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  • Introduction: ProblemRecognition of Problem

    This year, for the first time since before the Ice Age, CO2 will not fall below the 400 ppm mark. -NOAA (2016)

    Algae could be used to sequester carbon

    Unless made into a product with a long useful lifespan it will decay and re-release the CO2

    Definition of Problem for South Carolina

    Pithophora is a native algae to South Carolina that is most commonly controlled through the use of herbicides. - DNR (2015)

  • Introduction: Goals

    Biological- Design and model the process of making paper pulp from algae that can be

    substituted for wood in traditional paper presses- Improve bleaching processes through chlorophyll-related options

    Structural - Create a paper product that stands up to the TAPPI standards of store bought

    wood pulp paperMechanical

    - Develop a more sophisticated way to clean the filamentous algae.- Determine a simplified paper making process utilizing the benefits of

    algae-based pulp - Decrease pulping and drying times

  • Introduction: Constraints

    Skills - Lack of paper making knowledge

    Budgetary - Algal paper production must be comparable in price to similar wood pulp based papers

    Space - Can only keep a limited amount of algae for testing at a given time

    Logistics - Lab scale tests and procedures are very different from industrial application

    Time - Algae growth rate and seasonal weather limits algal biomass available for testing

  • Introduction: Considerations

    Ethical - North Charlestons Kapstone plant uses chemical pulping which must be heavily treated before being released into the Cooper River.

    Safety - Bioaccumulation of toxins could occur in marine life living in or near the effluent flows of paper mills if not treated properly.

    Ecological - Grass Carp and Mozambique Tilapia have been used in the past to try to control blooms of filamentous algae, but have been found to prefer other aquatic grasses.

  • Introduction: Questions of User

    Person using the finished paper.

    Will traditional pens and pencils write legibly on Algal paper?

    Is the algal paper as durable as comparable traditional papers?

    Will the paper last as long as traditional papers?

  • Introduction: Questions of Client

    Paper press - What is required to store algal pulp for processes?- What kind of retrofitting would need to be done for the substitution to take

    place?- Can wood and algae pulp be mixed?

  • Introduction: Questions of Designer

    Yours Truly

    - What quantity of pulp will be required to maintain an operation?

    - What will be the required strength of the pressed paper?

    - What type of algae will be used?

  • Governing EquationsBlending Scale-Up

    Reynolds Number

    Power in an unbaffled tank

    Limiting Vortexing Pbaffled = Punbaffled

    Power in a baffled tank P = kN3D5

  • Identifying the Algae

    Scientific Name: Pithophora oedogonia

    Common Name: Cotton-ball Algae/Horsehair Algae

  • Design: Small Scale Harvesting








  • Preliminary data: Drying Preliminary Trial:

    Oven dried at 68 over 4 days Algae was successfully dried with a

    brown border

    Trial 1: Oven was set to 103 Algae was weighed every

    30 minutes for 5.5 hours Drying occurred at 0.85


  • Preliminary data: Pulping

    Proctor Silex 59735 immersion blender

    Tested dried and undried samples

    Fiber lengths of pulped paper averaged 6.45 mm.

  • Preliminary data: Pulping dried and undried Undried

    Blends very quickly and easily Cells do not rupture or shorten Color stays very green

    Dried Must rehydrate for easy pulping Cells rupture and shorten Color fades over time

  • Preliminary data: Pulping Dried and Undried

    Undried Dried

  • Forming Handsheets for qualitative analysis of Pulp

    Based on TAPPI standards T 218 sp-11 Utilized rehydrated dried algae from

    preliminary drying test Proctor Silex 59735 immersion blender was

    used for pulping

  • Forming Handsheets for Qualitative Analysis of Pulp

    100 mm diameter Bchner

    funnel was used to strain pulp

    Pressed between granite slabs

    Allowed to air dry overnight

    Achieved finished test weight of

    60 g/m2

  • Bleaching Alternative: Ultraviolet Light

    Day 1 Day 3 Day 4

  • Bleaching: Other Alternatives Ultra Violet light seems to be the best and least intrusive option

    Requires significant time investment and does not completely whiten paper

    Repetitive drying and re-soaking of algae to wash out chlorophyll Will be energy intensive

    Chemical Bleaching is another option to explore as it will most likely be the most successful at completely removing all color

    Effluent wastewater will have to be treated

  • Sustainability

    Can be used to help sequester carbon

    Make use of problematic algal blooms

    Chemical pulping techniques are not required for algae as in traditional paper pulping

    Bleaching can be accomplished through drying and UV light

  • Thank You!Dr. Caye Drapcho

    Dr. Terry Walker

    Mr. Tom Jones

    Cassidy Laird

    Clemson University

  • ReferencesAyhan Demirbas, M. F. (2011). Importance of algae oil as a source of biodiesel. Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 52, 163-170.

    Teschke, K. (n.d.). Chapter 72 - Pulp and Paper Industry. Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, Chapt. 72.

    Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network (2016). Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: Full Mauna Loa CO2 record. Earth System Research Laboratory.

    Ben Xu, P. L. (2013). Study of the Flow Mixing in a novel ARID raceway for algae production. Renewable Energy Vol. 62, 249-257.

    Environmental Protection Agency (1990). Chemical Wood Pulping. Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors, Ch 10 S02

    South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (2015). Fish Pond Management Information. Common Aquatic Plant Management Problems.

    Georgia Tech School of Economics (2003-16). Pulp Mills, Pulp & Paper Mills, Paper Mills in South Carolina. Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies.

  • ReferencesStein, T. (2016). Carbon dioxide levels race past troubling milestone. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Kapstone. (2016). About Kapstone. Kapstone Paper and Packaging Corporation.

    Pokhrel, D., Viraraghavan, T. (2004). Treatment of pulp and paper mill wastewater--a review. Science of the Total Environment. Vol. 333, Issues 1-3. .

    Kocamemi, B. A., (n.d.). Environmental Engineering Unit Operations, Chapter 6 Mixing. Marmara University Department of Environmental Engineering. .

  • Questions?


    Les questions?

  • Appendices

    Handsheet notes and thickness calculations Blending notes and handsheet pressure calculations