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Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 129–139 | Cite as

Recent Achievements in the Production of Biogas from Microalgae

  • Enrica Uggetti
  • Fabiana Passos
  • Maria Solé
  • Marianna Garfí
  • Ivet Ferrer
Review

Abstract

Microalgae are nowadays regarded as a potential biomass feedstock to help reducing our dependence on fossil fuels for transportation, electricity and heat generation. Besides, microalgae have been widely investigated as a source of chemicals, cosmetics and health products, as well as animal and human feed. Among the cutting-edge applications of microalgae biomass, anaerobic digestion has shown promising results in terms of (bio)methane production. The interest of this process lies on its potential integration within the microalgae biorefinery concept, providing on the one hand a source of bioenergy, and on the other hand nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and CO2) and water for microalgae cultivation. This article reports the main findings in the field, highlighting the options to increase the (bio)methane production of microalgae (i.e. pretreatment and co-digestion) and bottlenecks of the technology. Finally, energy, economic and environmental aspects are considered.

Keywords

Microalgal biomass Anaerobic digestion Biogas Co-digestion Pretreatment 

Abbreviations

BMP

Biochemical methane potential

CHP

Combined heat and power

CH4

Methane

C/N

Carbon/nitrogen

CO2

Carbon dioxide

COD

Chemical oxygen demand

Ei

Energy input

Eo

Energy output

HRT

Hydraulic retention time

LCA

Life cycle assessment

LCC

Life cycle costing

LCFA

Long chain fatty acids

OLR

Organic loading rate

SEM

Scanning electronic microscope

TEM

Transmission electronic microscope

VS

Volatile solids

VFA

Volatile fatty acids

Notes

Acknowledgments

Authors want to thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) for financial support to this project (CTQ2014-57293-C3-3-R). Fabiana Passos appreciates her Post-Doctorate scholarship funded by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) from the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Marianna Garfí is grateful to Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain) (Plan Nacional de I+D+i 2008-2011, Subprograma Juan de la Cierva (JDC) 2012). Enrica Uggetti is grateful to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for her scholarship (IJCI-2014-21594).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrica Uggetti
    • 1
  • Fabiana Passos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Solé
    • 1
  • Marianna Garfí
    • 1
  • Ivet Ferrer
    • 1
  1. 1.GEMMA - Environmental Engineering and Microbiology Research Group, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya·BarcelonaTechBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Environmental and Chemical Technology Group, Department of ChemistryUniversidade Federal de Ouro PretoOuro PretoBrazil

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