Frequently Asked Questions - Methane

Q: Why use algae for anaerobic fermentation to produce methane?
A: Methane is widely produced by fermenting biomass from higher plants such as maize. The production of methane from algae produced on non arable land could greatly increase biomethane production capacity.

Q: Are algae good substrates for biogas production?
A: Experiments carried out in the 1970th and 1980th indicated that some macroalgae can serve as substrates for anaerobic fermentation (Chynowth 2002) but published information remains scarce. Experiments carried out in our consortium indicate that methane production potential from microalgae is strongly isolate dependent. Some isolates have been identified with biogas production characteristics which are at least as good as the common maize silage feedstock.

Q: Is the methane content/biogas quality of biogas form microalgae higher or lower compared to higher plant substrates?
A: Theoretical calculations (Sialve et al. 2009) and batch tests in our lab have shown that the methane content/biogas quality from microalgae in general is higher than the methane content/biogas quality from higher plants.