Microalgal biorefineries represent an opportunity to economically and environmentally justify the production of bioproducts. The generation of bioproducts within a biorefinery system must quantitatively demonstrate its viability in displacing traditional fossil-based refineries. To this end, several works have conducted life cycle analyses on microalgal biorefineries and have shown technological bottlenecks due to energy-intensive processes. This state-of-the-art review covers different studies that examined microalgal biorefineries through life cycle assessments and has identified strategic technologies for the sustainable production of microalgal biofuels through biorefineries. Different metrics were introduced to supplement life cycle assessment studies for the sustainable production of microalgal biofuel. Challenges in the comparison of various life cycle assessment studies were identified, and the future design choices for microalgal biorefineries were established.
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