Throughout the past ten years global society has more of a vested interest in the research and development of sustainable energy sources. Carbon dioxide fixation and collection of biodiesel oils through the utilization of microalgae can not only possibly help the reduction of flue gas emissions, but also have the potential to provide clean energy. Microalgae growth is affected by numerous factors influencing the yield and quality of biodiesel; such as agitation and mixing, light source, sedimentation, and other growth inhibiting or inducing factors. Specifically, photobioreactor design is a major area of concern, and thus different types of reactors are examined along with innovative patents attempting to overcome such obstacles of algae growth. These patents along with current research give an overall look at the progression of this field of study and the areas some researchers and scientists are heading toward in the future. This review article encompasses an overview and background of the whole microalgae growth and harvesting process along with reviewing many of the photobioreactors designs now being utilized in present research.
Keywords: Biodiesel oils, bioreactor design, CO2 sequestering, flue gas utilization, microalgae, photobioreactor.
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