Next Article in Journal
Intervention to Improve Biosecurity System of Poultry Production Clusters (PPCs) in Thailand
Next Article in Special Issue
Achieving Water and Food Security in 2050: Outlook, Policies, and Investments
Previous Article in Journal
Rapid Development of Microsatellite Markers for Plantago ovata Forsk.: Using Next Generation Sequencing and Their Cross-Species Transferability
Agriculture 2014, 4(3), 217-230; doi:10.3390/agriculture4030217
Short Communication

The Next Generation Feedstock of Biofuel: Jatropha or Chlorella as Assessed by Their Life-Cycle Inventories

1,*  and 2,*
1 State Key Laboratory of Catalytic Material and Reaction Engineering, Research Institute of Petroleum Processing, SINOPEC, 18 Xue Yuan Road, Beijing 100083, China 2 Center for Biorefining, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 18 June 2014 / Accepted: 19 June 2014 / Published: 1 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [230 KB, uploaded 1 July 2014]   |  


Promising energy crops such as Jatropha curcas Linnaeus (JCL), which are planted on marginal lands, or microalgae such as Chlorella, which are cultivated in ponds located on mudflats or deserts, have been regarded with high hopes to solve the shortage of food crops and increase the amount of biodiesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, FAME) production. However, the annual yields of biomass and transport fuels (t/ha) of both are still unclear and often exaggerated in the literature. Large portions of JCL biomass, including tree trunks and leaves, can also be used to generate electricity along with FAME, which is produced from seed lipids. Meanwhile, lipid extracted algae (LEA) are composed of proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids other than glycerides which are unable to be esterified to form FAME and much more abundant in the microalgae than oil cake in the oil crops. Therefore, it has been strongly suggested that not only transesterification or esterification but also Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process and bio-electricity generation should be considered as routes to produce biofuels. Otherwise, the yield of biofuel would be extremely low using either JCL or Chlorella as feedstock. The Life-Cycle Inventories (LCI) of the biofuel processes with whole biomass of JCL and Chlorella were compared based on their net energy ratio (NER) and CO2 emission saving (CES). It was shown that the technological improvement of irrigation, cultivation, and processing for either economic-crops or microalgae were all necessary to meet the requirements of commercial biofuel production.
Keywords: biodiesel; biofuel; jatropha; microalgae; Chlorella; LCA; LCI biodiesel; biofuel; jatropha; microalgae; Chlorella; LCA; LCI
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Peng, P.; Zhou, W. The Next Generation Feedstock of Biofuel: Jatropha or Chlorella as Assessed by Their Life-Cycle Inventories. Agriculture 2014, 4, 217-230.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Agriculture EISSN 2077-0472 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert