In the present scenario, rapid industrialization and urbanization have led to a dramatic increase in the levels of various hazardous pollutants in the environment, and this creates a serious threat to humankind. Today, most of the energy production comes from fossil fuel combustion, which is the key source of CO2 emissions. Research studies show that the utilization of microalgae could be the best option for the production of renewable and sustainable energy and for the mitigation of CO2 emission. Production of biofuels from microalgae can be classified as solid (biochar), liquid (bioethanol, biodiesel, bio-kerosene), and gaseous (biogas, bio-syngas, biohydrogen) fuels. Among these biofuels, biodiesel garners a lot of interest and attention because of its high accumulation of lipids (20–75%), which could be a potential alternative fuel for diesel engines. Algal lipids usually have a higher viscosity than petro-diesel; therefore, the transesterification process is required to decrease the viscosity of microalgal lipids before they can be combusted in the engines. However, microalgae are considered as a potential resource in the current biofuel industries; still, it fails at the commercial level. Thus, in this book chapter, we have discussed the microalgal biofuel production and the challenges behind and the future prospects.
Part of the book: Renewable Energy