Algae Cultivation System as Wastewater Treatement Solution in Wheatland County

An integrated approach to manage the water, food and energy nexus is essential as impacts of climate change emerge and the complexities of wastewater increases. This project evaluates the energy, environmental and economical implications of using microalgae to treat wastewater in Wheatland County, Alberta. Results demonstrate that wastewater effluent that meets discharge regulatory requirements can be produced using an Algae Cultivation System (ACS) with significant Green House Gas emissions reduction when combined with Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) System for microalgae biomass to biocrude conversion. However, my analysis finds that the volume of biocrude produced is not enough to operate the HTL at full capacity and it would require aggregating other sources of biomass to operate at full capacity. Lastly, I also conclude that externalities must be considered in wastewater treatment cost, and the capital expenditure of deploying ACS and HTL must be lower for economical viability of this solution