Microalgae potential as a biogas source: current status, restraints and future trends

  • David U. Santos-Ballardo
  • Sergio Rossi
  • Cuauhtémoc Reyes-Moreno
  • Angel Valdez-OrtizEmail author
Review paper


In recent years, the world energy demands have had a recurrent increase. For this reason the alternative to the fossil fuel resources are trend topics in investigation. Microalgae have been extensively studied as a source of biofuels and as one of the most promising alternatives in this new framework. One of the possibilities of obtaining renewable energy from microalgae is biogas production using anaerobic digestion process. This process is considered a significant component for biofuels and waste management, since represent an opportunity for energy generation using different wastewater products; also, the economic viability of microalgae liquid biofuel production could be improved. However, the anaerobic digestion of microalgae biomass is still not optimized because of the numerous technical limitations such as the microalgae characteristics, low carbon:nitrogen ratio, ammonia toxicity and even salinity. The present review summarizes and compares information concerning to anaerobic digestion of microalgal biomass and future directions for research. Besides, specific operational factors and potential inhibitory parameters of the process are analyzed and compared. Additionally, the paper covers the state or art concerning in methane production enhancement from algal biomass.


Microalgae biomass Biogas Production enhancement Pre-treatments Biorefineries Co-digestions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David U. Santos-Ballardo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sergio Rossi
    • 3
  • Cuauhtémoc Reyes-Moreno
    • 1
  • Angel Valdez-Ortiz
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Programa Regional de Posgrado en Biotecnología, Facultad de Ciencias Químico-BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma de SinaloaCuliacánMexico
  2. 2.Maestría en Ciencias AplicadasUniversidad Politécnica de SinaloaMazatlánMexico
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA)Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaCerdanyola del VallèsSpain

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