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Abstract

The development of clean energies is a central challenge for the sustainable development of the Gulf region. Global pressures including climate change mitigation efforts and energy security concerns are calling for strong investments in alternative sources of energy. Most of marine algae present in Qatar have no equivalents on earth and therefore could be considered as irreplaceable sources of primary and secondary metabolites. This is especially the case for hydrocolloids from red and brown algae that are cultured and used at an industrial scale for food-processing. This study analyzes the adaptability of existing biofuel production processes currently used for cooking oils or more traditional corn ethanol to algae fuel production. The potential benefits of biofuel from photosynthetic algae could be significant. Algae can be grown using land and water unsuitable for crop plant or food production, unlike some other first and second generation biofuel feedstocks. Moreover, select species of algae produce bio-oils through the natural process of photosynthesis - requiring sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, supplemented with nutrients. Growing algae therefore consume carbon dioxide, which provides greenhouse gas mitigation benefits. Finally, bio-oil produced by photosynthetic algae and the resultant biofuel will have molecular structures that are similar to the petroleum and refined products we use today. This helps ensure the fuels are compatible with existing transportation technology and infrastructure. In conclusion, if successful, bio-oils from photosynthetic algae could be used to manufacture a full range of fuels including gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel that meet the same specifications as today's products. This study bridges with a past survey carried out by Dr. Jean-Michel Kornprobst on the algae resources in Qatar and existing engineering processes currently developed in the United States and more specifically by the University of South Florida Polytechnic (Dr Philippidis) or the Abbess Ceter on Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. Its objective is to assess the production capacity in Qatar as well as suggest projects and international cooperation to reach full potential.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.EEP101
2012-10-01
2019-12-12
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.EEP101
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