Recycling and reuse of spent microalgal biomass for sustainable biofuels
•The potential of spent microalgal biomass (SMA
The use of microalgal biomass (MAB) for biofuel production has been recognized since long. Despite distinct advantages of algal biofuels, however, their sustainability and economic viability is still doubtful. Overall process cost and low energy recovery need to be significantly improved. The use of MAB, after extracting primary fuels in the form of hydrogen, methane, biodiesel and bioethanol, can be one promising route. This algal biomass, collectively termed as spent microalgal biomass (SMAB), contains even up to 70% of its initial energy level and also retains nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. Potential application routes include diet for animals and fish, the removal of heavy metals and dyes from wastewater, and the production of bioenergy (e.g., biofuels and electricity). Unlike whole algae biomass whose applications are relatively well documented, SMAB has been studied only to limited degree. Therefore, this work gives a brief overview of various ways of SMAB applications. An insight into current status, barriers and future prospects on SMAB research is provided. The feasibility of each application is evaluated on the basis of its energy recovery, economic viability, and future perspectives are provided.
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Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal - Volume 75, 15 June 2013, Pages 101–107