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Author(s): Benedita Malheiro
Cristina Ribeiro
Manuel F. Silva
Nídia Caetano
Paulo Ferreira
Pedro Guedes
Title: Learning sustainability by developing a solar dryer for microalgae retrieval
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: The development of nations depends on energy consumption, which is generally based on fossil fuels. Thisdependency produces irreversible and dramatic effects on the environment, e.g. large greenhouse gasemissions, which in turn cause global warming and climate changes, responsible for the rise of the sea level,floods, and other extreme weather events. Transportation is one of the main uses of energy, and its excessivefossil fuel dependency is driving the search for alternative and sustainable sources of energy such asmicroalgae, from which biodiesel, among other useful compounds, can be obtained. The process includesharvesting and drying, two energy consuming steps, which are, therefore, expensive and unsustainable. Thegoal of this EPS@ISEP Spring 2013 project was to develop a solar microalgae dryer for the microalgae laboratoryof ISEP. A multinational team of five students from distinct fields of study was responsible for designing andbuilding the solar microalgae dryer prototype. The prototype includes a control system to ensure that themicroalgae are not destroyed during the drying process. The solar microalgae dryer works as a distiller,extracting the excess water from the microalgae suspension. This paper details the design steps, the buildingtechnologies, the ethical and sustainable concerns and compares the prototype with existing solutions. Theproposed sustainable microalgae drying process is competitive as far as energy usage is concerned. Finally, theproject contributed to increase the deontological ethics, social compromise skills and sustainable developmentawareness of the students.
Related Information: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia/Projetos Estratégicos/UID/EQU/00511/2013 - POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006939/Laboratório de Engenharia de Processos, Ambiente, Biotecnologia e Energia/LEPABE
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FEUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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