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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: VEGETABLE OIL-BASED FUELS, ADDITIVES AND COPRODUCTS

Location: Bio-oils Research Unit

Title: Comments on the Manuscript, "Biodiesel Production from Freshwater Algae"

Authors
item Knothe, Gerhard
item Kenar, James

Submitted to: Energy and Fuels
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2010
Publication Date: April 28, 2010
Citation: Knothe, G.H., Kenar, J.A. 2010. Comments on the Manuscript, "Biodiesel Production from Freshwater Algae". Energy and Fuels. 24(5):3299-3300.

Interpretive Summary: Biodiesel is an alternative to conventional diesel fuel derived from petroleum. It is usually derived from sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats or used cooking oils. Algae are a source of biodiesel that has been receiving increasing interest as potential biodiesel feedstock due to the claimed high production potential. Therefore, an increasing amount of research papers deals with this issue. A paper published in 2009, however, claiming to deal with biodiesel derived from freshwater algae is shown not to deal with biodiesel, rather with a product that may resemble conventional diesel fuel. The nature of the algae used is not discussed in that paper. This review points out these deficiencies and will give interested researchers a more accurate understanding in this high profile area.

Technical Abstract: A recent publication (Vijayaragahavan, K.; Hemanathan, K., Biodiesel from freshwater algae, Energy Fuels, 2009, 23(11):5448-5453) on fuel production from algae is evaluated. It is discussed herein that the fuel discussed in that paper is not biodiesel, rather it probably consists of hydrocarbons. The nature of the algae is not given in that publication. Other issues with that publication are also addressed.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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