Bioresource Technology, Vol.256, 491-501, 2018
Can algae-based technologies be an affordable green process for biofuel production and wastewater remediation?
Algae is a well-known organism that its characteristic is prominent for biofuel production and wastewater remediation. This critical review aims to present the applicability of algae with in-depth discussion regarding three key aspects: (i) characterization of algae for its applications; (ii) the technical approaches and their strengths and drawbacks; and (iii) future perspectives of algae-based technologies. The process optimization and combinations with other chemical and biological processes have generated efficiency, in which bio-oil yield is up to 41.1%. Through life cycle assessment, algae bio-energy achieves high energy return than fossil fuel. Thus, the algae-based technologies can reasonably be considered as green approaches. Although selling price of algae bio-oil is still high (about $2L(-1)) compared to fossil fuel's price of $1L(-1), it is expected that the algae bio-oil's price will become acceptable in the next coming decades and potentially dominate 75% of the market.