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Volume 1, Issue 3      July-September, 2013

Marine macro algae Ulva: a potential feed-stock for bio-ethanol and biogas production
 

Anam Saqib1, Muhammad Rizwan Tabbssum1, Umer Rashid2, Muhammad Ibrahim3, Saba Shahid Gill1, Muhammad Aamer Mehmood1*

1Department of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Government College University Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan

2Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

3Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan

*Corresponding author: e-mail: draamer@gcuf.edu.pk

ABSTRACT

Present industrialization and global mobility era is an energy intensive period of the human history with an ever increasing energy demand. Unfortunately, fossil fuels are no more sustainable due to growing gap between the demand and supply. Biofuels are considered as promising alternative liquid fuels in recent global energy scenario. Food crops and ligno-cellulosic plant biomass have been widely studied as an alternative feedstock for biofuels production. After decades of research, the competition of fuel with food and recalcitrant nature of plant biomass, these feed stocks are losing their popularity. Marine macroalgae have come forward as another potential feedstock for biofuels production. Marine algae have several advantages over the traditional energy crops including absence of lignin, higher growth rates and no competition with human food. Moreover, along with several environmental benefits, they can be grown using saline and waste water and have higher abilities to sequester the atmospheric CO2 than traditional energy crops. Although there are several challenges associated with the algal biomass conversion to bioenergy yet these problems can be overcome using integrated biorefinery approach.

Keywords: Ligno-cellulosic biomass, Marine algae, Alternative feed stock, Bioenergy production

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