Algal Biorefinery: a Road towards Energy Independence and Sustainable Future
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The most important renewable resource on this planet is biomass. As the value of biomass content is related to the chemical and physical properties of large molecules, the challenges for the future are to be found in a combination of the biological, physical and chemical sciences, to replicate an oil refinery with a biorefinery thus replacing finite non-renewable fossil resources with biorenewable biomass resources for the production of food, feed, fertilizer, fuel, energy, medicinal products, industrial chemical and related consumer product through the use of clean and green bioprocess technologies. Algal biorefineries offer significant potential for future supply of oils, protein, and carbohydrates for fuels and chemicals without impacting food supplies. The residual biomass from biodiesel production processes can be used potentially as animal and fisheries feed and after anaerobic digestion can be used as fertilizers in the form of compost. Even it could solve the problem of huge carbon emission from thermal power plant by recycling the carbon. The simple, direct method of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation is the removal of CO2 from stack gases, followed by long term sequestration of CO2 by microalgae ponds. Thus the microalgal biodiesel projects can qualify as clean development mechanism (CDM) projects and bring in additional income through the sale of certified emission reductions (CER). Microalgal biorefinery concept could become a highly distributed source of fuel oil, energy, feed, fertilizer and medicinal metabolites and perhaps make this world pollution free and leap towards sustainable development
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