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Issue 10, 2016
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Towards industrial products from microalgae

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Abstract

Microalgae show an enormous potential as sustainable feedstock for numerous bioproducts. The current work analyzes the feasibility of business cases for different markets of products from microalgae. We perform a techno-economic evaluation of the whole process chain including cultivation, biorefinery and market exploitation for a 100 hectares facility in six locations. Our projections show a current cost per unit of dry biomass of 3.4 € kg−1 for microalgae cultivation in Spain (excluding biorefining products), with an expected reduction to 0.5 € kg−1 in ten years. A sensitivity analysis reveals the roadmap to achieve this. Production of high-value products (e.g. pigments) would be currently profitable, with a net present value of 657 M€ in 15 years. Markets aimed at food and chemical commodities require further cost reductions for cost competitiveness, reachable in the next decade.

Graphical abstract: Towards industrial products from microalgae

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 May 2016, accepted on 18 Aug 2016 and first published on 19 Aug 2016


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C6EE01493C
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2016,9, 3036-3043
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Towards industrial products from microalgae

    J. Ruiz, G. Olivieri, J. de Vree, R. Bosma, P. Willems, J. H. Reith, M. H. M. Eppink, D. M. M. Kleinegris, R. H. Wijffels and M. J. Barbosa, Energy Environ. Sci., 2016, 9, 3036
    DOI: 10.1039/C6EE01493C

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