SUMMARY OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES & TASKS
Marine Algae Industrialization Consortium (MAGIC):
Combining biofuel and high-value bioproducts to meet the RFS
A. PROJECT OBJECTIVES
The goal of this project is to use the Consortium’s fully integrated platform technology for the production of biofuels and high-value nutritional bioproducts to demonstrate a combined co-product value >$1,000/MT while yielding a biofuel intermediate that demonstrably meets or exceeds the RFS for advanced biofuels, has an EROI >3, and sells for <$5/gge. The objective of Phase 1 is to work with DOE to validate existing data and to further develop technical metrics for project progress. The objective of Phase 2 is to use the platform technology to produce, process, and validate algae-based products by direct comparison to the performance of established products at industry-standard demonstration scale. In addition to the biofuel product, three specified bioproducts are targeted for the nutrition of salmon, poultry, and humans, respectively. At least one biofuel/bioproduct combination is expected to meet the central performance objective.
B. TECHNICAL SCOPE SUMMARY
In Phase 1, Task 0 will validate baseline data, technology readiness level, and will further develop technical metrics and the basis for go/no go decision points in the project.
In Phase 2, all tasks are driven by product specifications for four targeted products, a biofuel intermediate and three nutritional products, which specifications comprise the first annual go/no-go milestone in this project.
Phase 2 will begin with a Consortium workshop to confirm product specifications and to agree in detail on criteria for meeting those specifications. In general, product development will proceed in steps, evaluating a progressively smaller number of strains at increasingly larger scale. Strain development will first evaluate a large number of strains at bench scale and, by Q7, will deliver 10 strains that meet specifications. Mass culture will produce feed stock at scale (10-25 kg ea) for Recovery and conversion. Biomass fractions will be delivered to Product assessment by Q9, which will complete product efficacy trials at laboratory scale by Q10. The product assessment cycle will be concluded with a TEA/LCA using the resulting empirical data, providing a comprehensive and rigorous process to select strains for further development and commercialization.
C. TASKS TO BE PERFORMED
BUDGET PERIOD 1 (Phase 1): Validation
Task 0.0: Process and Data Validation (M0-6)
Task Summary: The Consortium will work with DOE to further define the technology readiness level of the overall process, including unit operations within the process. Process information and data will be provided to DOE to support the process claims within the original application. Technical metrics for project progress will be developed and go/no go decision points will be incorporated into the overall project.
Milestone 0.1 (DP) – Process information and data support the technology readiness level of the overall process, the unit operations within the process, and the original application. Technical metrics are based on preliminary data and represent meaningful project progress toward the final project goals.
BUDGET PERIOD 2 (Phase 2): Performance
Task 1.0: Strain Development (M7-M24)
Subtask 1.1: Strain validation (M7-M24)
Subtask Summary: Strains will be selected from our collection of >1000 strains, cultivated at bench-scale, and their growth characteristics and biochemical profiles compared to explicit product specifications. The 10 best-performing strains will be selected for Mass Culture.
Milestone 1.1 (DP) Identify and deliver 10 strains for mass culture that meet/exceed product specifications (M18)
Task 2.0: Mass Culture (M7-M36)
Task Summary: Mass culture will produce algae feedstock (10-30% total suspended solids, 25 to 50 kg per strain) for ten strains identified by Strain Validation (Task 1). All mass culture will be done using a hybrid cultivation system and following key operating parameters specified in the TEA/LCA and described in a cultivation design analysis.
Subtask 2.1: Cultivation design and analysis (M1-M12)
Task Summary: This task will deliver a defined cultivation plan for mass culture, describing methods for inoculation, growth, and harvesting, and a sampling regimen for specified parameters. Analysis will provide quality assurance for data from mass culture trials on a regular basis.
M2.1 Deliver a Cultivation Plan for mass culture to be adopted by the Consortium (M7)
Subtask 2.2 Product assessment (M7-M24)
Task Summary: Produce and harvest 10 selected strains of algae at process development scale, providing 25 to 50 kg DW per strain. Feedstock from production runs will be used for extraction and product assessment.
M2.2 (DP) Deliver feedstock for processing from 10 strains, 25 to 50 kg DW per strain (M24)
Task 3: Recovery and Conversion (M7-M30)
Task Summary: This task will use two alternative methods to process a total of 25 to 50 kg dry weight (DW) per strain from 10 strains produced from Task 2, delivering the fractions to Consortium partners for targeted biofuel and nutritional product efficacy trials.
M3.1 Set up an operational process integrated with mass culture production and demonstrate processing of 10 kg DW algal feedstock, delivered for analysis (M12)
M3.2 (DP) Process 10 strains of feedstock from Mass Culture Task 2.2 and deliver to Product Assessment (M25)
Task 4: Product Assessment (M3-M36)
Task Summary: Product specifications are defined in four market areas: biofuels and three nutritional product markets: salmon feed, poultry feed, and human food. Product efficacy will be evaluated by comparing performance of 10 strains at laboratory scale.
M4.1 (DP) Deliver product specifications for at least one product, updated to consider current market factors, and how they will be used to measure performance (M6)
M4.2 Initiate Product assessment trials: 10 strains, 2 separation processes, ~5-10 kg ea; (M15)
M4.3 Product assessment: efficacy demonstrated for at least one strain (M30)
Subtask 4.1 Biofuels (M7-36)
Task Summary: Develop and demonstrate a biofuel intermediate that meets or exceeds product specifications with regard to efficacy, cost, and environmental impact. Demonstrate conversion to drop-in fuel and quantify performance.
Subtask 4.2 Salmon feed (M7-36)
Task Summary: Develop and demonstrate a high-value salmon feed ingredient that is rich in protein, pigments, and omega-3 fatty acids and is price-competitive with fishmeal.
Subtask 4.3 Poultry feed (M7-36)
Task Summary: Develop and demonstrate a high-value poultry feed ingredient that results in broilers with enhanced EPA/DHA content.
Subtask 4.4 Human food (M7-36)
Task Summary: Develop 3 types of human products: iron supplement capsules, iron fortificants of cereal, and novel ingredients for milk products and other foods.
Task 5: Commercialization (M7-M36)
Task 5.1 Techno-Economic Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment
Task Summary: Use TEA/LCA as a reiterative design tool to guide product development. Include consideration of target markets, competitors, and distribution channels.
M5.1: Deliver revised TEA/LCA for each product based on updated product specifications from the Target Product Workshop (M6)
M5.2 Updated TEA/LCA based on results of Strain development and initial Recovery and Conversion analyses (M18)
M5.3 Updated TEA/LCA based on results of Product assessment (M33)
Task 6: Project Management (M1-M36)
Task Summary: Provide administration, reporting, data management, and communications support.
Subtask 6.1: Biochemistry analysis
Summary: Provide scope of work and QA review for centralized biochemical analyses performed by qualified subcontractor(s). Approve biochemical data for Consortium database.
M6.1 Technical report including analyses required and cost/benefit analysis of different approaches (M7)
Subtask 6.2 Data Management Plan
Summary: Establish a comprehensive Data Management Plan (DMP) for the Consortium and ensure access to Consortium data products
M6.2 Database available on Consortium website for all data produced (M36)
Subtask 6.3 Communications and Organization
Summary: This task will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of project management, administration, reporting, and liaison with DOE.
D. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING
The Consortium management plan includes explicit, mutually agreed processes to address intellectual property, publication, data management and preservation, and project integration, which are formally embodied in the Non-Disclosure Agreement and the Data Management Plan (DMP) submitted as part of the Application. To properly organize and manage the project, we employ a consensus approach founded on an effective plan for direct communications, now in use, and the main elements of which are:
- Monthly Consortium Conference Calls: PIs discuss (i) new results and (ii) forward planning; (iii) actions and decisions are recorded
- Monthly DOE report-out: project management discussion: PI/PD and Project Officer(s)
- Quarterly reports: executive summary and detailed reports at the subtask level
- Annual Project Review Meeting: will focus on comprehensive presentation of results, joint planning sessions, data and materials sharing. Venues are planned at key project work locations, attended by all PIs and DOE Project Officer(s).
At the very heart of the communications plan is the website, www.algaeconsortium.com, fully described in the DMP, which employs a document management system to provide up-to-date standard operating procedures, publications, technical reports, monthly actions and decisions, quarterly reports, presentations, and related documents to Consortium members. The website also accommodates an outreach component to facilitate public access to Consortium results.
Reports and other deliverables will be provided in accordance with the Federal Assistance Reporting Checklist following the instructions included therein. This Consortium focuses on publishing its technical results in the peer-reviewed literature.