BETO 2021 Peer Review - Algal Biofuels Techno-Economic Analysis

Research output: NRELPresentation


The objective of NREL's Algal Biofuel Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA) project is to provide process modeling and analysis to support Algae Program activities, utilizing TEA models to relate key process parameters with overall economics for cultivation, processing, and conversion of algal biomass to fuels and coproducts. By quantifying economic implications of key process metrics, TEA models highlight the technical requirements to achieve future program cost goals as well as enabling a means to track progress towards these goals. This project provides high impact and relevance though generation of critical cost data tied to funded research, with our analyses subsequently exercised by BETO to guide program plans, FOA priorities, and other directives. This includes costs for both algal biomass production and downstream conversion, most notably to support BETO's fuel cost targets below $2.5/GGE by 2030. To mitigate a key risk/challenge in constraining our work to academic analyses rooted only in future projections, our work also seeks to provide near-term value to today's algae industry through frequent industry engagement, while maintaining close ties with other BETO collaborators. This project has made numerous accomplishments since the 2019 peer review, including a continued focus on opportunities for value-added products, with related analyses for new pathway opportunities to achieve BETO cost goals and notable State-of-Technology (SOT) improvements over prior cost benchmarks.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) 2021 Project Peer Review, 8-12, 15-16, and 22-26 March 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-79248


  • algae
  • algal biofuels
  • economic development
  • process design
  • TEA


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