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Trends Biotechnol. 2008 Mar;26(3):126-31. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2007.12.002. Epub 2008 Jan 24.

Biodiesel from microalgae beats bioethanol.

Author information

1
School of Engineering, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Y.Chisti@massey.ac.nz

Abstract

Renewable biofuels are needed to displace petroleum-derived transport fuels, which contribute to global warming and are of limited availability. Biodiesel and bioethanol are the two potential renewable fuels that have attracted the most attention. As demonstrated here, biodiesel and bioethanol produced from agricultural crops using existing methods cannot sustainably replace fossil-based transport fuels, but there is an alternative. Biodiesel from microalgae seems to be the only renewable biofuel that has the potential to completely displace petroleum-derived transport fuels without adversely affecting supply of food and other crop products. Most productive oil crops, such as oil palm, do not come close to microalgae in being able to sustainably provide the necessary amounts of biodiesel. Similarly, bioethanol from sugarcane is no match for microalgal biodiesel.

PMID:
18221809
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibtech.2007.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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