Algae have recently received growing attention given its prospects as a source of renewable energy and its potential for CO2 capture. Algae culture is of increasing value given that: (i) algae can be cultivated on non-agricultural land using wastewater, (ii) algae can provide a high yield on a per unit of light irradiated area, (iii) algae growth requires CO2 and nutrients that can be obtained from wastewater and fossil fuel combustion and (iv) algae contains high oil and starch making possible the production of high quality biodiesel. Thus, algae culture can contribute to CO2 fixation, wastewater treatment and can be a source of bioenergy. This article presents a critical review, focusing on various microalgae species that consume CO2 and nutrients from wastewater, and provide high quality biofuel. In this respect, a number of relevant topics are discussed in this review: (a) the media for algae culture, (b) the photobioreactor, (c) the associated wastewater treatment processes, (d) the CO2 capture mechanism and (e) microalgal harvesting. This review also considers various aspects of the biomass processing such as (a) lipid extraction, (b) thermodynamics of the produced biomass conversion, (c) biomass gasification, (d) biodiesel production, (e) catalysts, (f) reaction pathways/mechanisms and (g) reaction kinetics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by NSTIP-KACST for project NSTIP # 11-ENV1644-04 . Authors also like to thank King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) and The University of Western Ontario. Authors would like to acknowledge Ms. F. de Lasa for her assistance on the preparation of this manuscript.
- CO capture
- Digester effluent
- Wastewater treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment