Biofuels from Microalgae: Biomethane

Fabiana Passos, Cesar Mota, Andrés Donoso-Bravo, Sergi Astals, David Jeison, Raúl Muñoz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The high cost of axenic microalgae cultivation in photobioreactors limits nowadays the potential uses of microalgal biomass as a feedstock for the production of biodiesel or bioethanol. In this context, microalgae-based wastewater treatment (WWT) has emerged as the leading method of cultivation for supplying microalgae at low cost and low environmental impacts, while achieving sewage treatment. Nonetheless, the year-round dynamics in microalgae population and cell composition when grown in WWTPs restrict the use of this low-quality biomass to biogas production via anaerobic digestion. Although the macromolecular composition of the microalgae produced during wastewater treatment is similar to that of sewage sludge, the recalcitrant nature of microalgae cell walls requires an optimisation of pretreatment technologies for enhancing microalgae biodegradability. In addition, the low C/N ratio, the high water content and the suspended nature of microalgae suggest that microalgal biomass will also benefit from anaerobic co-digestion with carbon-rich substrates, which constitutes a field for further research. Photosynthetic microalgae growth can also support an effective CO2 capture and H2S oxidation from biogas, which would generate a high-quality biomethane complying with most international regulations for injection into natural gas grids or use as autogas. This book chapter will critically review the most recent advances in biogas production from microalgae, with a special focus on pretreatment technologies, co-digestion opportunities, modelling strategies, biogas upgrading and process microbiology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGreen Energy and Technology
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages247-270
Number of pages24
Edition9783319690926
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGreen Energy and Technology
Number9783319690926
Volume0
ISSN (Print)1865-3529
ISSN (Electronic)1865-3537

Keywords

  • Anaerobic co-digestion
  • Biogas upgrading
  • Microbiology
  • Modelling
  • Pretreatments

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