Demonstration of the onsite application of microalgae-based carbon dioxide bioconversion technology initiated at a coal thermal power plant.
5-ton scale microalgae-based CO2 bioconversion plant built at Taean Thermal Power Plant
▲ From the left, Gye-hyun Ahn (CEO, Woobo Engineering Co., Ltd.),
Hyun-chul Park (Director of Power Generation, Taean Thermal Power Complex Division),
Sang-yong Park (Director of Technical Support, Taean Thermal Power Complex Division),
Yu-Hwan Kwon (Managing Director, Taean Thermal Power Complex Division),
Kyuong-jae Kim (Executive Vice President of Engineering Division, Korea Western Power.),
Sang-do Park (Director, Korea Carbon Capture & Sequestration R&D Center),
Yong-seog Seo (Vice President, Korea Institute of Energy Research),
Ho-jung Ryu (Managing Director, Korea Institute of Energy Research), Sang-jun Sim (Professor, Korea University),
Jong-kyun You (Ph.D., Korea Institute of Energy Research)
The research team of College of Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Sang-jun Sim participated in a ceremony commemorating the completion of a ‘CO2 capture and conversion (CCU) demonstration plant’ at the Taean Thermal Power Complex Division of Korea Western Power at 2 pm on Tuesday, May 14th.
The ceremony was attended by Professor Sim and industry officials including Representative Soo-young Lee of Kolon Eco One, Director Sang-do Park of KCRC, Executive Vice President Kyuong-jae Kim of Korea Western Power, and Vice President Yong-seog Seo of the Korea Institute of Energy Research.
With the objective of verifying the onsite application of the microalgae-based CO2 bioconversion technology obtained through the ‘Korea CCS 2020 Project’ and its economic evaluation, the plant’s construction started last November and was completed, including test operations, over the next 6 months.
[Korea CCS 2020 Project Overview]
◇ In order to fulfill the mission of the Ministry of Science and ICT under the Korean National CCS Master Action Plan, the Korea CCS Project will develop innovative capture, sequestration, and conversion technologies with the aim of producing a sub $30 / ton-CO2 original technology by 2020
◇ (Period/Budget) November 1, 2011 ~ May 31, 2020) / 172.7 billion KRW
◇ (Sponsor) Park Sang-do, Korea Carbon Capture & Sequestration R&D Center (KCRC)
◇ (Supported Subcontract Projects/Participating Organizations) 31 projects as of 2019 / 500 people from 37 organizations including KIER, KRICT, KIST, KIGAM, KAIST, Sogang University and Korea University
The research team has succeeded in securing the world's top-level core original technologies related to microalgae cultivation capable of high-speed screening of superior strains and high-density cultivation at low cost, which are key features for commercializing technology for the biological conversion of carbon dioxide. They developed a technology that can screen for superior strains with excellent photosynthetic efficiency and carbon dioxide conversion efficiency at a rate 4,000 times faster than the existing biochemical microalgae screening technologies by utilizing micro convergence techniques. With this technology, the team succeeded in securing an ultra-superior strain with a cell growth 2 times and a lipid content 4 times higher compared with a wild type strain. In order to secure process-based technologies applicable to large-scale microalgae cultivation processes, a low-cost transparent polymer film was processed to develop a large-capacity photobioreactor with excellent light transmittance, mobility, mechanical strength and scalability according to cultivation size.
The team plans to evaluate the productivity and economic feasibility of biofuels and various useful materials through the demonstration of the 5-ton CO2 bioconversion process using the improved super-microalgae and the large-capacity photobioreactor. Prior to demonstrating the application to coal thermal power exhaust, this technology had already achieved the world’s highest standards of cell growth (1.2 g / L / d), intracellular lipid content (45%) and organic resource productivity (5.5 L / m2 / y) through a small-scale demonstration on LNG power emissions.
▲College of Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Sang-jun Sim
Professor Sim commented, "At a time when CO2 bioconversion technology using microorganisms such as microalgae is attracting global attention, the world-class technologies secured through the development of original technologies demonstrates the ideal method to utilize the research results all the way to its demonstration and verification.” He said, "There is a heated competition worldwide centered around certified emissions reduction. We have laid the foundations for Korea to achieve world-class competitiveness in the carbon dioxide reduction market.”
▲ Biotransformation facility description
▲ CO2 bioconversion demonstration facility
▲ Microalgae photobioreactor