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Energies 2013, 6(9), 4607-4638;

Effects of Environmental Factors and Nutrient Availability on the Biochemical Composition of Algae for Biofuels Production: A Review

Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Native American Research Laboratory, Division of Science and Mathematics, University of Minnesota-Morris, Morris, MN 56267, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 June 2013 / Revised: 15 August 2013 / Accepted: 16 August 2013 / Published: 3 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algae Fuel 2013)
PDF [335 KB, uploaded 17 March 2015]


Due to significant lipid and carbohydrate production as well as other useful properties such as high production of useful biomolecular substrates (e.g., lipids) and the ability to grow using non-potable water sources, algae are being explored as a potential high-yield feedstock for biofuels production. In both natural and engineered systems, algae can be exposed to a variety of environmental conditions that affect growth rate and cellular composition. With respect to the latter, the amount of carbon fixed in lipids and carbohydrates (e.g., starch) is highly influenced by environmental factors and nutrient availability. Understanding synergistic interactions between multiple environmental variables and nutritional factors is required to develop sustainable high productivity bioalgae systems, which are essential for commercial biofuel production. This article reviews the effects of environmental factors (i.e., temperature, light and pH) and nutrient availability (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and trace metals) as well as cross-interactions on the biochemical composition of algae with a special focus on carbon fixation and partitioning of carbon from a biofuels perspective. View Full-Text
Keywords: algae; biochemical composition; environmental effect; biofuel production algae; biochemical composition; environmental effect; biofuel production

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Juneja, A.; Ceballos, R.M.; Murthy, G.S. Effects of Environmental Factors and Nutrient Availability on the Biochemical Composition of Algae for Biofuels Production: A Review. Energies 2013, 6, 4607-4638.

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