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Integrated macroalgae production for sustainable bioethanol, aquaculture and agriculture in Pacific island nations

Borines, M.G., McHenry, M.P. and de Leon, R.L. (2011) Integrated macroalgae production for sustainable bioethanol, aquaculture and agriculture in Pacific island nations. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 5 (6). pp. 599-608.

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The Philippine Biofuels Act of 2006 mandates domestic gasoline blending with bioethanol at a rate of 5% by 2009 and 2010, and 10% by 2011 (by volume). Akin to most biofuel policies, the Act aims to increase fuel supply security, reduce emissions, and stimulate regional development. However, the majority of biofuels blended are imported due to conventional food market demand for biofuel feedstocks, and limited domestic biofuel production capacity. A promising alternative domestic bioethanol feedstock is macroalgae (seaweed) species, of which the Philippines is already a major global commercial producer. The advantages of using particular non-food macroalgae as a bioethanol feedstock include zero competition with agricultural food production, no freshwater requirement, high yields per area, zero fertilizer applications, and the pre-existing markets for bioethanol macroalgae wastes. Adaptation of existing macroalgae farming methods, customized to high-yielding non-food bioethanol precursor species, can enable rapid expansion into industrial-scale biofuel production, far exceeding terrestrial bioethanol yields in terms of per unit area. This work identifies the regional availability and supply of appropriate macroalgae species suitable for bioethanol production, and explores integrated production synergies and challenges for an environmentally sustainable macroalgae bioethanol industry suitable for a number of Pacific island nations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Copyright: © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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