Burgeoning dependence on fossil fuels for transport and industrial sectors has been posing challenges such as depletion of fossil fuel reserves, enhanced greenhouse gas footprint, with the imminent changes in the climate, etc. This has necessitated an exploration of sustainable, eco-friendly and carbon neutral energy alternatives.
The study highlights the scope for bioethanol from macroalgae and also the availability of potential sites for cultivation. Marine macroalgae are fast growing and carbohydrate rich biomass having advantage over other biofuel feedstock in terms of land dependence, freshwater requirements, not competing with food crops, which were the inherent drawback of the first- and second-generation feedstock. Bioethanol production from algal feedstock of Central West Coast of India has been evaluated, while taking into account challenges (feedstock sustenance, technical feasibility, economic viability) in order to achieve energy sustainability. The comprehensive knowledge of macro algal resources distribution, seasonality and biochemical composition through field survey and choice of appropriate enzyme and yeast have aided in realizing the path of the sustainable, economical and commercially viable biofuel.
Research funded by ISRO-IISc Space Technology Cell, ISTC/BES/TVR/0389
Source: Ramachandra T V and Hebbale D., 2020. Bioethanol from macroalgae: Prospects and challenges, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 117 (2020) 109479.
Link to publication: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2019.109479