Friday, March 22, 2013

Microalgae for third-generation biodiesel

Mar. 21, 2013 — Dinoflagellate microalgae could be used as a raw material to obtain biodiesel easily and profitably. This is the conclusion of a study led by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) scientists, in collaboration with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), published recently in Biomass and Bioenergy.

Their study shows that one type of marine algae that has received little attention till now -- dinoflagellate microalgae -- is highly suitable for cultivation with the aim of producing biodiesel.

"If we make simple adjustments to completely optimise the process, biodiesel obtained by cultivating these marine microalgae could be an option for energy supplies to towns near the sea," points out Sergio Rossi, an ICTA researcher at the UAB.

Among these adjustments, scientists highlight the possibility of reusing leftover organic pulp (the glycerol and protein pulp that is not converted into biodiesel) and using air pumps and more efficient cultivation materials.

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