Biofuels from Microalgae: Energy and Exergy Analysis for the Biodiesel Case
Nowadays, the microalgae have been gaining importance due to their different applications in the biofuel, food, and pharmaceutical industries. One of the applications that is commonly proposed for microalgae oil is the transformation into biodiesel through transesterification. This biodiesel is a biofuel that present energy yields similar to traditional diesel, generating an alternative to replace a fuel from petrochemical origin. The objective of this work is to analyze deeply a process for biodiesel production from microalgae oil. The process includes the cultivation, harvesting, and extraction stages for the oil. In this case, the software Aspen Plus is employed for simulation. From the results obtained (mass and energy balances), the energy, exergy, and economic and environmental analysis of the process are carried out through the development of different scenarios. Last allow to evaluate the energy, economic and environmental viability of this type of processes. As a result, this work shows the challenges to be overcome to make possible the real introduction of microalgae fuels.
KeywordsBiodiesel Biofuel Microalgae Exergy analysis Energy analysis
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