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Bioresour Technol. 2020 May;303:122862. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2020.122862. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Coproducts of algae and yeast-derived single cell oils: A critical review of their role in improving biorefinery sustainability.

Author information

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. Electronic address:
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK; College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QD, UK.
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.


Oleaginous microalgae and yeast are of increasing interest as a renewable resource for single cell oils (SCOs). These have applications in fuels, feed and food products. In order to become cost competitive with existing terrestrial oils, a biorefinery approach is often taken where several product streams are valorised alongside the SCO. Whilst many life cycle assessment (LCA) and Techno-economic (TEA) studies have employed this biorefinery approach to SCO production, a systematic analysis of their implications is missing. This review evaluates the economic and environmental impacts associated with the use of coproducts. Overall, protein production plays the greatest role in determining viability, with coproduct strategy crucial to considering in the early stages of research and development.


Bio-based products; Biorefineries; Life cycle assessment; Single cell oils; Techno-economic analysis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Competing Interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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