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12 Energy from Aquatic Biomass

Part 5. New Technologies

  1. Michele Aresta,
  2. Angela Dibenedetto

Published Online: 15 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9783527628148.hoc083

Handbook of Combustion

Handbook of Combustion

How to Cite

Aresta, M. and Dibenedetto, A. 2010. Energy from Aquatic Biomass. Handbook of Combustion. 5:12:277–305.

Author Information

  1. University of Bari, CIRCC and Department of Chemistry, Bari, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2010


Aquatic biomass includes microalgae, macroalgae, and plants, each with peculiar properties. In general, aquatic biomass presents a large distribution entropy of products. The chemical composition may vary according to the strain and the growing conditions of each strain. The latter is a positive aspect as it is possible to govern the product distribution entropy by maximizing the yield of one of the products. Although aquatic biomass is ubiquitous and grows in different climatic conditions, the use of local species-strains more than exogenous species-strain is, in general, a good option for maximizing production yield.

Aquatic biomass is considered as a second (or third) generation option for the production of biofuels. The best utilization option for energy purposes is not its direct combustion. Several technologies are available for the extraction of compounds that may find application for the production of gaseous fuels (biogas, hydrogen) or liquid fuels (ethanol, biooil, biodiesel).

In total, if used in a clever way, aquatic biomass may become an interesting source of chemicals and fuels in the very near future, contributing significant to the production of transport fuels.

Implementation of the biorefinery concept may maximize the economic and energetic value of the biomass.


  • aquatic biomass;
  • biofuel;
  • biorefinery;
  • renewable energy;
  • macroalgae;
  • microalgae