Microalgae biofuels: A critical review of issues, problems and the way forward.
ABSTRACT Culturing of microalgae as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production has received a lot of attention in recent years due to their fast growth rate and ability to accumulate high quantity of lipid and carbohydrate inside their cells for biodiesel and bioethanol production, respectively. In addition, this superior feedstock offers several environmental benefits, such as effective land utilization, CO(2) sequestration, self-purification if coupled with wastewater treatment and does not trigger food versus fuel feud. Despite having all these 'theoretical' advantages, review on problems and issues related to energy balance in microalgae biofuel are not clearly addressed until now. Base on the maturity of current technology, the true potential of microalgae biofuel towards energy security and its feasibility for commercialization are still questionable. Thus, this review is aimed to depict the practical problems that are facing the microalgae biofuel industry, covering upstream to downstream activities by accessing the latest research reports and critical data analysis. Apart from that, several interlink solutions to the problems will be suggested with the purpose to bring current microalgae biofuel research into a new dimension and consequently, to revolutionize the entire microalgae biofuel industry towards long-term sustainability.
Article: Conversion of isoprenoid oil by catalytic cracking and hydrocracking over nanoporous hybrid catalysts.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In order to produce petroleum alternatives from biomass, a significant amount of research has been focused on oils from microalgae due to their origin, which would not affect food availability. Nanoporous hybrid catalysts composed of ns Al₂O₃ and zeolites have been proven to be very useful compared to traditional catalysts in hydrotreating (HT), hydrocracking (HC), and catalytic cracking (CC) of large molecules. To evaluate the reaction scheme and products from model isoprenoid compounds of microalgae oil, nanoporous hybrid catalyst technologies (CC: ns Al₂O₃/H-USY and ns Al₂O₃/H-GaAlMFI; HC: [Ni-Mo/γ-Al₂O₃]/ns Al₂O₃/H-beta) were studied. The major product from CC on ns Al₂O₃/H-USY was highly aromatic gasoline, while the product from HC was half-isoparaffinic/olefinic kerosene. Although more than 50 wt% of the products from HT/CC on the USY catalyst was liquefied petroleum gas due to overcracking, the product from HT/CC on the MFI catalyst was high-octane-number gasoline. Delightfully, the product from HT/HC was kerosene and its average number was 11, with more than 80 wt% being isoparaffinic. As a result, it was demonstrated that hydrotreating may convert isoprenoid oil from microalgae over nanoporous hybrid catalysts into a variety of products.Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 01/2012; 2012:637125. · 2.44 Impact Factor