National Footprint Account 2018 edition reported that India’s Ecological Footprint per person is 1.1 global hectare. United Nations states that India’s population will reach 1.7 billion by 2050. These consequences will lead to wide ecological deficit even if current per capita ecological footprint remains same. To combat these environmental problems, concept of biofuel emerged. The first generation biofuel utilizes food staple crops like corn, sugarcane and soybean etc.
which have various disadvantages like high cost of production and increase in the food prices worldwide leading to starvation. The second generation biofuel utilizes crops like Myscanthus, Jatropha, paddy straw and Indian Grass. They are used as biofuel but the cost of production goes high due to pre-treatment methods required to reduce the high lignin content in these crops. This has limited the use of these crops for biofuel production.
The third generation biofuel utilizes microalgae which can be easily cultivated in open-stirred tank ponds. Microalgae has very low lignin content thereby reducing the cost of pre-treatments. Various microalgal species like Chlorella, Spirulina, Syndesmus, Chlorosarcinopsis, Synechococcus etc. are explored for their fermentation efficiency of biofuel production. Apart from biofuel production microalgae has nutraceutical properties also. Nutraceuticals produced from microalgae like Astaxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Omega-3-fatty acids and phycobiliproteins are used as dietary supplements.
This paper reports the methods and techniques which can increase the biofuel production efficiency and also discusses the restraints emanating from use of algal biomass for biofuel production.