Entity

Time filter

Source Type

Jessup, MD, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 95.00K | Year: 2011

One of the most promising biomass sources for fuels and other feedstocks is photosynthetic algae. Algae can produce lipids, proteins, and other compounds, and can be grown in salt water. Current production practices rely on expensive means of harvesting, concentrating, and extracting the algae. This makes the “bio-crude” produced by algae more expensive than petroleum. Recovering the cellular contents of the algae directly from the growth media would reduce production costs and improve profitability. This proposal is to develop a method for lysing the algae and recovering the bio-crude without pre-concentrating or dewatering. Hydrodynamic cavitation using submerged jets uses fluid shear flow to create high pressure fluctuations in the shear layer to cause bubbles to grow and collapse using a fraction of the energy required for ultrasonic cavitation. Cavitation has been shown to have the capability to rupture algal cell membranes and release the cell contents. Cavitating jets also create clouds of fine bubbles that can attach to lipids in the water and lift them to the surface. By controlling the creation and collection of the resulting foam the lipids can be concentrated and recovered from the growth media with minimal energy input.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a method for lysing algae and recovering the oil without pre-concentrating or dewatering. A promising feedstock for biofuels is photosynthetic algae, which can produce lipids in much higher yields per acre then can terrestrial crops. Currently, the harvesting and extracting of the oil consumes 40%-60% of the energy required to produce biodiesel from algae. If the lipids and other compounds can be collected directly from the growth media these expenses would be entirely avoided. Cavitation is a good candidate as it has been shown to rupture algal cell membranes and release cell contents. Feasibility of hydrodynamic jet cavitation as a practical and easily scalable method will be demonstrated. This process will be inline and will use shear flow and local accelerations to create high pressure fluctuations in the liquid causing bubbles to grow and collapse using a fraction of the energy required for ultrasonic cavitation. Hydrodynamic submerged jet cavitation also creates clouds of fine microbubbles that can attach to lipids and lift them to the surface. By controlling the creation and collection of foam, the lipids can be concentrated and recovered from the growth media with minimal energy input. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the development of new fuel resources that would benefit the nation by providing a stable energy source, reducing gas imports and dependence on foreign nations, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Commercialization of microalgae for biofuels and nutritional uses is expanding rapidly in the USA and the world. Eliminating the major energy requirements of harvesting and extraction will increase the profitability of biofuel production from algae. Providing a technology capable of achieving this will be very marketable. This technology could also be applied to other biotechnologies in which microorganisms are used to produce high value products, such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, or biorefining. This process could be used for more economical and more sustainable use of bioresources. In addition, greater understanding of the behavior of microorganisms in hydrodynamic flows would benefit the fields of biotechnology, health care, and water purification.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 180.00K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a method for lysing algae and recovering the oil without pre-concentrating or dewatering. A promising feedstock for biofuels is photosynthetic algae, which can produce lipids in much higher yields per acre then can terrestrial crops. Currently, the harvesting and extracting of the oil consumes 40%-60% of the energy required to produce biodiesel from algae. If the lipids and other compounds can be collected directly from the growth media these expenses would be entirely avoided. Cavitation is a good candidate as it has been shown to rupture algal cell membranes and release cell contents. Feasibility of hydrodynamic jet cavitation as a practical and easily scalable method will be demonstrated. This process will be inline and will use shear flow and local accelerations to create high pressure fluctuations in the liquid causing bubbles to grow and collapse using a fraction of the energy required for ultrasonic cavitation. Hydrodynamic submerged jet cavitation also creates clouds of fine microbubbles that can attach to lipids and lift them to the surface. By controlling the creation and collection of foam, the lipids can be concentrated and recovered from the growth media with minimal energy input.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the development of new fuel resources that would benefit the nation by providing a stable energy source, reducing gas imports and dependence on foreign nations, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Commercialization of microalgae for biofuels and nutritional uses is expanding rapidly in the USA and the world. Eliminating the major energy requirements of harvesting and extraction will increase the profitability of biofuel production from algae. Providing a technology capable of achieving this will be very marketable. This technology could also be applied to other biotechnologies in which microorganisms are used to produce high value products, such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, or biorefining. This process could be used for more economical and more sustainable use of bioresources. In addition, greater understanding of the behavior of microorganisms in hydrodynamic flows would benefit the fields of biotechnology, health care, and water purification.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

Development of algae as a source of renewable chemicals and fuels is hindered by the difficulty of recovering the algae from the growth solutions. Air flotation can separate solids and liquids by having gas bubbles attach to the solid particles to increase buoyancy and lift them to the surface. The small particle sizes of algae require that small bubble sizes be used. Conventionally very fine bubbles are created using dissolved gas flotation DAF). DAF requires high pressures to supersaturate gases into water and has poor energy efficiency. However, this can be overcome by using bubble generators based on local controlled hydrodynamic cavitation to generate large volumes of very small bubbles with much less energy. These will have long residence time in the water, rise slowly in the gravity field while attaching to the algae cells and lifting them to the free surface. In this proposed Phase I SBIR project, we will investigate the feasibility of using a bubble generator concept based on controlled cavitation to remove water and concentrate the algae from the growth media and recover the intact cells. The objectives of the project will be to design and construct a bench- scale algal growth media dewatering loop with the bubble generator capable of producing large numbers of bubble of diameters less than 50 microns, and to then move to pilot scale systems after addressing R&D issues. A controlled cavitation bubble generator will be tested. The bubble sizes and numbers produced will be diagnosed by high speed video, image analysis, and acoustic techniques. The effects of operating parameters pressure drop, air and water flow rates) on bubble size distributions will be determined. The performance of the solid- liquid separation system with different algae species, algae concentrations, and air-liquid void fractions will be determined. The percent recovery of algae form solution, percentage of solids in the recovered slurry, and algae quality will be measured in these experiments. If necessary to increase the percentage of solids to 20% secondary concentration methods such as vacuum filtration will be tested. An energy efficient method for dewatering algae solutions will reduce the production costs for renewable chemicals and fuels produced from algae, and reduce the barriers to bringing this technology to commercial scale. The separation technology developed in this SBIR would also have applications in other fields such as mining, wastewater treatment, and petroleum process water treatment.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

Multiphase bubbly mixture flows in pipelines, cooling equipment, reaction towers, and in petroleum, chemical, geothermal and nuclear industries have strong influence on efficiency. The ability to predict the flow behavior accurately is essential in designing energy efficient two-phase flow processing and transporting equipment. One of the major prediction difficulties lies in the complex multiple length-scale nature of such mixture flows. Conventional approaches resolve either macroscopic averaged quantities of the flow or focus on interface tracking of some important flow details and do not address the full flow. Therefore, a comprehensive model, which could resolve simultaneously the important scales, is required. The proposed research will develop a multiscale two-phase flow simulation method capable of accurately representing bubbly flows of various scales. The model will include a continuum based phase-averaged model for the macro-scale and a discrete bubble/particle model for the micro-scales. These will be integrated into a single code that automatically switches between the two models at different times or in different locations of the studied geometry and allows conversion of discrete bubbles into large cavities or into a continuum description and vice versa depending on the bubbles and cavities size evolution. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: A multiscale approach based on state-of-the-art numerical techniques will result in a commercial code for generalized bubble flow simulations which can accurately capture important characteristics of cavitating and high void fraction multiphase flows. This software will enable researchers in chemical, oil and gas, nuclear, and marine industries to conduct design studies and to improve energy efficiency of their processes and devices. These applications will strengthen the competitiveness of US industries equipped with developed advanced systems

Discover hidden collaborations