CO2 Capture and Utilization (CCU) in Coal-Fired Power Plants: Prospect of In Situ Algal Cultivation

  • Ranjana Chowdhury
  • Sumona Das
  • Shiladitya Ghosh
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


Coal-fired plants, presently sharing 90% of Indian thermal power, are the main point sources of anthropogenic emission of CO2. Although there is a prediction of significant decline in the share of coal by 2040, it will remain the obvious choice as power plant fuels due to economic constraints and natural abundance. Therefore, from the perspective of environmental protection, immediate measures for the mitigation of CO2 emission are necessary. Micro- and macroalgae are the photoautotrophs which naturally sequestrate atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis. The captured inorganic carbon derived from CO2 is stored as carbohydrates in the algal cells. On the other hand, under nitrogen stress, many algae store oil along with carbohydrates. Therefore, from a microalgal cultivation facility, oil can be extracted by solvent extraction process and can be utilized in pharmaceutical sector, and the residual oil can be converted to biodiesel. Valuable biochemicals can be recovered from the algal solid, and the process residue can be ultimately pyrolyzed to generate pyro-oil, pyro-gas, and biochar. Pyro-oil and pyro-gas can be utilized as fuels, and the biochar can be utilized for the amendment of soil. Therefore, an algal cultivation unit, either a raceway pond or a closed reactive system, can be integrated with coal-based power plants for their environmental and financial sustainability through the CO2 capture and utilization (CCU) and for the creation of revenue through the generation of biofuels and valuable biochemicals. This chapter has assessed the prospect of application of different algal strains for the CCU in Indian power plants with special focus on Rhizoclonium hieroglyphicum JUCHE 1, Pithophora varia JUCHE 2, Leptolyngbya subtilis JUCHE 1, the native algae isolated from water handling units (cooling water forebay, clarifier water tank, and cooling tower) of Indian power plants by the present group.


CO2 emission from coal-fired power plants CCU Biofuels and biochemicals Power plant algae Integration of algal refinery with power plant 



The authors are highly thankful to UPEII, Jadavpur University, funded by University Grant Commission (UGC), New Delhi, for extending the financial assistance required to conduct the studies on power plant algae.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ranjana Chowdhury
    • 1
  • Sumona Das
    • 1
  • Shiladitya Ghosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

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