This section is currently being updated. Please check again later for new content.
Techno-economic and sustainability assessment
Costly biomass production for fuel use only
Economic challenges as well as critical success factors have been identified for future seaweed-to-fuel technologies assuming industry scales. The techno-economic assessment, evaluated the technical and economic feasibility of industrial scale production of biofuels from seaweed based on the MacroFuels concept and found that biomass production and the equipment that is required for the automated harvesting results in biomass costs that are, although significantly lower than to date, still one to two orders of magnitude too high for competitive fuel applications only.
Chance lies in cascading biorefinery
If the seaweed-to-biofuel value chain was integrated in a cascading biorefinery concept, in which other compounds are extracted for high value products (i.e. food, feed, cosmetics, pharma- and nutraceuticals, biomaterials etc.) the economic feasibility of seaweed as biomass for biofuels might shift to the positive side. MacroFuels will discuss this with relevant projects that look into seaweed biorefineries during the final project phase and consider results for exploitation and follow-up actions.
Hydrolysis concepts can make a difference
The techno-economic assessment clearly showed that enzyme hydrolysis is favorable to acid hydrolysis in cost terms due to the large quantities of chemicals required for acid hydrolysis.
Environmental, social and business aspects
Other elements of the sustainability assessment incl. environmental, social and business aspects are underway and will be published in public reports between July and November 2019.