Microalgae-Potential Source For Biodiesel Production

L B Sukla, Director, Biofuels & Bioprocessing Research Center- ITER, Siksha O AnusandhanSiksha O Anusandhan, Deemed to be University, focuses on Multi Disciplinary aspects of learning by commitment towards quality teaching and Research Programs.

Microalgae as the third generation bio feedstock possess inherent advantage such as fast growth rate and higher biofuel yields. According to a report, algae yield 30 times more energy per acre than various oil plants and can produce up to 100,000 liters oil per hectare per year. It has high adaptability, hence can be easily adapted to adverse conditions like marine water or wastewater ponds like industrial and municipal waste waters or from household toilets and sinks, agricultural runoff. It provides an economic and environment friendly remedy for sustainable and renewable algae based biofuel. Moreover, algal oil possesses similar characteristic to aviation fuel thus it can be used in aircrafts.

Thermo chemical conversion of whole microalgae into biocrudes, which can be further upgraded into chemicals and fuels, offers a highly credible route to costeffective fuel production. Here, oil is formed from the entire biomass, allowing use of non-lipid producing algae more suited to bioremediation. Additionally, a secondary concentrated waste stream containing heavy metals is also produced, suitable for reprocessing and additional are not only promising
as waste converters and recyclers. Most of the necessary nutrients suitable for cultivation of microalgae are evidenced by high algae growth rate and productivity and nutrient removal efficiency. Therefore, coupling waste water treatment with algae cultivation may offer an economically viable and environment friendly way for sustainable renewable algae based biofuel and bio based chemicals production as well as credits for wastewater treatment. Microalgae developed in wasteter retain large amounts of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins suitable for energy production, without a biomass limit or transformation.

The world is witnessing an urgent need of shifting towards CleanTech industry as the consequences of global warming are getting quite apparent

The world is witnessing an urgent need of shifting towards CleanTech industry as the consequences of global warming are getting quite apparent. Significant support is being provided to startups in CleanTech area. Microalgae technology has opened up an ocean of opportunities for the entrepreneurs in terms of research and development biofuel production biofuel refineries and so on. The renewable energy market is currently valued at USD 17 billion and growing annually at the rate of 15 percent which makes it a hot area for international ventures to support interesting technologies to get higher yields. India’s rising population creates a huge domestic market demand of oils which is largely (almost 72 percent) imported by the government. This serves as a driving force for the strengthening of India’s own energy solutions. Therefore, the future of biofuel lies in efficient micro algal technology. Government funding and significant supports are available in India at all stages to boost this promising algal technology in the production of biofuel.

It may take many years before large scale commercial application, the promise of algae warrant additional research. Innovative technologies for algaal growth, process control and harvesting result in cost efficient, productive and improve the stability of algae processes. Using local resources for algae growth, such as waste water one can create effective systems for algae farms. Every industry that has excess heat, flue gasses and residual nutrients can be the starting point of an algae farm. Finally, we want to leave you with a great thought, “I don’t want to protect the environment,I want to create a world where the environment does not need protection”.