The consideration of algal biomass in biodiesel production increased very rapidly in the last decade. A life cycle assessment (LCA) study is presented to compare six different biodiesel production pathways (three different harvesting techniques, i.e., aluminum as flocculent, lime flocculent, and centrifugation, and two different oil extraction methods, i.e., supercritical CO2 (sCO2) and press and co-solvent extraction). The cultivation of Nannochloropsis sp. considered in a flat-panel photobioreactor (FPPBR). These algal biodiesel production systems were compared with the conventional diesel in a EURO 5 passenger car used for transport purpose (functional unit 1 person km (pkm). The algal biodiesel production systems provide lesser impact (22–105 %) in comparison with conventional diesel. Impacts of algal biodiesel on climate change were far better than conventional diesel, but impacts on human health, ecosystem quality, and resources were higher than the conventional diesel. This study recommends more practical data at pilot-scale production plant with maximum utilization of by-products generated during the production to produce a sustainable algal biodiesel.
Life Cycle Assessment of Renewable Energy Sources, 2013, p. 145-168