Industrial Wastewater-Based Microalgal Biorefinery: A Dual Strategy to Remediate Waste and Produce Microalgal Bioproducts
In recent years, serious environmental concerns like an increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, water scarcity, depletion of fossil fuels, etc. have drawn the attention of researchers to find out the cost-effective, sustainable energy resources. Currently, microalgal biomass is considered as a promising feedstock for the production of biofuel and other valuable products due to relatively higher photosynthetic efficiencies and growth rates of microalgae. Moreover, they can be grown in various types of water, viz., brackish water, seawater, or different industrial wastewater. Being a nonedible feedstock is an added advantage as it avoids the critical food versus fuel debate. These advantages, all together, make microalgae a viable resource for the production of biofuel and bioproducts. Besides above advantages, commercialization of microalgal biofuels faces many problems mainly due to the high cultivation cost of microalgae. Due to the ability of microalgae to grow and utilize inorganic as well as organic pollutants from various wastewaters, recently, utilization of microalgae for phycoremediation is considered as a feasible approach for the simultaneous treatment of wastewaters and production of feedstock to be used for biofuels and nutraceuticals. This chapter provides the comprehensive information about integrated microalgae-based biorefinery for the treatment of wastewaters and the production of biofuels and valuable compounds from microalgal biomass in a cost-effective manner. In addition, techno-economic analysis of the wastewater-cultivated microalgae-based biorefinery is also discussed to determine its feasibility on a large scale.
KeywordsMicroalgae Wastewater Phycoremediation Biofuels Bioproducts Biorefinery
Authors acknowledge the continuous support of all present and past laboratory members. Authors are also thankful to editors for providing an opportunity to write this chapter. The authors apologize to all researchers whose relevant work could not be cited due to space limitations.
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