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      Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

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          Abstract

          Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds the best producing oil crops. This paper aims to analyze and promote integration approaches for sustainable microalgal biofuel production to meet the energy and environmental needs of the society. The emphasis is on hydrothermal liquefaction technology for direct conversion of algal biomass to liquid fuel.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Biodiesel from microalgae beats bioethanol.

           Yusuf Chisti (2008)
          Renewable biofuels are needed to displace petroleum-derived transport fuels, which contribute to global warming and are of limited availability. Biodiesel and bioethanol are the two potential renewable fuels that have attracted the most attention. As demonstrated here, biodiesel and bioethanol produced from agricultural crops using existing methods cannot sustainably replace fossil-based transport fuels, but there is an alternative. Biodiesel from microalgae seems to be the only renewable biofuel that has the potential to completely displace petroleum-derived transport fuels without adversely affecting supply of food and other crop products. Most productive oil crops, such as oil palm, do not come close to microalgae in being able to sustainably provide the necessary amounts of biodiesel. Similarly, bioethanol from sugarcane is no match for microalgal biodiesel.
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            Advanced technology paths to global climate stability: energy for a greenhouse planet.

            Stabilizing the carbon dioxide-induced component of climate change is an energy problem. Establishment of a course toward such stabilization will require the development within the coming decades of primary energy sources that do not emit carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, in addition to efforts to reduce end-use energy demand. Mid-century primary power requirements that are free of carbon dioxide emissions could be several times what we now derive from fossil fuels (approximately 10(13) watts), even with improvements in energy efficiency. Here we survey possible future energy sources, evaluated for their capability to supply massive amounts of carbon emission-free energy and for their potential for large-scale commercialization. Possible candidates for primary energy sources include terrestrial solar and wind energy, solar power satellites, biomass, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, fission-fusion hybrids, and fossil fuels from which carbon has been sequestered. Non-primary power technologies that could contribute to climate stabilization include efficiency improvements, hydrogen production, storage and transport, superconducting global electric grids, and geoengineering. All of these approaches currently have severe deficiencies that limit their ability to stabilize global climate. We conclude that a broad range of intensive research and development is urgently needed to produce technological options that can allow both climate stabilization and economic development.
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              N2O release from agro-biofuel production negates global warming reduction by replacing fossil fuels

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Mol Sci
                ijms
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
                1422-0067
                9 July 2008
                June 2008
                : 9
                : 7
                : 1188-1195
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway
                [2 ]Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed: E-Mail: vishwanath.patil@ 123456borregaard.com ; Present address: Borregaard, Biorefinery R&D, P. O. Box 162, 1701 Sarpsborg, Norway
                Article
                ijms-9-7-1188
                10.3390/ijms9071188
                2635721
                19325798
                © 2008 by MDPI

                This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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