Considering the harsh climate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and desert lands with little rain, growing biomass such as soybean or sunflower is not encouraging to provide valuable resources. In such regions, high-value products as proteins, pigments, and fatty acids can be extracted from microalgae, which can be cultivated on nonproductive lands (deserts included). In this study, we examine the potential use of microalgae as a source of biomass in the UAE. Three strains, Chlorella, Euglena, and Scenedesmus, found in the Gulf of the Arabian Sea are analyzed to identify the proper type of microalgae in creating valuable products. Chlorella shows strong resistance against high salinity and temperature, which make it a good potential source of proteins, pigments, and fatty acids for the UAE. Based on the Chlorella results, a full biorefinery is designed with the aim of producing 10 tons of proteins per day along with pigments (sodium copper chlorophylls) and saponified fatty acids (lipids). Then, an economical evaluation is conducted for the three products (proteins, pigments, and lipids) using the software SuperPro Designer. From the economical evaluation, it was identified that the three products generate revenues of 173,906,000$/year with a payback time of 2.62 years. This result suggests that the potential use of microalgae biorefinery to create revenues based on the suggested products is greatly promising in the UAE and other coastal arid/semiarid regions.
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