IIIC The Battelle Columbus Resource Assessment Report

This report (Vignon et al. 1982), comissioned by the ASP, was the first comprehensive discussion of the resource requirements for microalgae production. It covered the criteria that should and could be used to identify available water, land and other resources, to estimate their relative importance, and to evaluate various legal, institutional, and other resource constraints. These issues were discussed at some length, focusing on the southwestern United States, although most of the discussion was of a rather general nature. For example, land and water rights issues are

Tlherfu$h0^3wiail:e^tlllarf§afari(irlfy ciiJs1:sDa1ra§r te; ibfsg^a rn pdjifSl eartwotfix(sapWater0veMriprgg an§estrarilSpíite1altionl etoniasrifVe• aucp era:ciSiSibSf wift blfld/f§yltímpo rcalte rlbiutfowilWatfo revolve este SWafc fn3i§erfatiom£ 75 m and pipeline distances of 6 km, with an approximately 1-m diameter pipeline, were estimated to cost about $31 million for a

400-ha system. This estimate for water supply is as high as later estimates for the total cost of building and operating an entire microalgae production system (see

P^eatiol^II .B.5.), which puts some perspective on the limits of lift and distance for water supplies. This report did not arrive at a prediction for the resource base, but Vigon, B.W.; Arthur, M.F.; Taft, L.G.; Wagner, C.K.; Lipinsky, E.S.; Litchfield, J.H.; was an important early introduction to the complexities of such resource

McCandlish, C.D.; Clark, R. (1982) "Resource assessment for microalgal/emergent assessments.

aquatic biomass in the arid southwest." Battelle Columbus Laboratory Report, Solar

Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colorado. III.C.3 The 1982 Argonne Study of CO2 Availability

This report (Nelson 1982) was the first analysis of the availability of CO2 specifically for microalgal mass culture. There was, and still is, considerable interest in CO2 sources for EOR (enhanced oil recovery). Thus, a significant body of literature had developed in the preceding 5 years, particularly for the southwestern United States, where several small pipelines were built to deliver CO2 for EOR. One study even considered the production of CO2 from a power plant flue gas for such a purpose. The Argonne report concluded that there would be little extra available CO2 for microalgae production until the time for EOR had passed, about the year 2020. Of course, since then declining oil prices, and increasing interest in CO2 mitigation, have changed this situation. The report also concluded that flue gas sources would be a poor source for CO2 for the microalgae ponds, as power plants were not generally located in a suitable area for microalgae cultivation. The authors also concluded that the delivery of pure CO2 would be expensive, even after CO2 became available after the EOR era.

Publications:

Nelson. (1982) "An Investigation of the availability of carbon dioxide for the production of microalgae lipids in the southwest." Report to the Argonne National Unborn tohy, unpubJBRe Resource Evaluation Report

This study (Maxwell et al. 1985) assessed the availability and suitability of land, brackish water resources, and climate in the southwestern United States. The objective was to "stratify the Southwestern United States into zones of varying suitability for such [microalgal] systems." The Battelle Columbus report discussed earlier (Vignon et al. 1982) was identified as a companion effort, although it was "not directly supportive of the stratification effort-••" Climate, land resources, and water resources maps based on various process constraints and characteristics (e.g., Trfeezeepeei peciode si and exlo§l§enwdl§cudslptfa)ofAteQle§ s°veeclayett it® pfeanlo pnioflmMlonr mapst Becaus ewblt§nsufQCis ntawd terwtaasOwtes lsupplytopogeaphyd edl frome , thiecfinM aculysis. iAvatiabdbm3íps(weII®(arsb i}IiealclKsqlSiítC(forQlanttl(Ciaa$'ClQcat1io^ fcarslop eout1 0%.e computer revolution has made access to this data easier or at least different. The report provides a very comprehensive review of the problem, and supplies a large amount of specific information. One interesting point is that microalgae systems w ilreM§ epmchvty up ^amd mped aft§d ae isuiíUQ1a1§Slidl mawc^ d fState Sa rbCl Qoihbofflng ^uc-fvee days watue n1suíatSof eneMy lllcic§ss¿bll§ Ah ^aps , slnrriUc?ing iSd c§uitalbatsa:rrcft wI.1 availability, were prepared, including a final overall suitability assessment (Figure III.C.1.). The authors proposed continuing such an assessment, pointing out the many limitations of the present study (such as water laws and rights issues) that required further studies. However, a point of diminishing returns is likely to be reached. It may be best to evaluate some very specific areas, even sites, for actual suitability for such a process. Indeed, any generic analysis may miss important details. For example, as indicated in Section III.B. from the

Pube&cpftifince at Roswell, New Mexico, that location is quite unsuitable for microalgae

Figure III.C.1. Overall suitability map for microalgae culture in the Southwestern United States.

Zones of relative suitability for microalgae biomass production based on compositing of climate, land and water suitability maps. (Source: Maxwell et al. 1985.)

