Algae-Based Purification of Landfill Biogas Using a CO2 Removal System and Helical Photobioreactor in Series


Biogas is a mixture of methane and other gases. In its crude state, it contains carbon dioxide (CO2) that reduces its energy efficiency and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) that is toxic and highly corrosive. Because chemical methods of removal are expensive and environmentally hazardous, this project investigated an algal-based system to remove CO2 from biogas. An anaerobic digester was used to mimic landfill biogas. Iron oxide and an alkaline spray were used to remove H2S and CO2 respectively. The CO2-laden alkali solution was added to a helical photobioreactor where the algae metabolized the dissolved CO2 to generate algal biomass. Although technical issues prevented testing of the complete system for functionality, cost analysis was completed and showed that the system, in its current state, is not economically feasible. However, modifications may reduce operation costs.