Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

CO2 bio-mitigation using microalgae

Abstract

Microalgae are a group of unicellular or simple multicellular photosynthetic microorganisms that can fix CO2 efficiently from different sources, including the atmosphere, industrial exhaust gases, and soluble carbonate salts. Combination of CO2 fixation, biofuel production, and wastewater treatment may provide a very promising alternative to current CO2 mitigation strategies.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Agren GI (2004) The C:N:P stoichiometry of autotrophs—theory and observations. Ecol Lett 7:185–191

  2. Antal Jr MJ, Allen SG, Schulman D, Xu X, Divilio RJ (2000) Biomass gasification in supercritical water. Ind Eng Chem Res 39:4040–4053

  3. Bayer FL (1981) Pyrolysis gas chromatographic characterization differentiation and identification of biopolymers—an overview. Adv Chem Ser 1983:693–704

  4. Belarbi EH, Molina E, Chisti Y (2000) A process for high yield and scaleable recovery of high purity eicosapentaenoic acid esters from microalgae and fish oil. Enzyme Microb Tech 26:516–529

  5. Benemann JR, Koopman BL, Weissman JC, Oswald WJ (1977) Solar energy conversion with microalgal sewage treatment ponds. Proc Annu Meet Am Sect Int Sol Energy Soc 1:5

  6. Berberoglu H, Yin J, Pilon L (2007) Light transfer in bubble sparged photobioreactors for H2 production and CO2 mitigation. Int J Hydrogen Energy 32:2273–2285

  7. Blauwhoff PMM, Versteeg GF, Van Swaaij WPM (1984) A study on the reaction between CO2 and alkanolamines in aqueous solutions. Chem Eng Sci 39:207–225

  8. Bold HC, Wynne MJ (1985) Introduction to the Algae, 2nd ed, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA

  9. Bonenfant D, Mimeault M, Hausler R (2003) Determination of the structural features of distinct amines important for the absorption of CO2 and regeneration in aqueous solution. Ind Eng Chem Res 42:3179–3184

  10. Borowitzka MA (1999) Commercial production of microalgae: ponds, tanks, tubes and fermenters. J Biotechnol 70:313–321

  11. Chelf P, Brown LM, Wyman CE (1993) Aquatic biomass resources and carbon dioxide trapping. Biomass Bioenergy 4:175–183

  12. Chiaramonti D, Oasmaa A, Solantausta Y (2007) Power generation using fast pyrolysis liquids from biomass. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 11:1056–1086

  13. Chisti Y (2007) Biodiesel from microalgae. Biotechnol Adv 25:294–306

  14. Colman B, Rotatore C (1995) Photosynthetic inorganic carbon uptake and accumulation in two marine diatoms. Plant Cell Environ 18:919–924

  15. Cooper CD, Alley FC (1994) Air pollution control: a design approach. Waveland, Prospect Heights, IL

  16. de Morais MG, Costa JAV (2007a) Biofixation of carbon dioxide by Spirulina sp. and Scenedesmus obliquus cultivated in a three-stage serial tubular photobioreactor. J Biotechnol 129:439–445

  17. de Morais MG, Costa JAV (2007b) Isolation and selection of microalgae from coal fired thermoelectric power plant for biofixation of carbon dioxide. Energy Convers Manag 48:2169–2173

  18. Demirbas A (2000) Mechanisms of liquefaction and pyrolysis reactions of biomass. Energy Convers Manag 41:633–646

  19. Demirbas A (2001) Biomass resource facilities and biomass conversion processing for fuels and chemicals. Energy Convers Manag 42:1357–1378

  20. Demirbas A (2004) Current technologies for the thermo-conversion of biomass into fuels and chemicals. Energy Source 26:715–730

  21. Dote Y, Sawayama S, Inoue S, Minowa T, Yokoyama S-Y (1994) Recovery of liquid fuel from hydrocarbon-rich microalgae by thermochemical liquefaction. Fuel 73:1855–1857

  22. Elliott DC, Sealock Jr LJ (1996) Chemical processing in high-pressure aqueous environments: low-temperature catalytic gasification. Chem Eng Res Des 74:563–566

  23. Emma Huertas I, Colman B, Espie GS, Lubian LM (2000) Active transport of CO2 by three species of marine microalgae. J Phycol 36:314–320

  24. Feng W, van der Kooi HJ, de Swaan Arons J (2004) Phase equilibria for biomass conversion processes in subcritical and supercritical water. Chem Eng J 98:105–113

