Recent advances in algal biofuels
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In recent times, there has been significant interest in exploring new and renewable sources of energy. This is partly due to rising or unstable petroleum prices, depleting fossil fuels, and a foreseeable water and energy crisis. Another point of importance is the increased concern for global warming with focus on the possible methodologies to reduce the carbon footprint. Biodiesel and bioethanol hold promise as two potential alternative sources of energy. The production of oil seed crops and other non-edible crops for biodiesel production is limited due to the insufficient availability of arable lands. The limitation for use of grains for alcohol production is the displacement of crop lands currently being used for food and concomitant increase in cost of food grains, thereby threatening food security. The focus is therefore shifted to other sustainable resources that could generate biofuel with less impact on the environment. Algae have attracted much attention in recent years as sources of biofuel for various metabolic, biochemical,and economic reasons. This chapter focuses on the recent developments in biofuel research in algae, more particularly on the microalgae.
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