Financial Feasibility analysis of NAABB developed technologies Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier B.V.. In 2010, the National Alliance for Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), was tasked with developing innovative technologies that would make algae-based biofuels a sustainable, commercially viable industry. Over the past few years an array of technologies have been developed and analyzed. Each of these was detailed in the final report to the United States Department of Energy. In this paper, the most promising technologies developed in NAABB are compared to the baseline technologies from the beginning of the project. An economic feasibility analysis is conducted using the Farm-level Algae Risk Model (FARM) to simulate the probabilistic cost of algal lipid production and the economic feasibility for the farms with the most promising alternative technologies. This economic feasibility analysis is a high level analysis of technologies that need to be demonstrated seamlessly at full scale and are yet to be fully integrated into a single operation with full mass and energy balance. Technologies analyzed include: a genetically modified organism (GMO) algae strain, the Algae Raceway Integrated Design (ARID) cultivation system, the electrocoagulation harvesting system, and Hydrothermal Liquefaction-Catalytic Hydrothermal Gasification (HTL-CHG) extraction systems. Results indicate that with the combination of all the most promising NAABB technologies the total cost per gallon of HTL-CHG oil is $7.40 with no reductions in CAPEX and OPEX, but can be reduced to $2.80/gallon if CAPEX and OPEX are reduced by 50%. CAPEX and OPEX to convert algal oil to a final fuel are not included in the analysis.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Richardson, J. W., & Johnson, M. D.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Richardson, James W||Johnson, Myriah D

publication date

  • July 2015