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Title: A perspective on renewable bioenergy from photosynthetic algae as feedstock for biofuels and bioproducts

There has been substantial technical progress in developing algae-based bioenergy in recent years and a large part of industry and academic research and deployment projects have pivoted away from a pure biofuels strategy. This letter summarizes the findings of a recently completed, comprehensive report, that represents a collaborative effort of at least 20 co-authors, where we analyzed the prospects for using microalgae and macroalgae as feedstocks for biofuels and bioenergy production. The scope of this report includes a discussion of international activities advancing bioenergy and non-energy bioproducts from algae, progress on the use of macroalgae (both cast and cultivated seaweeds) for biogas applications, distinct biochemical and thermochemical conversion pathways, multi-product biorefining opportunities, as well as a thorough review of process economics and sustainability considerations. It is envisioned that a higher value algal biomass-based bioproducts industry will provide the additional revenue needed to reduce the net cost of producing algae-based biofuels. As such, a biorefinery approach that generates multiple high-value products from algae will be essential to fully valorize algal biomass and enable economically viable coproduction of bioenergy. Furthermore, to accelerate the implementation of algae-based production, minimizing energy, water, nutrients and land use footprints of integrated algae-based operations needs to bemore » a primary objective of larger scale demonstrations and future research and development.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2211-9264
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Algal Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: PA; Journal ID: ISSN 2211-9264
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; algae; biomass; conversion; biofuels; bioproducts; biorefinery; sustainability
OSTI Identifier: