Biodiesel Production from Microalgae: A Mapping of Articles and Patents

Global concern about climate change and the declining petroleum reserves has drawn the attention of scientists, policymakers and various other stake holders to look for alternate source of renewable energy, especially liquid transportation fuel. Biodiesel, currently produced from vegetable oils and animals fats have been found as an ideal blending material and replacement for diesel as it is compatible with existing diesel engines, reduces tailpipe emissions and biodegradable. However, the increasing conversion of   food crops for the biofuel production have caused a food verses fuel debate. Some microalgae can accumulate  large amount of oil inside their cells and have high biomass productivity. A typical algal culture system can generate 150-400 barrels of oil per acre per year which is 30 times more than typical oil seed crops. Algae have several advantages. It can be grown on abandoned or unproductive land using  sea water, brackish or waste water . It is environment friendly as it alleviates acidification of the ocean and can be cultivated on a large scale. During the last few years a large number of algal species have been screened and studied for their potential as feedstock for biodiesel production. Some micro algal species like  Botryococcus braunii, Chlorella sp , Scenedesmus sp.,Chlorococcum sp. ,Nanochloropsis sp. are found to be quite rich in lipid contents. A large number of papers have been published and several patents have been filed. This paper analyzes the past developments and current status of research in  biodiesel production from microalgae. It aims to evaluate the perspectives of the researches related to algal biodiesel, using analyzing of patents and scientific articles. For this we used the VantagePointv7, a powerful text-mining tool, to extract results from patent databases and academic publications which will be very useful.

Author(s) Angela M. Rocha1, Dinabandhu Sahoo2 , Cristina Quintella1, and EdnildoTorres3
Organization(s) 1.Federal University of Bahia, Instituto de Química 2. Marine Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Botany, University of Delhi 3.Federal University of Bahia, Escola Politécnica
Source: The Science of Algal Fuels: Phycology, Geology, Biophotonics, Genomics and Nanotechnology (Springer); Editors:Richard Gordon and Joseph Seckbach; ISBN: 978-94-007-5109-5 (Print) 978-94-007-5110-1 (Online)
Year: 2012

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