committee relied on peer-reviewed papers; reports produced by government agencies and other interested parties; and documents filed as part of regulatory activities, including patent applications and environmental-impact assessments. In addition, the committee gathered information through presentations at open committee meetings from government agencies, companies, and others involved in the algal biofuel supply chain, researchers from academia, and other groups. The information gathered at these public meetings was augmented by public webinars and solicitation of information from algal biofuel companies. The information gathered during these activities helped form the basis for the description of the algal biofuel supply chain, resource requirements, and impacts discussed in subsequent chapters. In analyzing this information, the committee relied on the methods described earlier.


The report addresses the statement of task in the following ways. Chapter 2 provides an overview of algal biofuel supply chain and examples of different cultivation, harvesting, dewatering, processing, and coproduction methods that could be used in producing algal biofuels. Chapter 3 introduces selected algal biofuel production systems as examples to illustrate challenges and sustainability concerns of algal biofuel production and possible tradeoffs among sustainability goals. Chapters 4 and 5 discuss potential concerns related to resource use (for example, availability of land, water, and nutrient resources) and environmental effects and how some of those concerns might affect social acceptability of algal biofuels, respectively. For each category of resource use and environmental effect, indicators and metrics to be employed and data to be collected to assess sustainability are suggested. Chapter 6 summarizes the sustainability challenges for each of the selected algal biofuel production systems introduced in Chapter 3 and uses them to illustrate benefits and tradeoffs of each system.


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