Research Topic

Microalgal Culture Strategies for Biofuel Production

About this Research Topic

The energy crisis, global warming and climate changes have led to an increased interest in renewable energy sources, such as feedstock production for use as biofuels. First generation biofuels are derived from edible feedstock such as wheat, palm, corn, soya beans, sugarcane, rapeseed, oil crops, sugar beet, and maize, while second generation biofuels use waste and dedicated lignocellulosic materials such as the feedstock like jatropha and switchgrass.

One of the main drawbacks of both first and second-generation biofuels lies in the fact that the cultivation of these food or non-food crops for biofuel production will compete for limited arable farmlands, which are intended to be used to grow crops for food production. Microalgal biofuels, known as third generation biofuels, are treated as a technically viable alternative energy solution that overcomes the major drawbacks related to the first and second generation biofuels. Compared to first and second-generation biofuels, microalgal biofuels offer many more advantages, such as high growth rate, high CO2 mitigation efficiency, non-competition for farmland, less water demand than land crops, toleration of wastewaters during cultivation and more cost-effective farming. However, the microalgal biofuels that receive ever-increasing attention lack the large scale commercial production needed for bulk application. The low economic performance is due to low productivity and the unmet requirements of overwhelming investment in capital and operation. In order to promote microalgal production for biofuel conversion, great effort has been made in fields such as the optimization of culture conditions (e.g., nutrient deprivation, mixing, etc.), harvest method development, microalgal residue utilization and biorefinery design. Of the potential efforts mentioned above, one of the most promising is the application of various culture strategies, which can greatly improve the production of desired end products. To determine the stand of the latest available microalgal culturing technologies and keep the global academic communities up-to-date to the current advances, this Research Topic focuses on the microalgal culture strategies for biofuel production.

We would like to see articles that address vital current developments in the microalgal culture strategies for biofuel production through available biotechnologies. We solicit high-quality, original research papers as well as review papers in the fields of microalgal culture strategies for biofuel production.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

• Microalgal cultivation integrated with wastewater treatment
• Microalgal cultivation integrated with CO2 mitigation
• Batch, semi-continuous or continuous culture
• Two-stage continuous cultivation
• Co-culture or mixed culture
• Stress culture such as cultivation under nutrient deprivation
• Microalgal cultivation with harvest water recycling
• Development of new types of culturing vessels or systems
• System engineering of microalgal cultivation


Keywords: Microalgae, wastewater treatment, continuous cultivation, nutrient deprivation, harvest water recycling


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The energy crisis, global warming and climate changes have led to an increased interest in renewable energy sources, such as feedstock production for use as biofuels. First generation biofuels are derived from edible feedstock such as wheat, palm, corn, soya beans, sugarcane, rapeseed, oil crops, sugar beet, and maize, while second generation biofuels use waste and dedicated lignocellulosic materials such as the feedstock like jatropha and switchgrass.

One of the main drawbacks of both first and second-generation biofuels lies in the fact that the cultivation of these food or non-food crops for biofuel production will compete for limited arable farmlands, which are intended to be used to grow crops for food production. Microalgal biofuels, known as third generation biofuels, are treated as a technically viable alternative energy solution that overcomes the major drawbacks related to the first and second generation biofuels. Compared to first and second-generation biofuels, microalgal biofuels offer many more advantages, such as high growth rate, high CO2 mitigation efficiency, non-competition for farmland, less water demand than land crops, toleration of wastewaters during cultivation and more cost-effective farming. However, the microalgal biofuels that receive ever-increasing attention lack the large scale commercial production needed for bulk application. The low economic performance is due to low productivity and the unmet requirements of overwhelming investment in capital and operation. In order to promote microalgal production for biofuel conversion, great effort has been made in fields such as the optimization of culture conditions (e.g., nutrient deprivation, mixing, etc.), harvest method development, microalgal residue utilization and biorefinery design. Of the potential efforts mentioned above, one of the most promising is the application of various culture strategies, which can greatly improve the production of desired end products. To determine the stand of the latest available microalgal culturing technologies and keep the global academic communities up-to-date to the current advances, this Research Topic focuses on the microalgal culture strategies for biofuel production.

We would like to see articles that address vital current developments in the microalgal culture strategies for biofuel production through available biotechnologies. We solicit high-quality, original research papers as well as review papers in the fields of microalgal culture strategies for biofuel production.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

• Microalgal cultivation integrated with wastewater treatment
• Microalgal cultivation integrated with CO2 mitigation
• Batch, semi-continuous or continuous culture
• Two-stage continuous cultivation
• Co-culture or mixed culture
• Stress culture such as cultivation under nutrient deprivation
• Microalgal cultivation with harvest water recycling
• Development of new types of culturing vessels or systems
• System engineering of microalgal cultivation


Keywords: Microalgae, wastewater treatment, continuous cultivation, nutrient deprivation, harvest water recycling


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 January 2018 Abstract
31 May 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 January 2018 Abstract
31 May 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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