Conversion of CO2 into biomass by microalgae: how realistic a contribution may it be to significant CO2 removal?
- 2.4k Downloads
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.
KeywordsCO2 fixation Microalgae Biofuels Wastewater Biogas
Many thanks to CENIT-CO2, MENOSCO2, ALGAPLANE, and PLANE; projects financed by ENDESA S.A., Ministerio de Industria (CDTI), Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, the EnerBioAlgae Project (SOE2/P2/E374) SUDOE INTERREG IVB, and Junta de Andalucía (Plan Andaluz de Investigación, BIO 173).
- Acién FG, JM, Magán JJ, Molina E (2012) Production costs of a real microalgae production plant and strategies to reduce it. Biotechnol Adv http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.02.005
- Benemann JR (2003) Biofixation of CO2 and greenhouse gas abatement with microalgae—technology roadmap. Report No. 7010000926 prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy National energy technology laboratoryGoogle Scholar
- Benemann JR, Oswald WJ (1996) Systems and economic analysis of microalgae ponds for conversion of CO2 to biomass. Final Report. US DOE-NETL No: DOE/PC/93204-T5. Prepared for the Energy Technology Center, Pittsburgh, USAGoogle Scholar
- Borowitzka MA, Borowitzka LJ (1988) Microalgal biotechnology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 390Google Scholar
- Cullinane JT, Rochelle GT (2004) The thermodynamics of aqueous potassium carbonate/piperazine for CO2 capture. ACS Div Fuel Chem Prepr 49(1)Google Scholar
- Harun R, Danquah MK, Forde GM (2010) Microalgal biomass as a fermentation feedstock for bioethanol production. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 85:199–203Google Scholar
- International Energy Outlook (2008) What will it take to stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations? DOE/EIA-0484(2008). http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/scdc.html (02.16.09)
- Stainforth DA, Aina T, Christensen C, Collins M, Faull N, Frame DJ, Kettleborough JA, Knight S, Martin A, Murphy JM, Piani C, Sexton D, Smith LA, Splcer RA, Thorpe AJ, Allen MR (2005) Uncertainty in predictions of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases. Nature 433:403–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar