Biofuels pp 157-175 | Cite as

Microalgae Based Biofuel: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Richa Katiyar
  • Amit Kumar
  • B. R. GurjarEmail author
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


The growing demand of conventional fuels and its limited reservoir has ignited attention of scientific communities to produce alternative fuels including biofuels from renewable sources. The renewable sources include wood, plants, agro-waste, fruit pulps and other waste materials with nutrients. The use of biomass based bioenergy or biofuel is gaining public attention due to their environment friendly aspects. Earlier the biofuel was produced from food and non food crops which puts pressure on land resource. To circumvent such negative impacts, scientific communities have explored the use of microalgae for production of biofuels. Microalgae can produce high oil (more than 300 times) than other existing resources such as terrestrial plants. The added advantage of microalgae also includes the use of non cultivable soil and waste water for its cultivation which renders the process more efficient from cost perspective. Thus, the usage of microalgae for biofuel production doesn’t affect the agriculture land resource and drinking water balance in the environment. Using microalgae based biofuel has been shown to be a carbon neutral process because the carbon generated in the fuel combustion is almost neutralized by the carbon consumption during micro-algal growth. Moreover, the different species of microalgae produce bio-sustainable novel products which can be used as raw materials in a number of industries like energy, power generation, feed and food industry and cosmetics. In this way, the multi usage of microalgae can contribute toward cost effectiveness with development of nation in terms of health, industry establishment and job creation.

Graphical Abstract


Carbon Bioenergy Biofuel Renewable energy Environment 



The authors thank the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, New Delhi for providing funds for the research and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee for providing resources and platform for this study.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Transportation SystemsIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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