Impact of Flue Gas Compounds on Microalgae and Mechanisms for Carbon Assimilation and Utilization

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Journal Article
ChemSusChem, 2018, 11 (2), pp. 334 - 355
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© 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim To shift the world to a more sustainable future, it is necessary to phase out the use of fossil fuels and focus on the development of low-carbon alternatives. However, this transition has been slow, so there is still a large dependence on fossil-derived power, and therefore, carbon dioxide is released continuously. Owing to the potential for assimilating and utilizing carbon dioxide to generate carbon-neutral products, such as biodiesel, the application of microalgae technology to capture CO2 from flue gases has gained significant attention over the past decade. Microalgae offer a more sustainable source of biomass, which can be converted into energy, over conventional fuel crops because they grow more quickly and do not adversely affect the food supply. This review focuses on the technical feasibility of combined carbon fixation and microalgae cultivation for carbon reuse. A range of different carbon metabolisms and the impact of flue gas compounds on microalgae are appraised. Fixation of flue gas carbon dioxide is dependent on the selected microalgae strain and on flue gas compounds/concentrations. Additionally, current pilot-scale demonstrations of microalgae technology for carbon dioxide capture are assessed and its future prospects are discussed. Practical implementation of this technology at an industrial scale still requires significant research, which necessitates multidisciplinary research and development to demonstrate its viability for carbon dioxide capture from flue gases at the commercial level.
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