Screening and improvement of marine microalgae for oil production

Stephen P. Slocombe, Qian Yi Zhang, Michael Ross, Michele S. Stanley, John G. Day

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


The microalgal biotech sector began in the 1940s, where the first modern attempts to grow microalgae focused on finding alternative sources of chemicals for use in munition manufacturing and fuels during World War II, by examining the production of lipids by various microalgae (Harder and Witsch 1942; Burlew 1953). In the postwar years, microalgae were seen as one solution to a shortfall in food production before the advent of the “Green Revolution.” Later, during the oil crisis of the 1970s, when the price of petroleum was high, microalgae were revisited for their potential use in biofuels based on their ability to accumulate oil, which is usually in the form of triacylglycerols (Borowitzka 2013a). Microalgae have high theoretical productivities, 92partly due to their unicellular nature, which leads to an efficient resource allocation into storage products as opposed to structure, their rapid growth rate, and their carbon-concentrating mechanisms, which increase the efficiency of CO2 utilization (Giordano et al. 2005).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicroalgal Production for Biomass and High-Value Products
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781482219715
ISBN (Print)9781482219708
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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