Due to the adverse effects of fossil fuels on the global climate, many governments encourage industrialists to seek alternative energy sources. One proposed solution to the mess caused by carbon fuels is harvesting biofuels by processing algae.
Although algae harvesting started more than seven decades ago, it wasn’t considered a commercial exploration until recently. The primary driver behind its increasing popularity is its potential environmental conservation benefits.
You need a centrifuge to harvest algae. Read on to discover more about how to use centrifuges for algae harvesting.
What is Algae Harvesting?
Many industries are transitioning to biofuels as they seek cleaner and more eco-friendly alternatives to fossil fuels. Algae is one of these biofuels.
It’s worth noting that producing fuel from algae is costlier than producing other biofuels. However, the proponents of its adoption are optimistic that the production cost will soon reduce as technology advances.
You can harvest algae using several methods. Some of the most common techniques use algal turf scrubbers (ATF) or open ponds. These involve submerging a geomembrane material surface in shallow water for algae cultivation.
After germination, the slave absorbs light and convertsit into biomass. When harvested, this biomass can produce many biofuels, such as methane, ethanol, butanol, etc.
What’s the Use of Centrifuges in Algae Harvesting?
Harvesting starts with the removal of algae from water. After this, it’s vital to remove moisture content from the plants before you begin fuel production. This is where centrifuges come in handy.
A centrifuge pushes the algae cells towards the bowl wall while removing all moisture content. This process is continuous in specialised algae harvesting centrifuges. When using such equipment, algae cells are automatically removed from the bowl once moisture extraction is complete.
Which is the Best Type of Centrifuge?
The best type of centrifuge depends on the amount of algae you want to process. For instance, small-scale operations require small machines with a low flow rate and centrifugal force that doesn’t exceed 2,000gs. In most cases, such processes occur in labs and other confined spaces.
For larger operations, it would be best to invest in a mid-range centrifuge with a centrifugal force of about 3,000gs. These have a self-cleaning function that removes the waste after processing. Interestingly, they’re cheap and lightweight.
Industrial centrifuges are the best for large-scale algae harvesting. Like the lower-end equipment, they allow for continuous operation. However, they have powerful centrifuges that can generate up to 12,000gs of force. This enables it to isolate minute algae cells for optimal harvesting. More importantly, these equipment are made using stainless steel, which protects against corrosion, especially in salty water.
Climate change is a menace that every sector of the global economy is finding ways to combat. Like homeowners are adopting solar energy, industrialists are now looking to replace fossil fuels with more sustainable options like biofuels. This is the reason why algae harvesting is here to stay, despite being a costly process. That said, the production cost will likely reduce soon.