Aquatic development progresses in the study of microalgae energy combined with industrial smoke biofixation

Microalgae accumulate biomass and lipids through photosynthesis and can be used to produce new types of clean energy. It is the basis of third-generation biofuels. On the other hand, the nitrogen content in the microalgal biomass is as high as 7-12% of the dry weight of cells, and its large-scale cultivation can utilize high concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in industrial flue gases.

NOx is an important environmental pollutant contained in the combustion gas of fossil fuels, mainly in the form of NO, which can cause a series of environmental problems such as photochemical smog, acid rain, greenhouse effect and haze. Traditional flue gas denitrification methods consume large amounts of energy, have poor safety and cause secondary pollution. Through the cultivation of oil-producing microalgae, not only raw materials for biofuels can be provided, but also high-value-added products can be produced, and NOx in the flue gas can be fixed to reduce environmental pollution. Recently, the research group of Wang Qiang, a member of the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has made new progress in the use of microalgae to conduct research on industrial flue gas biological denitrification and collaborative bioenergy production.

The research group studied the photosynthetic activity, biomass, and oil accumulation characteristics of Chlorella sp. C2 under simulated flue gas conditions, indicating that Chlorella sp. C2 can be conducted under conditions of high concentrations of flue gas NOx. Accumulation of biomass and oil, and photosynthetic capacity were not significantly affected.

At the same time, using the industrial flue gas fixed salt of caprolactam production line of Sinopec Shijiazhuang Refinery Chemical Plant as a nutrient, the Chlorella sp. C2 culture and denitrification experiments were performed in a column photobioreactor to obtain high biomass and 33% cell lipids. At the same time as the content, the denitrification rate of 60% of flue gas was verified, which proved the potential application value of microalgae in the field of biological flue gas denitrification. On this basis, the discipline group proposed a joint production process of microalgae biological denitrification, production of high value-added products and biodiesel production, which provided useful reference for the application of microalgae biological denitrification in environmental pollution control and bioenergy production.

The study was supported by the "973" program, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the frontier projects in the field of young talents in the Knowledge Innovation Project of the Institute of Hydrobiology, and the horizontal projects of the Sinopec Corp. Related papers Evaluation of an Oil-Producing Green Alga Chlorella sp. C2 for Biological DeNOx of Industrial Flue Gases has been officially published in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology.

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