Macroalgae in the Biorefinery: A Substance Flow Analysis and Environmental Assessment of an Extraction Process of The Major Components in Saccharina latíssima (Master thesis Supervision)
MACROALGAE IN THE BIOREFINERY: A SUBSTANCE FLOW ANALYSIS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF AN EXTRACTION PROCESS OF THE MAJOR COMPONENTS IN SACCHARINA LATISSIMA
A turn to more sustainable resources has lead the research during the last decades to algae. Algae is a resource that has been utilized for thousands of years offering a variety of possibilities. Nevertheless modern technology were able to uncover algae’s great potential and pave the way for alternative uses such as biofuel and biomaterial production. Towards that direction, ‘Seafarm’ aims in utilizing algae in the most efficient and sustainable way. For that purpose various steps have been established, including the biorefinery step which entail among other the extraction of carbohydrates from brown algae.
The current thesis is based on an extraction of carbohydrates from Saccharina latissima, a brown algae species, which was developed by Viktor Öberg during his master thesis at KTH. The aim of this work is to assist in the scaling up of that laboratory process by analyzing the basic steps and substances of the process, investigating its environmental performance and identifying improvement areas for theoretical optimization. The results of the aforementioned analysis include a substance flow analysis which reveals the basic steps of the process and constitute the basis for further analysis. The second step examines the environmental performance of the process based on the chemical selection. Hence the results are a risk assessment of chemicals with performance indicators for each chemical as well as the whole process. The final part provides a theoretical optimization of the process based on literature studies where the recommendations are divided in production optimization and environmental performance.
The above results constitute the basis of the analysis of the process and sets the foundations for scaling up the process at an industrial level. The current analysis in combination with an energy and economic assessment could be used for the designing of the process and its integration in the biorefinery.