FIGURE 3-1 Pathways for cultivating and processing algae to fuels and their products.
NOTE: Heterotrophic routes are outside the scope of this analysis.
FIGURE 3-2 An example of processes involved in converting algae to fuels.
and used as a framework for the analysis of sustainability. The pathways help illustrate the resource requirements and potential impacts associated with greatly scaling up various approaches to produce algal biofuels. These pathways also allow different approaches to be compared and contrasted directionally, enabling conclusions to be drawn, pitfalls identified, and potential solutions drafted. The reference pathway is drawn from the recent National Renewable Energy Laboratory techno-economic analysis of algal biofuel production (Davis et al., 2011).