February 14, 2014

Student of MSc “Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe” is winning the “Energy Globe World 2013”


Johann Mörwald (le.) und David Bernhard (ri.), both ecoduna produktions-GmbH. (c) Energy Globe

Winner of Category “Fire”: Mag. David Bernhard (ecoduna produktions- GmbH)

Mag. David Bernhard is on the road to victory: With the ground-breaking bioalgae technology of ecoduna, where he is employed, he finished first and so contributes tot he vision of Energy Globe - „To create a sustainable future for all“. The award ceremony took place on February 04, 2014 in Salzburg (Austria).

Currently David Bernhard is a student of the postgraduate MSc „Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe“ (class 2012-2014) offered by the Vienna University of Technology in cooperation with Energiepark Bruck/Leitha. He is expected to complete the MSc program in Autumn 2014 (http://newenergy.tuwien.ac.at).

Unique in the World: Energy from Algae

Today algae are an important renewable resource. They are raw material for valuable substances used in medicine, pharmaceutics and the cosmetics industry, in food, pet food and even energy production and chemical applications. Ecoduna of Bruck an der Leitha develops ground-breaking world class technologies for the production of Algae. The start was not easy. ecoduna Executive Martin Mohr had  to do a lot of persuading to ensure the plant’s financing. Today, the modern company has made a breakthrough in the industrial production of microalgae.
 
World class in Lower Austria! At the 250 m2 ecoduna plant algae are grown as a source of high-quality oils, including the production of omega-3 fatty acids (today in particularly high demand due the scarcity of fish stocks) and for bio fuel. 22 reactor elements powered by solar power constantly follow the course of the sun and keep the algae in an ideal light zone permanently. The nutrient medium is not pumped, but transported via pressure equalization over the shortest route - which reduces energy consumption many times. The optimum distribution of CO2 and other nutrients creates the best conditions for growth and CO2 fixation. All cells have approximately the same level of development, optimising energy use when harvesting, as only mature algae are harvested. No agricultural land is claimed. Water is treated and re-used; remains of dissolved nutrients are recycled. The residual biomass is used as fodder for cattle, goats, fish, etc. The exuberant sea-fishing, to obtain omega 3 fatty acids is relieved. Approximately 17 tons of biomass, with an oil content of about 40% are produced annually. 4-5 tons of oil and 2-3 tons of fuel/year are obtained from this.
 
The concept is inspired by the forest, where the leaves of the trees multiply the surface towards the sun and protect themselves from overheating by changing their orientation angle to the sun - because, as Mohr, father of four, is convinced: ”nothing in nature happens without a reason" The groundbreaking ecoduna technology is in used amongst others by Germany’s Vattelfall: algae are used to “store” industrial CO2, the biomass is used to produce bioplastics or artificial fertilizers. In Denmark, the insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk utilises the arising process water as “food” for algae supplying CO2 using ecoduna technology. Especially in xeric countries such as Saudi Arabia and India or China and Japan and aquaculture enterprises in Northern Europe, who use it to produce food for fish and simultaneously want to purify waste water from nitrates.


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