  25. Gauthier DA, Turpin DH (1997) Interactions between inorganic phosphate (Pi) assimilation, photosynthesis and respiration in the Pi-limited green alga Selenastrum minutum. Plant Cell Environ 20:12–24

  26. Ginzburg BZ (1993) Liquid fuel (oil) from halophilic algae: a renewable source of non-polluting energy. Renew Energy 3:249–252

  27. Gomez-Villa H, Voltolina D, Nieves M, Pina P (2005) Biomass production and nutrient budget in outdoor cultures of Scenedesmus obliquus (Chlorophyceae) in artificial wastewater, under the winter and summer conditions of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Vie et Milieu 55:121–126

  28. Goyal HB, Seal D, Saxena RC (2008) Bio-fuels from thermochemical conversion of renewable resources: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 12:504–517

  29. Gupta H, Fan LS (2002) Carbonation–calcination cycle using high reactivity calcium oxide for carbon dioxide separation from flue gas. Ind Eng Chem Res 41:4035–4042

  30. Gutierrez R, Gutierrez-Sanchez R, Nafidi A (2008) Trend analysis using nonhomogeneous stochastic diffusion processes. Emission of CO2; Kyoto protocol in Spain. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess 22:57–66

  31. Heasman M, Diemar J, O’Connor W, Sushames T, Foulkes L (2000) Development of extended shelf-life microalgae concentrate diets harvested by centrifugation for bivalve mollusks—a summary. Aquacult Res 31:637–659

  32. Hirano A, Hon-Nami K, Kunito S, Hada M, Ogushi Y (1998) Temperature effect on continuous gasification of microalgal biomass: theoretical yield of methanol production and its energy balance. Catal Today 45:399–404

  33. Hooper LA, Hollein HC, Slater CS (1998) Microfiltration of Streptomyces rimosus: cell harvesting process studies. Sep Sci Technol 33:1747–1765

  34. Hu Q, Guterman H, Richmond A (1996) A flat inclined modular photobioreactor for outdoor mass cultivation of photoautotrophs. Biotechnol Bioeng 51:51–60

  35. Hung MT, Liu JC (2006) Microfiltration for separation of green algae from water. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 51:157–164

  36. Huntley ME, Redalje DG (2007) CO2 mitigation and renewable oil from photosynthetic microbes: a new appraisal. Mitig Adapt Strategies Glob Chang 12:573–608

  37. Illman AM, Scragg AH, Shales SW (2000) Increase in Chlorella strains calorific values when grown in low nitrogen medium. Enzyme Microb Technol 27:631–635

  38. Iwasaki I, Hu Q, Kurano N, Miyachi S (1998) Effect of extremely high-CO2 stress on energy distribution between photosystem I and photosystem II in a ‘high-CO2’ tolerant green alga, Chlorococcum littorale and the intolerant green alga Stichococcus bacillaris. J Photochem Photobiol B 44:184–190

  39. Javanmardian M, Palsson BO (1991) High-density photoautotrophic algal cultures: design, construction, and operation of a novel photobioreactor system. Biotechnol Bioeng 38:1182–1189

  40. Kadam KL (1997) Power plant flue gas as a source of CO2 for microalgae cultivation: economic impact of different process options. Energy Convers Manag 38(Suppl 1):S505–S510

  41. Kaewpintong K, Shotipruk A, Powtongsook S, Pavasant P (2007) Photoautotrophic high-density cultivation of vegetative cells of Haematococcus pluvialis in airlift bioreactor. Bioresource Technol 98:288–295

  42. Kawata M, Nanba M, Matsukawa R, Chihara M, Karube I (1998) Isolation and characterization of a green alga Neochloris sp. for CO2 fixation. Stud Surf Sci Catal 114:637–640

  43. Kishimoto M, Okakura T, Nagashima H, Minowa T, Yokoyama SY, Yamaberi K (1994) CO2 fixation and oil production using micro-algae. J Ferment Bioeng 78:479–482

  44. Knuckey RM, Brown MR, Robert R, Frampton DMF (2006) Production of microalgal concentrates by flocculation and their assessment as aquaculture feeds. Aquacult Eng 35:300–313

  45. Kondili EM, Kaldellis JK (2007) Biofuel implementation in East Europe: current status and future prospects. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 11:2137–2151

  46. Krumdieck S, Wallace J, Curnow O (2008) Compact, low energy CO2 management using amine solution in a packed bubble column. Chem Eng J 135:3–9

  47. Li Y. Horsman M., Wu N, Lan CQ, Dubois-Calero N (2008) Biofuels from microalgae. Biotech Prog (in press) ASAP Article, DOI https://doi.org/10.1021/bp070371kS8756-7938(07)00371-2

