Design and Analysis of Offshore Macroalgae Biorefineries

Alexander Golberg*, Alexander Liberzon, Edward Vitkin, Zohar Yakhini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Displacing fossil fuels and their derivatives with renewables, and increasing sustainable food production are among the major challenges facing the world in the coming decades. A possible, sustainable direction for addressing this challenge is the production of biomass and the conversion of this biomass to the required products through a complex system coined biorefinery. Terrestrial biomass and microalgae are possible sources; however, concerns over net energy balance, potable water use, environmental hazards, and uncertainty in the processing technologies raise questions regarding their actual potential to meet the anticipated food, feed, and energy challenges in a sustainable way. Alternative sustainable sources for biorefineries are macroalgae grown and processed offshore. However, implementation of the offshore biorefineries requires detailed analysis of their technological, economic, and environmental performance. In this chapter, the basic principles of marine biorefineries design are shown. The methods to integrate thermodynamic efficiency, investment, and environmental aspects are discussed. The performance improvement by development of new cultivation methods that fit macroalgae physiology and development of new fermentation methods that address macroalgae unique chemical composition is shown.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Coproducts
  • Environmental exergonomics
  • Exergy efficiency
  • Fermentation
  • Macroalgae
  • Marine biorefinery design
  • Offshore cultivation
  • Seaweed


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