Improved economic feasibility of green energy and fuel production through wastewater based microalgae growth

Cole Adams

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in January 2014.


A growing concern of the impacts from carbon emitting fuels has lead to the development of potentially carbon natural biofuels in the form of biodiesel, bioethanol, and biogas. Unfortunately, first generation sources such as corn, palm, and soy, have not been able to meet the needs of an environmental friendly fuel. In response, microalgae have been proposed by many as an alternative, with the potential to overcome many of the limitations of the first generation sources. Biofuel production from microalgae, however, has not been economically competitive with other petroleum based fuel, and has environmental issues of its own. The viability of microalgae growth on three waste water sources; municipal wastewater, food waste water, and leachate, was explored to determine if media costs could be eliminated through mitigation of waste water sources, while at the same time reducing freshwater and fertilizer needs for microalgae growth.