Microalgae are being considered as a viable feedstock for large-scale production of biodiesel. However, though it may look simpler to obtain lipids from microalgae, the overall process of choosing an algal strain, cultivation, harvesting, dewatering, and extraction of oil is quite complicated and not economically prudent at this time. A thorough understanding of algae and the overall biodiesel production process discussed in this paper is vital so that focused research might lower the costs involved. Various diverse species of microalgae are currently being used as feedstocks for biofuel. Heterotrophic culture may be preferred over photoautotrophic cultivation. For cultivation, specially fabricated photobioreactors (PBRs) have the capability to overcome the constraints and limitations of the open raceway ponds, although the former are cost intensive as compared to the latter. Exergy analysis of algal-biodiesel-carbon dioxide cycle shows the overall process to be renewable and hence should attain global attention.
Sharma, Y. C., Singh, B., & Korstad, J. (2011). A critical review on recent methods used for economically viable and eco-friendly development of microalgae as a potential feedstock for synthesis of biodiesel. Green Chemistry, 13(11), 2993-3006.