The intensive production of species within the freshwater genus Oedogonium provides for a diverse bioresource with multiple applications in the production of bioenergy. The production of Oedogonium was integrated and quantified across a range of industrial waste waters. We subsequently investigated the use of Oedogonium in a range of energy production systems with a focus on hydrothermal liquefaction for the production of biocrude.
The productivity of Oedogonium in waste waters ranged from 10-30 g (dw).m-2.day-1 depending on season, location and water source, and delivered a biomass with a calorific value of 18-20 MJ.kg-1. This biomass was effectively combusted as a stand-alone fuel and under pyrolysis when blended with coal. Oedogonium was also effectively converted to a bio-oil under fast pyrolysis with a high yield of bio-oil. Finally, Oedogonium was effectively upgraded to a high energy biocrude (>30 MJ.kg-1) using hydrothermal liquefaction.
In conclusion, Oedogonium is an effective tool for the bioremediation of waste waters from animal production, mining and mineral processing and energy generation. The biomass generated can be converted into a number of bioenergy alternatives of which the production of biocrude is being pursued in detail based on the efficient conversion of biomass to bioenergy.