Mini-Review

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 577-586

First online:

Conversion of CO2 into biomass by microalgae: how realistic a contribution may it be to significant CO2 removal?

  • F. Gabriel Acién FernándezAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería Email author 
  • , C. V. González-LópezAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería
  • , J. M. Fernández SevillaAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería
  • , E. Molina GrimaAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería

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Abstract

Microalgae have been proposed as a CO2 removal option to contribute to climate change avoidance and problems coming from the use of fossil fuels. However, even though microalgae can be used to fix CO2 from air or flue gases, they do not permit long-term CO2 storage because they are easily decomposed. On the other hand, microalgae can contribute to an enhancement in human sustainability by producing biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels in addition to the production of other useful chemicals and commodities. Moreover, microalgae can contribute to enhancing the sustainability of waste treatment processes, reducing the energy consumed, and improving the recycling of nutrients contained within them. This paper reviews the potential contribution of these processes and the existing knowledge in these areas.

Keywords

CO2 fixation Microalgae Biofuels Wastewater Biogas