The biomass production potential at temperate latitudes (56°N), and the quality of the biomass for energy production (anaerobic digestion to methane and direct combustion) were investigated for the green macroalgae, Ulva lactuca. The algae were cultivated in a land based facility demonstrating a production potential of 45 T (TS) ha−1 y−1. Biogas production from fresh and macerated U. lactuca yielded up to 271 ml CH4 g−1 VS, which is in the range of the methane production from cattle manure and land based energy crops, such as grass-clover. Drying of the biomass resulted in a 5–9-fold increase in weight specific methane production compared to wet biomass. Ash and alkali contents are the main challenges in the use of U. lactuca for direct combustion. Application of a bio-refinery concept could increase the economical value of the U. lactuca biomass as well as improve its suitability for production of bioenergy.
- Bio refinery
- Bio systems