Saline microalgae are increasingly being considered as one of the most sustainable feedstock for biofuel production due to several advantages. They offer over conventional land crops environmental sustainability and energy security on marginal land by using only seawater. The potential of microalgae as feedstock for biofuel production have been published in many scientific papers, but very few succeed in demonstrating continuous long term feasibility from small scale to pilot scale in different climates. This paper describes the long term feasibility of several local isolates of the green alga Tetraselmis sp. grown outdoors at hyper salinity for two years in Perth before the algae culture was transferred to Karratha, Western Australia.
The long term results have shown up to 32gAFDW m-2 d-1 biomass productivity during summer in Perth. The climate comparison between Perth and Karratha showed up to three times higher biomass productivities during winter and 30% higher achievable values during summer in Karratha. Challenges at the pilot plant in Karratha will be discussed. The overall results demonstrate the long term feasibility to grow species of Tetraselmis in hyper saline water outdoors as a feedstock for biofuels. The advantage of using local isolates is underlined due the capability to withstand environmental extremes such as high solar irradiance and seasonal temperature fluctuations.