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The forefront of low-cost and high-volume open microalgae biofuel production

Moheimani, N.R., McHenry, M.P. and de Boer, K. (2013) The forefront of low-cost and high-volume open microalgae biofuel production. In: Gupta, V.K., Schmoll, M., Maki, M., Tuohy, M. and Antonio Mazutti, M., (eds.) Applications of microbial engineering. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, pp. 426-449.

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This review summarises the status of seven selected companies at the cutting edge of liquid fuel production from microalgae cultured in open systems. Open microalgae production technologies and companies have fostered commercial collaborations and technological progress towards producing low-cost, high-volume microalgae biofuels, although significant large scale-demonstration is required. This work provides a concise summary of each respective company’s technology, background, and where available, productivity and economics. Based on the review findings, an unprecedented level of collaboration between entities is needed across the production chain to achieve cost-competitive production systems to displace current liquid fuels. In addition to microalgae mass production and culturing challenges, there are also notable challenges surrounding harvesting/dewatering, extraction, and conversion to a fi nal product. The microalgae biofuel industry will thus require a ‘cross-pollination’ of industries historically unrelated to biological production systems, and there is likely to be a consolidation of current microalgal biofuel capability and expertise.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: CRC Press
Copyright: © 2013 CRC Press
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