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Biomass, Biofuels, Biochemicals
2022, 29-66

Sustainable technologies for biodiesel production from microbial lipids

Ashutosh Kumar Pandey1, Ranjna Sirohi2, Vivek Kumar Gaur3, Kritika Pandey4

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Overexploitation of fossil fuels to meet the energy demands for the growing population is considered unsustainable. It results in the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the environment. In the present global scenario, renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly alternatives to replace fossil fuels are indeed necessary. Biodiesel produced from food crops, cooking oil, and animal fat can be considered renewable and eco-friendly for petroleum-based fuels. But these sources have many disadvantages in a more extensive scale application. In this context, microbial lipids have potential importance because of their renewable and carbon-neutral nature. Recently, lipids produced from different microorganisms attracted more attention due to reduced competition with the existing food crops and their eco-friendly nature. This chapter aims to explore the broad-spectrum applications of lipids produced from different microorganisms for biodiesel production. This article also provides insights into the raw materials used for microbial cultivation, harvesting techniques, lipid to biodiesel conversion, catalysts used for transesterification, biodiesel separation, and quality checking. The ability of microorganisms to grow on waste raw materials and reduce carbon dioxide emission in low-cost cultivation is also elaborated in the context of biodiesel production.

Keywords: Microbial lipids, oleaginous microbes, biofuels, biodiesel, production.

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