Microalgal production - A close look at the economics

N.H. Norsker, M.J. Barbosa, M.H. Vermuë, R.H. Wijffels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

531 Citations (Scopus)


Worldwide, microalgal biofuel production is being investigated. It is strongly debated which type of production technology is the most adequate. Microalgal biomass production costs were calculated for 3 different micro algal production systems operating at commercial scale today: open ponds, horizontal tubular photobioreactors and flat panel photobioreactors. For the 3 systems, resulting biomass production costs including dewatering, were 4.95, 4.15 and 5.96 € per kg, respectively. The important cost factors are irradiation conditions, mixing, photosynthetic efficiency of systems, medium- and carbon dioxide costs. Optimizing production with respect to these factors, a price of € 0.68 per kg resulted. At this cost level microalgae become a promising feedstock for biodiesel and bulk chemicals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-27
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • light-path
  • photobioreactor
  • biofuels
  • cultivation
  • gold


Dive into the research topics of 'Microalgal production - A close look at the economics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this