Enel Generación Costanera undertakes a microalgae production study

Published on Monday, 4 October 2021

Enel Generación Costanera, the largest thermal generation plant in Argentina, signed an agreement with the Faculty of Agronomy of the UBA (Fauba) to evaluate the installation of a carbon dioxide fixation plant through microalgae cultivation at the plant.

"Thanks to this agreement, a study will be carried out by professionals from the university, based on the emissions data from the plant," explained Pablo Gutiérrez, head of Enel Generación Costanera. If feasible, a technical project will be developed for the construction of the harvest.

These algae are microorganisms that develop in waters capable of photosynthesis in the presence of oxygen. Through this process they capture CO2 and store it in their biomass.

Microalgae have a CO2 absorption efficiency 10-15 times higher than that of terrestrial plants and can reproduce easily and at high speed in the right environment. Therefore, they are the object of study of several sustainable innovation projects.

In turn, microalgae have various end uses such as the production of fertilizers, inputs for the pharmaceutical and agri-food industries, biofuels and bioplastics, among others.

"Thermal power plants are the ideal place to develop biotechnology projects with microalgae due to the high production of CO2 and availability of water," Gutiérrez concluded.

This Sustainability and Environment initiative carried out by Enel Generación Costanera, in alliance with an important educational stakeholder at the national level, who specializes in the subject, will seek to enhance the production of microalgae through the injection of CO2, allowing the revaluation of emissions of the plant.