Total Use of Microalgae as Feedstock for Biodiesel and Pellet Production

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Chemical Engineering Department, University of Vigo, Spain

2 Natural Resources and Environment Engineering Department, University of Vigo, Spain


Microalgae are one of the most promising feedstock for the biofuels production. However, high cost associated with the different stages involved in the transformation process is one cause of uncompetitiveness price of biofuels, compared with fossil fuels like diesel oil or gasoline. In this research, the potential of Chlorella Vulgaris microalgae for the production of two fuels, biodiesel and stove pellets, has been analyzed. Results showed that an efficient harvesting of algal biomass was achieved using inorganic flocculants, especially Aluminium chloride (AlCl3) which achieved more than 95 % biomass recovery. Moreover, data obtained demonstrated that simultaneous application of microwaves and ultrasounds extracted more than twice lipids than only ultrasounds. Biodiesel conversions between 12 and 27 % based on dry weight, were reached. Additionally, the algal residue generated in biodiesel production process has been used for making stove pellets. The analysis of their properties corroborated that algal pellets can be used as fuel in biomass stoves.