Bioresource engineering is similar to biological engineering, except that it is based on biological and/or agricultural feedstocks. Bioresource engineering is more general and encompasses a wider range of technologies and various elements such as biomass, biological waste treatment, bioenergy, biotransformations and bioresource systems analysis, and technologies associated with Thermochemical conversion technologies such as combustion, pyrolysis, gasification, catalysis, etc.
Resource limitation is an escalating concern given human expansion and development. Algae are increasingly recognised as a promising bioresource and the range of cultivated species and their products is expanding. Compared to terrestrial crops, microalgae are very biodiverse and offer considerable versatility for a range of biotechnological applications including the production of animal feeds, fuels, high value products and waste-water treatment. Despite their versatility and capacity for high biomass productivity on non-arable land, attempts to harness microalgae for commercial benefit have been limited. This is in large part due to capital costs and energy inputs remaining high, the necessity of identifying suitable land with proximal resource and infrastructure availability and the need for process and strain optimisation. Microalgae represent a relatively unexplored bioresource both for native and engineered strains. Success in this area requires (1) appropriate methods to source and isolate microalgae strains, (2) efficient maintenance of motherstocks, (3) rapid strain characterisation and correct matching of strains to applications, (4) ensuring productive and stable cultivation at scale, and (5) ongoing strain development (breeding, adaptation and engineering).
Last date updated on June, 2014