Integration of microalgae cultivation with industrial waste remediation for biofuel and bioenergy production: opportunities and limitations

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-011-9638-0
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TypeArticle
Journal titlePhotosynthesis Research
Volume109
Issue1-3
Pages231247; # of pages: 17
AbstractThere is currently a renewed interest in developing microalgae as a source of renewable energy and fuel. Microalgae hold great potential as a source of biomass for the production of energy and fungible liquid transportation fuels. However, the technologies required for large-scale cultivation, processing, and conversion of microalgal biomass to energy products are underdeveloped. Microalgae offer several advantages over traditional 'first-generation' biofuels crops like corn: these include superior biomass productivity, the ability to grow on poor-quality land unsuitable for agriculture, and the potential for sustainable growth by extracting macro- and micronutrients from wastewater and industrial flue-stack emissions. Integrating microalgal cultivation with municipal wastewater treatment and industrial CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants is a potential strategy to produce large quantities of biomass, and represents an opportunity to develop, test, and optimize the necessary technologies to make microalgal biofuels more cost-effective and efficient. However, many constraints on the eventual deployment of this technology must be taken into consideration and mitigating strategies developed before large scale microalgal cultivation can become a reality. As a strategy for CO2 biomitigation from industrial point source emitters, microalgal cultivation can be limited by the availability of land, light, and other nutrients like N and P. Effective removal of N and P from municipal wastewater is limited by the processing capacity of available microalgal cultivation systems. Strategies to mitigate against the constraints are discussed. © 2011 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Marine Biosciences; NRC Biotechnology Research Institute; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number53380
NPARC number19649691
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Record identifier843798f3-0a62-4521-855a-f1234f5880a4
Record created2012-04-02
Record modified2016-05-09
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