  48. Lin CC, Liu WT, Tan CS (2003) Removal of carbon dioxide by absorption in a rotating packed bed. Ind Eng Chem Res 42:2381–2386

  49. Lourenco SO, Barbarino E, Lanfer Marquez UM, Aidar E (1998) Distribution of intracellular nitrogen in marine microalgae: basis for the calculation of specific nitrogen-to-protein conversion factors. J Phycol 34:798–811

  50. Lourenco SO, Barbarino E, Mancini-Filho J, Schinke KP, Aidar E (2002) Effects of different nitrogen sources on the growth and biochemical profile of 10 marine microalgae in batch culture: an evaluation for aquaculture. Phycologia 41:158–168

  51. Maeda K, Owada M, Kimura N, Omata K, Karube I (1995) CO2 fixation from the flue gas on coal-fired thermal power plant by microalgae. Energy Convers Manag 36:717–720

  52. Mallick N (2002) Biotechnological potential of immobilized algae for wastewater N, P and metal removal: a review. BioMetals 15:377–390

  53. Mandalam RK, Palsson B (1998) Elemental balancing of biomass and medium composition enhances growth capacity in high-density Chlorella vulgaris cultures. Biotechnol Bioeng 59:605–611

  54. Martinez ME, Jimenez JM, El Yousfi F (1999) Influence of phosphorus concentration and temperature on growth and phosphorus uptake by the microalga Scenedesmus obliquus. Bioresour Technol 67:233–240

  55. Matsumoto H, Hamasaki A, Sioji N, Ikuta Y (1997) Influence of CO2, SO2 and no in flue gas on microalgae productivity. J Chem Eng Japan 30:620–624

  56. Matsumura Y, Sasaki M, Okuda K, Takami S, Ohara S, Umetsu M, Adschiri T (2006) Supercritical water treatment of biomass for energy and material recovery. Combust Sci Technol 178:509–536

  57. McKendry P (2002a) Energy production from biomass (part 2): conversion technologies. Bioresour Technol 83:47–54

  58. McKendry P (2002b) Energy production from biomass (part 3): gasification technologies. Bioresour Technol 83:55–63

  59. Merrett MJ, Nimer NA, Dong LF (1996) The utilization of bicarbonate ions by the marine microalga Nannochloropsis oculata (Droop) Hibberd. Plant Cell Environ 19:478–484

  60. Miao X, Wu Q (2004) High yield bio-oil production from fast pyrolysis by metabolic controlling of Chlorella protothecoides. J Biotechnol 110:85–93

  61. Miao X, Wu Q, Yang C (2004) Fast pyrolysis of microalgae to produce renewable fuels. J Anal Appl Pyrol 71:855–863

  62. Minowa T, Sawayama S (1999) Novel microalgal system for energy production with nitrogen cycling. Fuel 78:1213–1215

  63. Molina Grima E, Belarbi EH, Acien Fernandez FG, Robles Medina A, Chisti Y (2003) Recovery of microalgal biomass and metabolites: process options and economics. Biotechnol Adv 20:491–515

  64. Murakami M, Ikenouchi M (1997) The biological CO2 fixation and utilization project by RITE (2): screening and breeding of microalgae with high capability in fixing CO2. Energy Convers Manag 38(Suppl 1):S493–S497

  65. Osada M, Sato T, Watanabe M, Adschiri T, Arai K (2004) Low-temperature catalytic gasification of lignin and cellulose with a ruthenium catalyst in supercritical water. Energy Fuel 18:327–333

  66. Oswald WJ (1973) Productivity of algae in sewage disposal. Solar Energy 15(1):107–117

  67. Peng W, Wu Q, Tu P, Zhao N (2001) Pyrolytic characteristics of microalgae as renewable energy source determined by thermogravimetric analysis. Bioresour Technol 80:1–7

  68. Ragauskas AJ, Williams CK, Davison BH, Britovsek G, Cairney J, Eckert CA, Frederick WJ Jr, Hallett JP, Leak DJ, Liotta CL et al (2006) The path forward for biofuels and biomaterials. Science 311(5760):484–489

  69. Ratledge C (2002) Regulation of lipid accumulation in oleaginous micro-organisms. Biochem Soc Trans 30:1047–1050

  70. Raven JA, Evans MCW, Korb RE (1999) The role of trace metals in photosynthetic electron transport in O2-evolving organisms. Photosynth Res 60:111–149

  71. Rebolloso-Fuentes MM, Navarro-Perez A, Garcia-Camacho F, Ramos-Miras JJ, Guil-Guerrero JL (2001) Biomass nutrient profiles of the microalga Nannochloropsis. J Agr Food Chem 49:2966–2972

