Algae to Biocrude using Wastewater, Demonstration Project Opens in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Minister of Energy Hon Gerry Brownlee opened a wastewater algae to bio-crude oil demonstration project. The project combines NIWA’s scientific expertise on advanced wastewater treatment and algal production pond technology with Solray’s bio-crude oil conversion technology and is hosted by Christchurch City Council at the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The process creates value at every step – it treats wastewater, recovers wastewater nutrients as fertiliser, removes carbon dioxide from flue gas, and creates biofuel. The Christchurch wastewater treatment plant has 230 hectares of polishing ponds that are currently used to provide disinfection of the treated wastewater prior to discharge.

It is in one of these ponds that five hectares have been cordoned off by NIWA and converted into a series of specially designed High Rate Algal Ponds with carbon dioxide (CO2) addition.The aim of the project is for NIWA to produce between 150 and 300 tonnes of algae per year from the 5 hectares of wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds. After harvesting and dewatering, this algae could potentially be converted into 10,000- – 25,000 gallons of bio-crude oil by Solray.”

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