Gonzalez-Delgado A., Alvarez-Cordero A., De Avila-Alvis Y., 2022, Environmental Evaluation of Microalgae-based Biodiesel Production via In-situ Transesterification, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 92, 571-576.
A wide variety of biofuel feedstocks are investigated as viable alternatives to traditional fuels, including microalgae, which show strong advantages mainly due to its high growth rate and high lipid content. Microalgae-based biodiesel can substitute diesel in automobiles with little or no modification to vehicle engines. Therefore, extensive research is being advanced in the search for improvements in the biodiesel processing steps that will advance the commercial viability of microalgae-based biofuels. This work evaluates the environmental performance of biodiesel production from microalgae following the in-situ transesterification route. The process was initially modeled based on data reported in the literature, simulated using aspen plus software, and environmentally evaluated following the waste reduction algorithm (WAR). The environmental assessment provided the results for the potential environmental impact (PEI) output and generated for the process and the classification of the environmental impacts under 8 categories. The output rate of PEI was estimated at 1.31E+00 PEI/kg of product indicating that the waste streams have low environmental impact potential. Also, it was found that microalgae-based biodiesel production does not generate environmental impacts since raw materials with higher impact potential concerning the products are consumed. The categories of global warming potential and ozone depletion potential are not affected by this process.