Volume 4: Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Applied Energy, Part 3, Sweden, 2019

Dynamic Assessment of the Sustainability of Algal Biorefineries in the Production of Biofuels Alvin B. Culaba* , Phoebe Mae Ching, Jayne Lois San Juan, Andres Philip Mayol, Edwin Sybingco , Aristotle T. Ubando, Wei-Hsin Chen, Jo-Shu Chang

Abstract

Barriers exist against the emergence of any new technology. For algal biorefineries, these barriers manifest in competition for resources, slow capacity growth, and the diminishing urgency of environmental issues, which worsen as the algae-based biofuel is diffused. Given the dynamic nature of the problem, a system dynamics model is developed with the objective of identifying areas for intervention that can promote diffusion with minimal negative feedback. The model contains four dynamic hypotheses, representing areas that hamper the diffusion of algae-based biofuel. These hypotheses are the economic, social, and environmental sectors that are affected by the operations of algal biorefineries. A sensitivity analysis of parameters revealed the strategies which ensured the successful propagation of the technology relied on good anticipation of market growth and the maximized energy yield growth from investments. This was compared to traditional solutions such as incentives for adoption and penalties against emissions, and linear models. The results indicated that the linear models failed to capture the dynamicism of the problem. The contribution of this study is a new perspective on managing the growth of algal biorefineries.

Keywords Renewable Energy, Algal biorefinery, Biofuels, Energy systems, System dynamics, Technology acceptance

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