we just need an instant amount of energy right now, and most of the other time we are ok with little power.

Depending on the quality of the processing of the plant, it would be possible to be used with internal combustion engines.

Because it is a substitute for fossil fuel, it means all the existing cars and home-heating systems can be used, which makes the environmental impact low.
At a average house you will find that a system with, say, 5 kwh energy capacity, comes at a price that makes you rather waste surplus energy, and produce more when you are in need.
So, by using scap parts there may be a option to save money otherwise spent on expensive elements.

We try to dumpster most of the materials from trash and keep the costs as low as possible. When the processing setup is up and running, the electricity for the pump and electronics, especially the processing for fluid fuel, should ideally be supplied by a regenerative electric setup, like solar panels/ wind turbines/ a generator run by algae fuel...

Probably the oldest way of storing energy is stacking wood. But as we know, huge areas of forest have been cut down, resulting in a astonishing impact on landscapes and nature....

Read more »

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) - 914.00 bytes - 04/30/2017 at 21:02


  • drilling a bamboo pipe

    squeeky05/16/2017 at 20:25 0 comments

    Found that a thick wire can be used to drill throug the bamboo, from 2 sides.

    Works ok. If the wire is to thin, it may break and be stuck in the bamboo. Yea, haz variable drill-length! :)

View project log

Enjoy this project?



squeeky wrote 12/06/2019 at 16:47 point

This is on hold indefinately.

Check out if interested in energy storage.

Have a awesome day!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates