An energy analysis on the production of torrefied microalgal biomass

D. R.T. Rivera, A. B. Culaba, A. T. Ubando, W. H. Chen, J. S. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Torrefaction is a process for upgrading raw biomass into an energy-dense fuel. In this study, an energy analysis was conducted to assess the energy consumption in the production of torrefied microalgal biomass. The functional unit of one kilogram torrefied biomass and a system boundary of cradle-to-gate was used. This includes the life cycle stages of cultivation, harvesting, drying, and torrefaction. To include the varying method for the upstream processes, four different scenarios of torrefied biomass production are considered. The result of the analysis revealed that across all four scenarios, the torrefaction stage had a minimal contribution of 1-20% as compared with other life cycle stages. However, even with very optimistic assumptions among all scenarios, the result of the study shows a large energy deficit on the system due to the high energy consumption involved in the cultivation method and even in the drying process. To minimize energy consumption during the cultivation stage, solar lighting was highly recommended. The use of a solar-assisted drying was also advisable to lessen the energy consumption for the drying stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12016
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 6
EventInternational Conference on Sustainable Energy and Green Technology 2019, SEGT 2019 - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 2019 Dec 112019 Dec 14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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