So far these have comprised
• Fish waste to produce bio-diesel
• Micro-algae to produce crude oil for diesel production
• Micro-algae to produce bio gas
• Micro-algae to produce ethanol
• & to a smaller extent the use of macro-algae to produce all of the above energy sources.
There has been lots of talk recently on the potential of duckweed or as it is botanically called “Lemnaceae” as a feedstock for ethanol production.
Duckweed is a small plant that lives in water and is very similar to micro-algae in that it can feed off wastewater and it can suck up CO2, similar to some strains of algae duckweed contain large amounts of starch that can be processed to create ethanol. This would not only lessen the burden on current corn to ethanol production and the debates on fuel vs food, but it would also lower CO2 emissions and hence contribute to mitigating climate change.
The total starch content of duckweed can vary from 3-75% of the dry weight depending on trains and species. Other factors like nutrients and concentration play a large role in the accumulation of starch in duckweed. Some species like Spirodela polyrrhiza combined with swine wastewater and grown anaerobically can contain a starch content of almost 46%.
Duckweed biomass can produce appreciable quantity of starch that can be readily fermented into ethanol. Duckweed has a great potential for the development of an environmentally friendly, economically viable ethanol production.
The First plant, Louisiana Bio Fuels, will be built on a 380 acre site, The site is close to an existing Rice Mill, The rice mill will provide Rice chaff to be used as a feed filler to Dilute the high protein Distillers by product to produce a complete pellet cattle feed to be sold to local markets.
Tony Piccolo – Aquatic Biofuels Specialist, Rome-Italy