Microalgal biomass can be converted to biofuels to replace nonsustainable fossil fuels, but the widespread use of microalgal biofuels remains hampered by the high energetic and monetary costs related to carbon dioxide supply and downstream processing. Growing microalgae in mixed culture biofilms reduces energy demands for mixing, maintaining axenic conditions, and biomass concentration. Furthermore, maintaining a high pH improves carbon dioxide absorption rates and inorganic carbon solubility, thus overcoming the carbon limitation and increasing the volumetric productivity of the microalgal biomass. Digesting the microalgal biomass anaerobically at high pH results in biogas that is enriched in methane, while the dissolved carbon dioxide is recycled to the phototrophic reactor. All of the required haloalkaline conversions are known in nature.
Trends in Biotechnology – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2016
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