About this Research Topic
Extensive utilization of fossil fuels has led to global climate change, environmental pollution, health problems and energy crisis, associated with irreversible depletion of traditional sources of fossil fuels. Many countries are thus turning their attention to the development of new, clean, and sustainable energy sources. Biofuel is expected to play a crucial role in the global energy infrastructure in the future, which would bring several beneﬁts such as foreign oil independence, carbon neutral processes, and proﬁts to local farmers. Biodiesel, one of the most commonly used biofuels, has attracted much attention in recent years and is recognized as an ideal renewable energy carrier, and thus also as a possible primary energy source.
Microalgae are sunlight-driven cell factories, and could efficiently absorb CO2 and convert light energy to chemical energy such as lipid, starch and other carbohydrates, and release O2. Defined as the third generation biofuel, algal feedstock has become one of the most promising resources for biodiesel production, due to the much higher photosynthetic efficiency to produce biomass, thus resulting in a much higher growth rate and productivity as compared to conventional crops. Beside producing lipid as feedstocks for biodiesel, microalgae are cultured with sunlight, CO2 and inorganic compounds such as nitrate and sulphate, thus could be potentially and promisingly used for flue-gas bio-sequestration.
Reviews, current advances and perspectives on microalgal biofuel and its application in flue-gas bio-capture, over a wide range from alga collection and resources, to molecular cellular and physiological mechanism of lipid and oil droplet formation, to the design of photoeffective photobioreactor/fermenter and cost-effective systems for alga cultivation and production, to the biotechnological engineering of both heterotrophic and photo-autotrophic organisms to produce biofuels using either metabolic engineering or synthetic biology, will be focused but not limited in this research topic. And of course, the presentation of ongoing original works is greatly encouraged.
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