New resources are needed to provide food, fuels, and chemicals for the growing economies and population while insuring minimum environmental impacts. Biomass will play a key role in the challenge of tackling those issues. Sustainable raw materials for the production of food, animal feed, chemicals, and biofuels such as biodiesel, biobutanol, and bioethanol can be obtained from algal biomass. The cultivation and conversion of biomass into products is known as biorefinery. In particular, marine macroalgae (so-called seaweeds) biomass is a promising feedstock for biorefineries because of their high growth rates and its potential cultivation on salt water, avoiding competition for freshwater and arable lands. In addition, dissolved inorganic nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon are taken up by macroalgae, helping to alleviate eutrophication in seas and oceans. Using biological, chemical, and engineering advances of the past decades, new technologies to provide cost-efficient cultivation, harvesting, extraction, and processing of sustainable biofuels have yet to be elaborated. Pulsed electric field and electroporation technologies can play a key role in that matter as it has been successfully used for biomass processing in various cases. This chapter provides insights of current and potential uses of pulsed electric fields, electroporation, and electrofusion technologies for macroalgae biorefineries.
- Marine biorefineries
- Pulsed electric fields