Physical and chemical properties of biodiesel are influenced by structural features of the fatty acids, such as chain length, degree of unsaturation and branching of the carbon chain. This study investigated if microalgal fatty acid profiles are suitable for biodiesel characterization and species selection through Preference Ranking Organisation Method for Enrichment Evaluation (PROMETHEE) and Graphical Analysis for Interactive Assistance (GAIA) analysis. Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles were used to calculate the likely key chemical and physical properties of the biodiesel [cetane number (CN), iodine value (IV), cold filter plugging point, density, kinematic viscosity, higher heating value] of nine microalgal species (this study) and twelve species from the literature, selected for their suitability for cultivation in subtropical climates. An equal-parameter weighted (PROMETHEE-GAIA) ranked Nannochloropsis oculata
sp. and Biddulphia
sp. highest; the only species meeting the EN14214 and ASTM D6751-02 biodiesel standards, except for the double bond limit in the EN14214. Chlorella vulgaris
outranked N. oculata
when the twelve microalgae were included. Culture growth phase (stationary) and, to a lesser extent, nutrient provision affected CN and IV values of N. oculata
due to lower eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) contents. Application of a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) weighting to saturation led to a lower ranking of species exceeding the double bond EN14214 thresholds. In summary, CN, IV, C18:3 and double bond limits were the strongest drivers in equal biodiesel parameter-weighted PROMETHEE analysis.