Algae biofuel

Algae are sometimes grown to make algae biofuels. Unlike biomass, many types of algae can be used and processed to become a biofuel. Biofuel is a fuel made from living things, or the waste of a living thing. The algae oils can be converted to biodiesel and the remaining material can be used to create bioethanol.

Both biodiesel and bioethanol are developing biofuels. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from seed oils. Bioethanol is an alcohol made from algae, corn, sugar cane or other sugar containing feedstock. It is usually blended with gasoline and used in internal combustion engines.[1]

This illustrates that steps that take place to convert algae into biodiesel and bioethanol[2]

Algae into Biofuel

To convert algae to a biofuel, several steps need to be taken.

  1. Growing Algae: Growing the algae using sunlight, carbon dioxide and nutrients
  2. Harvesting algae: Harvesting the algae from the growing cycle
  3. Dewatering Algae: Removing the water from the algae by a process called dewatering
  4. Oil Separation: Extracting the oil from the dried algae cake
  5. Biofuel Production: Converting the oil and algae into biofuels[3]

For Further Reading


  1. "Use of Ethanol - Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy - Energy Information Administration",, 2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 13- Jul- 2018].
  2. Stoel Rives LLP 2010 "Chapter 1 - Introduction to Algae Biofuels - Selecting Algae Species, Algae Production Issues, Harvesting Algae and Extracting Oil, and Converting Algae Oil to Biofuels" [Online]. Available:
  3. “Biodiesel from Algae”, Oilgae, [Online] 2013. Available: (Accessed: 31 October, 2013)

Authors and Editors

Bethel Afework, Jordan Hanania, Kailyn Stenhouse, Jason Donev
Last updated: July 21, 2018
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