BioEnergy Research

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 727–747 | Cite as

Microalgal Biorefineries for Bioenergy Production: Can We Move from Concept to Industrial Reality?

  • Mariany C. Deprá
  • Aline M. dos Santos
  • Ihana A. Severo
  • Andriéli B. Santos
  • Leila Q. Zepka
  • Eduardo Jacob-LopesEmail author


Biorefineries are commercial facilities that transform raw materials into commodities of considerable interest to the world bioeconomy. In addition, biorefineries have the potential to achieve favorable environmental characteristics, such as minimal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a lower water footprint, compared to homologous fossil fuels. However, for this concept to become efficient and viable, the use of potentially abundant and specific renewable biological feedstocks should be considered, such as microalgae biomass and other generated products. However, there is an emerging need to consolidate industrial plants that are not only affected by market fluctuations but also aim to transform biological materials into industrially usable products. Thus, for a microalgae biorefinery to compete with the resilient oil refineries in the future, process integration in the supply chain is a promising engineering approach, associating all the components from the cultivation to obtain multiple products that are economically and environmentally sustainable. Therefore, the objective of this review is to compile issues related to microalgal biorefineries applied to bioenergy and biofuel production.


Biorefinery Algae Energy Fuel Co-products 





Badische Anilin & Soda Fabrik


Docosahexaenoic acid


Eicosapentaenoic acid


Fatty acid methyl esters


Food Agriculture Organization


Greenhouse gas


Global warming potential


Life cycle assessment


Life cycle inventory


Life cycle impact analysis


Lipid extracted algae


Mycosporine-like amino acids


Net energy ratio


Polyunsaturated fatty acids




Volatile organic compounds


Vapor compression steam stripping


Water footprint


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariany C. Deprá
    • 1
  • Aline M. dos Santos
    • 1
  • Ihana A. Severo
    • 1
  • Andriéli B. Santos
    • 1
  • Leila Q. Zepka
    • 1
  • Eduardo Jacob-Lopes
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil

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