Microalgae have the ability to mitigate CO2 emission and produce oil with a high productivity, thereby having the potential for applications in producing the third-generation of biofuels. The key technologies for producing microalgal biofuels include identification of preferable culture conditions for high oil productivity, development of effective and economical microalgae cultivation systems, as well as separation and harvesting of microalgal biomass and oil. This review presents recent advances in microalgal cultivation, photobioreactor design, and harvesting technologies with a focus on microalgal oil (mainly triglycerides) production. The effects of different microalgal metabolisms (i.e., phototrophic, heterotrophic, mixotrophic, and photoheterotrophic growth), cultivation systems (emphasizing the effect of light sources), and biomass harvesting methods (chemical/physical methods) on microalgal biomass and oil production are compared and critically discussed. This review aims to provide useful information to help future development of efficient and commercially viable technology for microalgae-based biodiesel production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal