A comprehensive review on pretreatment of microalgae for biogas production

Kendir E. , UĞURLU A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESEARCH, cilt.42, ss.3711-3731, 2018 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 42 Konu: 12
  • Basım Tarihi: 2018
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1002/er.4100
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.3711-3731


Use of microalgal biomass for renewable energy production has gained considerable attention in the world due to increasing global energy demand and negative environmental impacts of nonrenewable fossil fuels. Anaerobic digestion is one of the renewable technologies that microalgal biomass is converted into biogas by anaerobic archea. One of the main drawbacks of using microalgal biomass for biogas production is that certain types of microalgae has rigid cell wall characteristics, which limits accessibility of anaerobic archea to microalgal intracellular organic matter during hydrolysis phase. This limitation lowers efficiency of biogas production from microalgal biomass. However, introducing pretreatment methods prior to anaerobic digestion provides disruption of rigid microalgal cell wall and improve biogas yields from microalgal biomass. The objective of this paper was to review current knowledge related to pretreatment methods applied prior to anaerobic digestion of microalgal biomass. Efficiency and applicability of pretreatment methods mainly depend on type of microalgae, cell wall characteristics, and cost and energy requirements during pretreatment process. In this review, various type of pretreatment methods applied to microalgal biomass was discussed in detail with background knowledge and literature studies in their potential on maximization of biogas yields and their cost effectiveness, which is important for large-scale applications. In the view of current knowledge, it was concluded that each pretreatment method has a relative contribution to improvement in biogas production depending on the type of microalgae. However, energy and cost requirements are the main limitations for pretreatment. So, further studies should focus on reduction of cost and energy demand by introducing combined methods, novel chemicals, and on-site or immobilized enzymes in pretreatment to increase feasibility of pretreatment prior to anaerobic digestion in industrial scale.