The commercialization of U.S. macroalgae production for targeted conversion to fuels and products has the potential to aid the nation in achieving energy security, environmental sustainability, and economic development goals. To realize this potential, the ARPA-E's Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) program has funded several R&D projects to develop innovative off-shore production systems and marine technologies and conduct relevant techno-economic analyses (TEA). While TEA provides information about the economic benefits of macroalgae production for potential biofuel production, there is a lack of consideration of its potential environmental impacts such as GHG emissions. Argonne aims to create a life-cycle analysis (LCA) framework based on the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) model to enable consistent, transparent, objective, and reproducible LCA of macroalgae production systems and marine technologies under development by the MARINER program. This approach provides a rigorous and scientific basis for evaluating potential macroalgae production systems and product pathways and to gauge progress against energy and environmental metrics/targets. Ultimately, the LCA enables the MARINER program to guide its research portfolio based on scientific and engineering principles as well as objective information.
PI: Troy Hawkins; email@example.com