Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Third-Generation Biodiesel Produced Heterotrophically by Phormidium Autumnale

Stefania Fortes Siqueira, Mariany Costa Deprá, Leila Queiroz Zepka, Eduardo Jacob-Lopes*
Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), 97105-900, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil

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© 2018 Siqueira et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), 97105-900, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil; Tel: +55-55-32208254; E-mail:



The aim of this work was to perform a prospective life cycle assessment of the third-generation biodiesel (3G) produced from the heterotrophic cultivation of Phormidium autumnale, using sucrose as the carbon source.

Materials and Methods:

The study focused on the optimization of the process parameters, in the life cycle assessment and in the biofuel quality analysis in diverse microalgae-based scenarios.


In the best scenario, the production of microalgal biodiesel has positive energy production (50.59 MJ/kg) associated with low consumption of water (28.38 m3/kg) and low CO2 emissions (9.18 kg CO2-eq/kg). In terms of composition, this oil was predominantly saturated (45.20%), monounsaturated (34.70%), and polyunsaturated (19.90%), resulting in a biodiesel that complies with U.S., European, and Brazilian standards.


The high potential capacity for lipid production obtained is interesting for the generation of quality biodiesel that meets or surpasses the most stringent U.S., European, and Brazilian fuel standard requirements.

Keywords: LCA, Microalgae/cyanobacteria, Heterotrophic cultivation, Sucrose, Biodiesel (3G), Phormidium autumnale.