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Table 1 Results of the techno-economic analysis

From: Towards microalgal triglycerides in the commodity markets

  Base case
Growth phase: 2.17% PE, 4% TAG w/w
Stress phase: 1.48% PE, 24% TAG w/w
30 °C max. culture temperature for cooling
Current process technology
Optimized case (1) in Fig. 4)
Growth phase: 6% PE, 4% TAG w/w
Stress phase: 4.10% PE, 60% TAG w/w
40 °C max. culture temperature for cooling
Optimized process technology*
Total costs (M€ year−1) 25.6 28.2
Biomass production (Kton year−1) 3.8 8.7
TAG production (Kton year−1) 0.5 3.7
Biomass cost (€ kg−1) 6.7 3.3
CAPEX (M€ year−1) 9.7 14.4
OPEX (M€ year−1) 16.0 13.9
Initial investment (M€) 140.8 210.1
Produced energy (GWh year−1) 26.0 70.9
Consumed energy (GWh year−1) 22.8 38.0
Net energy ratio 1.1 1.9
  1. * Flow velocity is reduced from 0.45 to 0.3 m s−1 during the day and to 0.23 m s−1 during the night. Harvest is performed by pre-concentration of the biomass by microfiltration followed by centrifugation instead of using centrifugation only; flue gas is used as CO2 source instead of commercial CO2; 310 operational days per year instead of 300; reduced number of employees (one manager, one supervisor, eight operators instead of one manager, three supervisors and 28 operators); cleaning reduced from three times to one per year; the fraction of the facility used to prepare inoculum is reduced from 10 to 5% of the growth area