Special Issue "Biofuels from Algae: Potential and Challenges"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2023) | Viewed by 5268
Interests: algal biofuels; lake management; sustainability; phytoremediation
Interests: microalgae; biodiesel; renewable technologies; catalysis
Interests: environmental pollution and management; environmental toxicology; climate change; phytoremediation
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The production of biofuels has attracted the attention of researchers and policy makers in developing and developed economies of the world. Biofuel feedstocks include algae, agricultural and forestry residues, waste streams and re-useable carbon sources, including municipal solid waste, human sewage wastewater and animal manure slurries. Algae are considered one of the best biofuel feedstock sources because they are small, fast-growing autotrophs; they are non-competitive with food crops and land use; different species can be grown in polluted, saline, brackish and freshwater; and in high population areas around the world, dense algae grown in wastewater treatment ponds supplied with adequate sunshine and carbon dioxide emissions from local electricity power plants, cement factories and/or oil refineries can be harvested for biofuel with the added benefit that CO2 and nutrients are reduced while sustainable energy is competitively produced.
The production of biofuels from algae poses challenges with the existing technology. Algae contain natural sugars, other carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. The selection and culture of a particular species depends on the type of biofuel targeted to develop. Biodiesel development uses the lipid portion of the algal cells. Ethanol production requires the starch or cellulose portion. Lipid accumulation in nutrient-stressed conditions allow algae to accumulate neutral lipid varying from 20 to 50% dry cell weight. Genetic engineering can pave the way to microalgal strains with enhanced lipid accumulation and altered fatty acid constituents.
‘Life cycle assessment’ studies are needed for algal biofuels to reveal environmental impacts that could later be minimized. Machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies have gained prominence over conventional statistical and optimization tools towards an efficient mode of managing, automating and making accurate predictions from the available datasets. A circular economy that involves the return of the material in the supply chain management ensures minimal waste generation and an efficient use of resources.
The scope of this Special Issue is to address the potential and challenges involved in how algal biofuels are currently proposed to be produced. This Special Issue will cover (but will not be limited to) topics related to the search of algal species that have potential for production of biofuels (biodiesel, bioethanol, bioemethane and biohydrogen), with a focus on reducing their overall production cost, using a circular economy towards a biorefinery approach, genetic engineering to enhance lipid production, simultaneous mitigation of environmental pollutants by the use of wastewater as resource, water and carbon footprint of the cultured algal species, life cycle assessment of biofuels, techno-economic studies and machine learning towards the commercialization of biofuels.
Prof. Dr. John Korstad
Dr. Bhaskar Singh
Dr. Kuldeep Bauddh
Manuscript Submission Information
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