Bioenergy potential of Ulva lactuca: Biomass yield, methane production and combustion

Annette Bruhn, Jonas Dahl, Henrik Bangsø Nielsen, Lars Nikolaisen, Michael Bo Rasmussen, Stiig Markager, Birgit Olesen, Carlos Arias, Peter Daugbjerg Jensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBioresource Technology
    Volume102
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)2595-2604
    ISSN0960-8524
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • Bio refinery
    • Bio systems

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