Enhancement of biofuel production by microalgae using cement flue gas as substrate

Abstract

The cement industry generates a substantial amount of gaseous pollutants that cannot be treated efficiently and economically using standard techniques. Microalgae, a promising bioremediation and biodegradation agent used as feedstock for biofuel production, can be used for the biotreatment of cement flue gas. In specific, components of cement flue gas such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides are shown to serve as nutrients for microalgae. Microalgae also have the capacity to sequestrate heavy metals present in cement kiln dust, adding further benefits. This work provides an extensive overview of multiple approaches taken in the inclusion of microalgae biofuel production in the cement sector. In addition, factors influencing the production of microalgal biomass are also described in such an integrated plant. In addition, process limitations such as the adverse impact of flue gas on medium pH, exhaust gas toxicity, and efficient delivery of carbon dioxide to media are also discussed. Finally, the article concludes by proposing the future potential for incorporating the microalgae biofuel plant into the cement sector.

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Funding

This study received financial support from the Ministry of Science and Technology-Taiwan Research Grant (107-2113-M-037-007-MY2); the Research Center for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan; “The Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project” by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan; the NSYSU-KMU collaboration research project (NSYSU-KMU 107-I004) in Taiwan; and the Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering–Sriperumpudur, India.

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Nagappan, S., Tsai, PC., Devendran, S. et al. Enhancement of biofuel production by microalgae using cement flue gas as substrate. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 17571–17586 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-06425-y

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Keywords

  • Microalgae
  • Biodegradation
  • Carbon dioxide mitigation
  • Carbon capture
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Sulfur Oxides
  • Cement industry