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ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 173753, 8 pages
Review Article

Technoeconomic Assessment on Innovative Biofuel Technologies: The Case of Microalgae

1School of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra and INESCC, R. Antero de Quental, 199 3000-033 Coimbra, Portugal
2School of Economics, University of Coimbra and INESCC, Avenue Dias da Silva, 165 Room 207, 3004-512 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 2 April 2012; Accepted 28 May 2012

Academic Editors: E. R. Bandala, B. Chen, and K. T. Lee

Copyright © 2012 Lauro André Ribeiro and Patrícia Pereira da Silva. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Innovative technologies and sources of energy must be developed to replace fossil fuels and contribute to the reductions of emissions of greenhouse gases associated with their use. In this perspective, algal biofuels are generating substantial awareness in many countries. As of today, it has been shown that it is scientifically and technically possible to derive the desired energy products from algae in the laboratory. The question lies, however, in whether it is a technology that merits the support and development to overcome existing scalability challenges and make it economically feasible. In this context, the overall purpose of this study is to provide an integrated assessment of the potential of microalgae as a source to produce biofuels, while confronting it with competing emerging biofuel technologies. It is intended to provide a comprehensive state of technology summary for producing fuels from algal feedstocks and to draw some insights upon the feasibility and technoeconomic challenges associated with scaling up of processes.