Sustainable production of renewable energy is being hotly debated globally since it is increasingly understood that first generation biofuels, primarily produced from food crops and mostly oil seeds are limited in their ability to achieve targets for biofuel production, climate change mitigation and economic growth. These concerns have increased the interest in developing second generation biofuels produced from non-food feedstocks such as microalgae, which potentially offer greatest opportunities in the longer term. This paper reviews the current status of microalgae use for biodiesel production, including their cultivation, harvesting, and processing. The microalgae species most used for biodiesel production are presented and their main advantages described in comparison with other available biodiesel feedstocks. The various aspects associated with the design of microalgae production units are described, giving an overview of the current state of development of algae cultivation systems (photo-bioreactors and open ponds). Other potential applications and products from microalgae are also presented such as for biological sequestration of CO2, wastewater treatment, in human health, as food additive, and for aquaculture.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,14(1),P.217-232