Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10596–10610 | Cite as

Past, current, and future research on microalga-derived biodiesel: a critical review and bibliometric analysis

  • Xiaoyu Ma
  • Ming Gao
  • Zhen Gao
  • Juan Wang
  • Min Zhang
  • Yingqun Ma
  • Qunhui Wang
Review Article


Microalga-derived biodiesel plays a crucial role in the sustainable development of biodiesel in recent years. Literature related to microalga-derived biodiesel had an increasing trend with the expanding research outputs. Based on the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-Expanded) of the Web of Science, a bibliometric analysis was conducted to characterize the body of knowledge on microalga-derived biodiesel between 1993 and 2016. From the 30 most frequently used author keywords, the following research hotspots are extracted: lipid preparation from different microalga species, microalga-derived lipid and environmental applications, lipid-producing microalgae cultivation, microalgae growth reactor, and microalga harvest and lipid extraction. Other keywords, i.e., microalga mixotrophic cultivation, symbiotic system between microalga and other oleaginous yeast, microalga genetic engineering, and other applications of lipid-producing microalga are future focal points of research.

Graphical abstract


Bibliometric method Lipid-producing microalga Microalga-derived biodiesel Research hotspots 



The authors wish to thank Professor Yuh-Shan Ho for technical support.

Funding information

This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (51708024) and  the Key Laboratory for of the Education Ministry of China (SWMES2017-05).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoyu Ma
    • 1
  • Ming Gao
    • 1
  • Zhen Gao
    • 1
  • Juan Wang
    • 1
  • Min Zhang
    • 1
  • Yingqun Ma
    • 3
  • Qunhui Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory on Resource-Oriented Treatment of Industrial PollutantsBeijingChina
  3. 3.Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre, Nanyang Environment and Water Research InstituteNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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