Biodiesel Production from Microalgae: A Mapping of Articles and Patents

  • Angela Machado Rocha
  • Dinabandhu Sahoo
  • Tiago Ferrer
  • Cristina Quintella
  • Ednildo Torres
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 25)


Global concern about climate change and the increasing demand for energy have drawn the attention of scientists, policymakers, and various other stakeholders to look for alternative sources of clean and renewable energy, especially transportation fuel. Biodiesel currently produced from vegetable oils and animal fats has been found to be an ideal blending material and replacement for diesel as it is compatible with existing diesel engines, reduces tailpipe emissions, and is biodegradable. However, the increasing conversion of food crops for the biofuel production has caused a food versus fuel debate. One solution suggested has been the use of microalgae because they can accumulate large amount of lipids inside their cells and have high biomass productivity. A typical algal culture system can generate 150–400 barrels of oil per acre per year which is 30 times more than traditional oil seed crops. Algae have several advantages. They can be grown on abandoned or unproductive land using sea water, brackish, or waste water. Furthermore, it is environmentally friendly as it alleviates acidification of the ocean and can be cultivated on a large scale. In recent years, a large number of algal species have been screened and studied for their potential as feedstock for biodiesel production. Some microalgal species such as Botryococcus braunii, Chlorella sp., Scenedesmus sp., and Chlorococcum sp. have shown great potential for biodiesel production. A large number of papers have been published, and several patents have been filed in the field of algal biodiesel production. This chapter analyzes the past developments and current status of research in biodiesel production from microalgae. It aims to evaluate the perspectives of the research related to algal biodiesel, analyzing the patents and scientific articles published in this field. For this study, we used VantagePoint v7, a powerful text-mining tool, to extract results from patent databases and academic publications which will be very useful for further study.


International Patent Classification Microalgal Species Algal Biofuel Main Inventor Patent Database 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Machado Rocha
    • 1
  • Dinabandhu Sahoo
    • 2
  • Tiago Ferrer
    • 1
  • Cristina Quintella
    • 1
  • Ednildo Torres
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de Química—LablaserFederal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Marine Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia
  3. 3.Escola Politécnica- Laboratório de Energia e Gás. FederaçãoFederal University of Bahia, FederaçãoSalvadorBrazil

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