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Assessing the commercialization potential of algal jet fuel using a lifecycle assessment approach

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posted on 23.05.2021, 14:34 by Hossain Seraj
Farming algae for chemicals, pigments, neutraceutical and even fuel is not a novel idea. What is new however is recent volatility in energy prices coupled with heightened global sensitivity to food prices - partly instigated by the massive proliferation of food-based biofuels - that has brought algal biofuels to the forefront of energy research and commercial activity. Algal biofuels offer great promise in providing a sustainably-sourced, carbon-neutral option that can meet a significant portion, if not all, of the global transportation fuel needs in the coming decades. For a sector such as aviation, which has no other short-term practical alternative to fossil fuel liquids fuels, algal jet fuel offers a massive opportunity that if captured, can provide fuel cost and supply stability as well as a critical avenue to actively manage its growing GHG footprint. However, being a nascent technology, the fuel pathway innovation will rely on heavy and continuous investment to accelerate its development. This study assesses whether a carbon price framework can enhance the commercialization potential of algal jet fuel by way of mobilizing investment into the technology, and if not, what requisite improvements in technology and policy accommodations need to be made in order to allow algal jet fuel to be competitively produced.

History

Degree

Master of Applied Science

Program

Environmental Applied Science and Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

Thesis