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Producing Fuels and Chemicals From Algae and the Intersection of the Water Industry

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Market and environmental pressures are driving the chemical and petroleum industries to diversify to new sources for carbon feedstocks. As a result, opportunities have emerged for non-traditional agricultural industries to feed emerging biofuel and bioproduct pipelines with renewable carbon. One opportunity is algae. Algae have received a lot of recent attention as a potential biological option because of their independence from food production and high productivity rates. This leads to broad speculation about a new industry with potential to augment the current petrochemical supply chain. There are, in a broad sense, four steps to producing algae-derived products: biological strain selection, growth facilitation, solids removal and product extraction. A clear and underlying specific requirement for growing large quantities of algae is inexpensive and well managed water. Therefore, focus from potential algae producers has been on the utilization of three kinds of water: brackish inland water, ocean water and municipal wastewater.
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Keywords: algae; biodiesel; biofuel; carbon capture; feedstocks

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2009

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