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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2012. Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13437.
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D
Glossary

Alcohol fuels

Fuels that are organic compounds that contain one or more hydroxyl groups (-OH) attached to one or more of the carbon atoms in a hydrocarbon chain. Common alcohol fuels include ethanol, methanol, and butanol.

Algae

A group of aquatic eukaryotic organisms that contain chlorophyll. Algae can be microscopic in size (microalgae) or observable to the eye (macroalgae).

Aliphatic alcohol

An alcohol that contains a hydrocarbon fragment derived from a fully saturated, nonaromatic hydrocarbon.

Anoxia

The absence of dissolved oxygen.

Biodiesel

Diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters derived from biological material such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and algal oils.

Biofuel

Fuel derived from biological sources.

Biomass

Any organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis, including agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood residues, plants (including aquatic plants), grasses, algae, animal residues, municipal residues, and other residue materials.

Biorefinery

A commercial-scale processing facility that successfully integrates all processes for extracting and converting biomass feedstocks into a spectrum of saleable products.

Carbon sequestration

Net transfer of atmospheric carbon dioxide into long-lived carbon pools.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2012. Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13437.
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Cellulose

A polymer of glucose, (C6H10O5)n, that forms cell walls of most plants.

Commercial demonstration

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory defines a commercial demonstration for biofuel refinery as a facility that has the capacity to process 700 dry tons of feedstock per day. In addition, a commercial demonstration facility is a fully integrated facility that includes all processing steps at a scale sufficient to identify potential operational problems.

Cyanobacteria

Historically known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are prokaryotes that contain chlorophyll.

Demonstration facility

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory defines a demonstration facility for biofuel refinery as one that has the capacity to process 70 dry tons of feedstock per day. A true demonstration facility is a fully integrated facility that includes all of the processing steps that a commercial-scale facility would have.

Drop-in fuel

Non-petroleum fuel that is compatible with existing infrastructure for petroleum-based fuels.

Green diesel

Product of hydrotreated triaclyglycerols.

Hemicellulose

A matrix of polysaccharides present in almost all plant cell walls with cellulose.

Hydrocarbon fuels

Organic compounds that contains primarily carbon and hydrogen and only trace amounts of other atoms such as sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen. Hydrocarbon fuels include petroleum-based materials such as alkanes, olefins, and aromatics.

Hypoxia

Low dissolved oxygen concentrations, generally less than 2 milligrams per liter.

Land use

Defined by anthropogenic activities, such as agriculture, forestry and urban development, that alter land-surface processes including biogeochemistry, hydrology, and biodiversity.

Lignin

A complex polymer that occurs in certain plant cell walls. Lignin binds to cellulose fibers and hardens and strengthens the cell walls of plants.

Lignocellulosic biomass

Plant biomass composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.

Pilot demonstration

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory defines a pilot demonstration for biofuel refinery as a facility that has the capacity to process 1-10 dry tons of feedstock per day. These facilities typically do not include fully integrated processes.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2012. Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13437.
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Page221
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2012. Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13437.
×
Page222
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Biofuels made from algae are gaining attention as a domestic source of renewable fuel. However, with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources. Continued research and development could yield innovations to address these challenges, but determining if algal biofuel is a viable fuel alternative will involve comparing the environmental, economic and social impacts of algal biofuel production and use to those associated with petroleum-based fuels and other fuel sources. Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels was produced at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy.

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