Cementos Argos, UdeA, Eafit, and Ecopetrol Collaborate to Create Biofuels from Microalgae

A groundbreaking project led by Cementos Argos, in collaboration with UdeA, Eafit, and Ecopetrol, has been patented in the United States for its innovative method of producing biofuels from CO2 captured by microalgae.

Cementos Argos, UdeA, Eafit, and Ecopetrol Collaborate to Create Biofuels from Microalgae
Photo: elcolombiano.com // Argos

Cementos Argos, in partnership with the University of Antioquia (UdeA), Eafit University, and the Colombian oil company Ecopetrol, has embarked on an ambitious project to produce biofuels from carbon dioxide captured by microalgas. This initiative, which has received a patent in the United States, aims to transform CO2 emissions from cement manufacturing into biomass. This biomass is then used to produce a biocrude with properties similar to petroleum, ultimately yielding biofuels such as diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel.

The project, which has been in development for nine years, is a part of Cementos Argos' sustainability policy to tackle CO2 emissions inherent in cement production. The collaboration with Eafit University and the PQI research group from UdeA has led to the refinement of the hydrothermal liquefaction process, turning microalgae biomass into renewable crude oil.

This initiative not only represents a significant step towards reducing atmospheric pollution but also positions Cementos Argos towards achieving its goal of providing carbon-neutral concrete by 2050. The next phase involves constructing a pre-commercial hydrothermal liquefaction plant in Cartagena, where the CO2 from cement production will be converted into biomass and then into crude oil on-site. This crude oil will be delivered to Ecopetrol for further validation in various processes.

The biofuels produced can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared to traditional fuels, offering a sustainable alternative that does not require technological changes for end-users. This project highlights the potential of microalgae as a versatile raw material not only for biofuel production but also for human consumption, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, biofertilizers, and cosmetics, among other applications.

Source: El Colombiano