This book addresses microalgae, which represent a very promising biomass resource for wastewater treatment and producing biofuels. Accordingly, microalgae are also an expanding sector in biofuels and wastewater treatment, as can be seen in several high-profile start-ups from around the globe, including Solix Biofuels, Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics, PetroSun, Chevron Corporation, ENN Group etc. In addition, a number of recent studies and patent applications have confirmed the value of modern microalgae for biofuels production and wastewater treatment systems.
However, substantial inconsistencies have been observed in terms of system boundaries, scope, the cultivation of microalgae and oil extraction systems, production costs and economic viability, cost-lowering components, etc. Moreover, the downstream technologies and core principles involved in liquid fuel extraction from microalgae cells are still in their early stages, and not always adequate for industrial production. Accordingly, multilateral co-operation between universities, research institutes, governments, stakeholders and researchers is called for in order to make microalgae biofuels economical. Responding to this challenge, the book begins with a general introduction to microalgae and the algae industry, and subsequently discusses all major aspects of microalgal biotechnology, from strain isolation and robust strain development, to biofuel development, refinement and wastewater treatment.
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