Committee Chair

Thomas, Tricia A.

Committee Member

Alp, Neslihan; Jones, Frank; Henry, Jim

Department

Dept. of Civil and Chemical Engineering

College

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

There is a growing interest in renewable, carbon-neutral biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. A life-cycle analysis is conducted in this study to determine the viability of using algae as a feedstock for biodiesel. The method involves assessing energy use, fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, and criteria pollutant emissions using a simulation developed by Argonne National Laboratory. The energy and emissions of algae-derived biodiesel are compared to those of soybean biodiesel, corn ethanol, conventional gasoline, and low-sulfur diesel. Results show that there are sizeable greenhouse gas emission benefits attributed to the production of both types of biodiesel as compared to petroleum fuels. Energy expenditures are much larger when producing algae biodiesel than compared to the other four fuels. The alternative scenario of growing algae at a wastewater treatment plant is also evaluated and is proven to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 17%. The results suggest that producing biodiesel from algae, while not yet competitive regarding energy use, does have many benefits and is worthy of further research and development.

Degree

M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.

Date

12-2012

Subject

Biodiesel fuels -- Synthesis

Discipline

Chemical Engineering

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

x, 58 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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