  72. Reitan KI, Rainuzzo JR, Olsen Y (1994) Effect of nutrient limitation on fatty acid and lipid content of marine microalgae. J Phycol 30:972–979

  73. Resnik KP, Yeh JT, Pennline HW (2004) Aqua ammonia process for simultaneous removal of CO2, SO 2 and NOx. Int J Environ Technol Manag 4:89–104

  74. Roden EE, Zachara JM (1996) Microbial reduction of crystalline iron(III) oxides: influence of oxide surface area and potential for cell growth. Environ Sci Technol 30:1618–1628

  75. Roman-Leshkov Y, Barrett CJ, Liu ZY, Dumesic JA (2007) Production of dimethylfuran for liquid fuels from biomass-derived carbohydrates. Nature 447:982–985

  76. Rosello Sastre R, Csogor Z, Perner-Nochta I, Fleck-Schneider P, Posten C (2007) Scale-down of microalgae cultivations in tubular photo-bioreactors—a conceptual approach. J Biotechnol 132:127–133

  77. Sakai N, Sakamoto Y, Kishimoto N, Chihara M, Karube I (1995) Chlorella strains from hot springs tolerant to high temperature and high CO2. Energy Convers Manag 36:693–696

  78. Scragg AH, Illman AM, Carden A, Shales SW (2002) Growth of microalgae with increased calorific values in a tubular bioreactor. Biomass Bioenergy 23:67–73

  79. Seefeldt LC (2007) Utah group plans to make biodiesel from algae. Ind Bioprocess 29:5–6

  80. Shi M, Shen YM (2003) Recent progresses on the fixation of carbon dioxide. Curr Org Chem 7:737–745

  81. Skjanes K, Lindblad P, Muller J (2007) BioCO2—a multidisciplinary, biological approach using solar energy to capture CO2 while producing H2 and high value products. Biomol Eng 24:405–413

  82. Spolaore P, Joannis-Cassan C, Duran E, Isambert A (2006) Commercial applications of microalgae. J Biosci Bioeng 101:87–96

  83. Sutton D, Kelleher B, Ross JRH (2001) Review of literature on catalysts for biomass gasification. Fuel Proc Technol 73:155–173

  84. Terry KL, Raymond LP (1985) System design for the autotrophic production of microalgae. Enzyme Microb Technol 7:474–487

  85. Tornabene TG, Holzer G, Lien S, Burris N (1983) Lipid composition of the nitrogen starved green alga Neochloris oleoabundans. Enzyme Microb Technol 5:435–440

  86. Travieso L, Hall DO, Rao KK, Benitez F, Sanchez E, Borja R (2001) A helical tubular photobioreactor producing Spirulina in a semicontinuous mode. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 47:151–155

  87. Tsukahara K, Sawayama S (2005) Liquid fuel production using microalgae. J Jpn Petrol Inst 48:251–259

  88. Usui N, Ikenouchi M (1997) The biological CO2 fixation and utilization project by RITE(1): highly-effective photobioreactor system. Energy Convers Manag 38(Suppl 1):S487–S492

  89. Vonshak A, Richmond A (1988) Mass production of the blue-green alga spirulina: an overview. Biomass London 15:233–247

  90. Weissman JC, Goebel RP, Benemann JR (1988) Phhotobioreactor design: mixing, carbon utilization, and oxygen accumulation. Biotechnol Bioeng 31:336–344

  91. Yamaberi K, Takagi M, Yoshida T (1998) Nitrogen depletion for intracellular triglyceride accumulation to enhance liquefaction yield of marine microalgal cells into a fuel oil. J Mar Biotechnol 6:44–48

  92. Yeh JT, Pennline HW, Resnik KP (2001) Study of CO2 absorption and desorption in a packed column. Energy Fuel. 15:274–278

  93. Yun YS, Lee SB, Park JM, Lee CI, Yang JW (1997) Carbon dioxide fixation by algal cultivation using wastewater nutrients. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 69:451–455

  94. Zhang L, Happe T, Melis A (2002) Biochemical and morphological characterization of sulfur-deprived and H2-producing Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (green alga). Planta 214:552–561

Download references

Acknowledgment

Final supports from NSERC (the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, Canada) are gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Correspondence to Christopher Q. Lan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wang, B., Li, Y., Wu, N. et al. CO2 bio-mitigation using microalgae. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 79, 707–718 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-008-1518-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Microalga
  • CO2 mitigation
  • Biofuel
  • Biodiesel
  • Biomass conversion