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Microalgae are one of the most studied potential sources of biofuels and bioenergy. This book covers the key steps in the production of renewable biofuels from microalgae – strain selection, culture systems, inorganic carbon utilisation, lipid metabolism and quality, hydrogen production, genetic engineering, biomass harvesting, extraction. Greenhouse gas and techno-economic modelling are reviewed as is the 100 year history of microalgae as sources of biofuels and of commercial-scale microalgae culture. A summary of relevant basic standard methods used in the study of microalgae culture is provided. The book is intended for the expert and those starting work in the field.
1. Energy from microalgae: A short history
2. Algal lipids and their metabolism
3. Hydrogenases, nitrogenases, anoxia, and H2 production in water-oxidizing phototrophs
4. Species and strain selection
5. Limits to phototrophic growth in dense culture: CO2 supply and light
6. Genetic engineering to improve algal biofuels production
7. Photobioreactors for microalgae biofuel production
8. Open pond culture systems
9. Wastewater treatment and algal biofuel production
10. Harvesting, thickening and dewatering microalgae biomass
11. Solvent extraction for microalgae lipids
12. Production and properties of biodiesel from algal oils
13. Energy considerations of photobioreactors
14. Greenhouse gas balance and algae-based biodiesel
15. Techno-economic modelling for biofuels from microalgae
16. Basic methods for measuring algae growth and composition.
Michael Borowitzka is Professor of Marine Phycology and Director of the Algae R&D Centre at Murdoch University and has been working on the commercial production of microalgae for over 25 years since obtaining his PhD at the University of Sydney. He is recognised internationally as a leading authority in this field. He was part of the team which developed and commercialised the production of beta-carotene from the alga Dunaliella salina, responsible for the pilot plant design, construction and operation. The process was commercialised in the late 1980s at Hutt Lagoon, Western Australia and the current production plant, now owned and operated by Cognis, is the largest microalgae production plant in the world. Before coming to Murdoch University Michael was Head of Biology at the Roche Research Institute of Marine Pharmacology, working on drug discovery from marine organisms. He consults on microalgae projects for industry, the World Bank and FAO in Australia, Chile, UK, Italy, USA, China, Cuba and other countries. In 2010 Michael and his team commissioned the first algae biofuels plant in Australia in Karratha, WA. Currently he is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Phycology, and convenor of the BEAM (Biotechnological and Environmental Applications of Microalgae) Research Network and the BEAM-RIRDC Algae Biofuels group, and President elect of the International Phycological Society. He was the founding President of the Asia-Pacific Society of Applied Phycology, immediate past President of the International Society of Applied Algology, Chair of the WA Branch of the Australian Biotechnology Association for 10 years He also has wide commercial experience and e has worked in senior positions in industry, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is on the board of several companies.
Navid Reza Moheimani has over 12 years of experience as an applied microalgae biotechnologist and in biofuel production from microalgae in industry and academia. Navid is currently a Senior Lecturer and programme leader at the Murdoch University Algae R&D Centre. He is mainly involved in developing "large-scale microalgae culture for biofuel production". He has experience in algae harvesting, dewatering, oil extraction and both conventional and unconventional biodiesel production and ethanol fermentation, and in developing life cycle analysis for algae to biofuel production.