Biodiesel from Microalgae: Net Energy Analysis by Dr. Ramakant Pandey

Location and Date: 
Tuesday, 21 Jan, 2020, 03:00-04:00 pm, Seminar Hall, Second Floor, DESE-CESE Building
 Global warming is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases,  especially carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is inevitably created by burning fuels like oil, natural gas, diesel, petrol, ethanol, etc. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased from 220 ppm during the pre-industrialization era, to the current level of about 400+ ppm. As per the predictions, carbon dioxide levels above 450 ppm in the atmosphere will have severe impacts on sea levels, global climate patterns and the survival of many species and organisms. To maintain the carbon dioxide level within the safe limits in the atmosphere, either emission has to be reduced or carbon dioxide has to be treated.
Carboncapture and storage technologies can be used to mitigate carbon emissions thatwould otherwise be released to the atmosphere. Biological sequestration is one of these techniques which utilizes carbon dioxide to produce value-added products through photosynthesis by microalgae. The use of algae for CO2 sequestration has several advantages including mitigation of  CO2 level, biodiesel production, and useful by-products. Biodiesel from microalgae seems to be the only renewable biofuel that has the potential to completely displace petroleum-derived transport fuels. 

The economics of biodiesel from microalgae varies widely by the methods opted for cultivation, harvesting, extraction, and conversion. This work presents the analysis of the amount of energy consumed by all these processes with different methods. It has been observed that cultivation and conversion techniques are well and developed, but still, there is a scope of improvement in harvesting and extraction processes.