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versão impressa ISSN 0188-8897


CASTILLO, Omar S. et al. Biodiesel production from microalgae: progress and biotechnological prospects. Hidrobiológica [online]. 2017, vol.27, n.3, pp.337-352. ISSN 0188-8897.


Microalgae have proven to be an excellent alternative to produce biodiesel due of its high lipid yield and its fatty acid profile.


A review was made on the current advances and perspectives on the production of biodiesel from microalgae.


An updated search was done of the research work related to biodiesel production from microalgae, emphasizing fatty acid and triglyceride biosynthesis, biomass production, extraction techniques, biotechnological processes implemented in culture systems, transesterification and dual-purpose systems.


Microalgae have shown high yields of lipid production (59 m3 ha-1 year-1) representing an alternative to produce biodiesel. However, costs of biomass production and recovery remain high (US $ 5.8 kg-1), coupled with high-energy requirements (33 MJ kg-kg-1). Supercri tical fluids, electric pulse field, microwave and ultra sonication have being tested for lipid extraction, but currently there are no feasible industrial techniques in this field. Biotechnology has proposed a novel biological system through the use of lipases recovered from filamentous fungi for the transesterification process, which are already commercial, achieving biocatalysts’ yields greater than 90%. In order to optimize the dual-purpose system, it is viable to use a modular design that establishes well-defined processes and unit operations.


The use of microalgae to obtain biodiesel represents a viable alternative due to its high lipid content and its fatty acid profile, although it is necessary to develop technologies to reduce costs of production. An alternative could be to use dual-purpose systems is foreseen as a goo, and re-using wastewater.

Palavras-chave : Biomass; lipases; PUFAs; transesterification.

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