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Developments of five selected microalgae companies developing “closed” bioreactor biofuel production systems

Moheimani, N.R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2310-4147 and McHenry, M.P. (2013) Developments of five selected microalgae companies developing “closed” bioreactor biofuel production systems. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 7 (4). pp. 367-386.

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This work reviews the current status of five selected companies at the forefront of production of liquid fuels from microalgae produced in closed photobioreactors and fermenters: Algae.Tec, Algenol Biofuel, Heliae, Solazyme, and Solix.The five companies in the review all have developed novel closed production systems, each with unique technology partners, capabilities, and commercial strategies. Advantages of reactors include higher volumetric productivity and reduced contamination risks. Conversely, the largest challenges for reactors are minimising capital and production costs, in addition to attracting initial investment capital for non-conventional complex technical systems. This review provides a concise summary of each companys technology, background, and where available, a qualified assessment of the productivity and economics of their systems. This review demonstrates that commercially viable production systems will need to achieve sustained volumetric productivity to reduce per unit costs, and industry cross-collaboration will be essential for closed system technology developments to successfully produce cost-competitive fuels.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Inderscience Publishers
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