Life cycle assessment of algae biodiesel and its co-products
There is a need to explore alternative energy sources to meet the future energy demand in a sustainable way. Algae could be a potential feed stock for biodiesel and other co-products such as animal feed and chemicals. Life cycle assessment (LCA) of such production system has to be assessed before any implementation at commercial scale. In this context, a prospective LCA of algae biorefinery considering selected multi-products (biodiesel, protein and succinic acid) was carried out to estimate the environmental impact compared to a reference system. LCA results revealed less CO2 emissions and land use for biodiesel, protein and succinic acid production system compared to that of only biodiesel and protein production system from algae. The impact reduction was even more when compared with conventional diesel, soy protein and fossil based succinic acid system. A higher carbohydrate composition in algae favors less CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption in the algae system compared to that of the reference system. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.