III.C.5. The 1990 SERI Study on CO2 Sources

The objective of this study (Feinberg and Karpurk 1990) was to examine CO2 resources for microalgae production in the year 2010 and beyond. This report was a very comprehensive and authoritative source of information on this subject, from merchant CO2 supplies and costs to potential competition from EOR for CO2 sources. CO2 recovery from existing processes was judged to be relatively low cost from

Mafnol ata itePm©r8wp0rnlh8 aTptmuc hm oru^ope nstimarem |CtaPelrl<e, p§fin8laesCOf)

p<0swurc8ia1fra§'e was sufficient to support the annual production of roughly 2 to 7

quads of algal fuels. This corresponds to as much as 1.1 billion tons of CO2 per year, at prices ranging from about $9 to $90/t CO2. However, this analysis lacks the spatial resolution of the earlier study; thus, the actual CO2 availability (particularly of the low-cost supplies) was somewhat more speculative. Certainly CO2 resources will be a major limiting factor in microalgae production technology. However, as CO2

utilization has become a central objective of microalgae production systems, perhaps rather than looking at CO2 as a limitation it should be considered a site-specific Publications:

opportunity, where the other requirements for microalgae production are met (e.g.,

Faenabe:iSrlaDeA^watarplarraMlE:lctU^e)(()) TCble s<^c8ss£0PrPaifjz(ealiiae cbnauslouid fuels Bfprdrtc:lecga'r'diR8 pcosI'ccSoSaanf§uppeResearch Institute, Golden, Colorado, seri

KTipM2-M32(0.987) "CO2 sources for fuels synthesis." FY 1986 Aquatic Species Program Annual Report, Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colorado, SERI/SP-231-3071, pp. 269-275.

Tobis III.C. 1. Summary of Avoiiobiiity did Ccsl of CO2 Scuces?

(Source: Feinberg and Karpuk, 1990.)

C02 Source

Potential (106 kg/y)

Estimated Cost ($1986/mt)

Concentrated, high pressure sources:

Liquid synthetic fuel plants

40

12-16

Gaseous synthetic fuel plants

220

Gasification/combined cycle power plants

0-790

9-16

Concentrated low-pressure sources:

Enhanced oil recovery

8-32

Ammonia plants

9

9-16

Ethanol plants

<0.1

Dilute high pressure sources:

Non commercial natural gas

52-100

11-53

Refineries

13

54-95

Dilute low pressure sources:

Anaerobic digestion (biomass/wastes)

230

11-84

Cement plants

26

51-84

Fossil steam plants

0-790

29-48

TOTALS

600 - 2250

III.C.6. The 1990 SERI Study of Water Resources in New Mexico

This study (Lansford et al. 1990) specifically addressed the saline groundwater water resources in New Mexico. The objective was to identify suitable areas where large (1,000-ha) microalgae facilities could be established based on land and water availability. This report did not consider CO2 availability. Selection criteria developed by SERI, such as water quality, land slope, and climatic conditions, were used in this analysis. The groundwater resource information was reviewed for potential suitability for microalgae culture. Total gross water reserves of some 20 billion acre-feet were projected, of which about one-quarter was fresh water and the remainder of varying degrees of salinity. Freshwater sources would likely not be available in large quantities, as they would have higher value uses, would already be appropriated, or otherwise restricted. Thus, this report focused on saline groundwater sources. A first cut was by depth, likely well yields, size of reserves, and chemical composition. A detailed analysis of six groundwater basins of varying sizes and Pubqliucaatliitoynsw: a s then carried out. A qualitative analysis was carried out first, based on available data (Table III.C.2). Of these six, only two met all the criteria established by

CO2).

Table III.C.2. Suitable water resources in New Mexico.

(Source: Landsford et al. 1990.)

Qualitative Summary of Chasers Sites and Specific Criteria Used in Selection of Areas Suitable for Mjcroalgae Production

Tutarau Basin

Criterion

Site A

SlteB

Craw Fiats Basin

Estancia Basin

Site A

SlteB

Pecos Basin

Saa Juan Basin

Tucumcarl Basin

Supply of Unappropriated Groundwater

Avaiiabie

Available

Available*

Available

Available

Depth to Saline

Groundwater

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Marginal to Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Potential Well-Yield

Marginal to Satisfactory

Marginal to Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Water Quality (TOS)

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

"Marginal

Satisfactory

Marginal

Adequate Reserves

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Growing Season

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Unsatisfactory

Unsatlsfacto

Land Slope

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Ownership

Majority Is Private

Majority is Private

Majority is Federal

Majority is Private

Majority is Private

Data Ease Quality

Excellent

Excellent

Poor to Good

Good

Recommended

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Limited . Availability"

N/Ae

Unsatisfactory

Satisfactory

Uncertain

Satisfactory N/A

N/Ad

Poor

Available

Marginal to Satisfactory

Unsatisfactory

Satisfactory

Unsatisfactory N/A

Good

Available

Marginal to Satisfactory

flarginal No

Marginal to Satisfactory

N/A i not available.

'Unappropriated water is avaiiabie, but competition from agriculture is likely because «rater quality is suitable for agriculture. "Unappropriated water is available, but competition from existing uses may exclude microalgae production. Hasa on depth to groundwater was available wily for the Pecos Valley not the Pec» Basin.

riva te.

on depth to groundwater was avaiiabie only for the Pecos Valley not the Pecos Basin. "Ownership was not described for the Pecos Basin. Ownership in the Pecos Valley wan predominantly prh Further study is recommended far the area around R(Swell if less than a 1000 ha facility is considered.

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