The ability of microalgae to sequester carbon and at the same time synthesise valuable compounds with potential applications in nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries makes them attractive for commercial deployment, especially in view of a blue bioeconomy. Among microalgae, the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum is considered as an important potential source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentanoic acid, an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The aim of this study was to perform the Life Cycle Assessment of the cultivation of P. tricornutum - at semi-industrial scale in photobioreactor - for the production of high-quality bioactive compounds comparing synthetic carbon dioxide supply to a supply with waste carbon dioxide from a biogas upgrading process hypothesizing industrial symbiosis network. The effect of renewable energy use instead of the European electricity mix was also examined. Primary data on the production process, including the stages of cleaning and sterilisation, cultivation, harvesting and freeze-drying, were used. The midpoint impact categories recommended in the ILCD Handbook were used for performing the impact assessment. A sensitivity analysis was also performed on algal productivity, culture medium recirculation factor and amount of solvents per cleaning cycle. Firstly, results indicate in general cultivation and freeze-drying as the most contributing stages to the impacts. Secondly, they demonstrate in the comparative assessment that the use of carbon dioxide from the biogas upgrading is a feasible and attractive alternative to the synthetic one, as it allows for the improvement of the environmental performance of the production process in all the analysed impact categories. Finally, sensitivity analysis suggests that the environmental performance could be further improved by acting on other key factors, such as electricity source, nutrients culture medium and cleaning solutions.

Comparative life cycle assessment of microalgae cultivation for non-energy purposes using different carbon dioxide sources / Porcelli, Roberto; Dotto, Federica; Pezzolesi, Laura; Marazza, Diego; Greggio, Nicolas; Righi, Serena. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - ELETTRONICO. - 721:(2020), pp. 137714.1-137714.12. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137714]

Comparative life cycle assessment of microalgae cultivation for non-energy purposes using different carbon dioxide sources

Porcelli, Roberto
;
Dotto, Federica;Pezzolesi, Laura;Marazza, Diego;Greggio, Nicolas;Righi, Serena
2020

Abstract

The ability of microalgae to sequester carbon and at the same time synthesise valuable compounds with potential applications in nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries makes them attractive for commercial deployment, especially in view of a blue bioeconomy. Among microalgae, the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum is considered as an important potential source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentanoic acid, an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The aim of this study was to perform the Life Cycle Assessment of the cultivation of P. tricornutum - at semi-industrial scale in photobioreactor - for the production of high-quality bioactive compounds comparing synthetic carbon dioxide supply to a supply with waste carbon dioxide from a biogas upgrading process hypothesizing industrial symbiosis network. The effect of renewable energy use instead of the European electricity mix was also examined. Primary data on the production process, including the stages of cleaning and sterilisation, cultivation, harvesting and freeze-drying, were used. The midpoint impact categories recommended in the ILCD Handbook were used for performing the impact assessment. A sensitivity analysis was also performed on algal productivity, culture medium recirculation factor and amount of solvents per cleaning cycle. Firstly, results indicate in general cultivation and freeze-drying as the most contributing stages to the impacts. Secondly, they demonstrate in the comparative assessment that the use of carbon dioxide from the biogas upgrading is a feasible and attractive alternative to the synthetic one, as it allows for the improvement of the environmental performance of the production process in all the analysed impact categories. Finally, sensitivity analysis suggests that the environmental performance could be further improved by acting on other key factors, such as electricity source, nutrients culture medium and cleaning solutions.
2020
Comparative life cycle assessment of microalgae cultivation for non-energy purposes using different carbon dioxide sources / Porcelli, Roberto; Dotto, Federica; Pezzolesi, Laura; Marazza, Diego; Greggio, Nicolas; Righi, Serena. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - ELETTRONICO. - 721:(2020), pp. 137714.1-137714.12. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137714]
Porcelli, Roberto; Dotto, Federica; Pezzolesi, Laura; Marazza, Diego; Greggio, Nicolas; Righi, Serena
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/768462
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 71
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 56
social impact