The newly published article Production of biofuels from sunlight and lignocellulosic sugars using microbial consortia, by J. A. Gomez, K. Höffner and P. I. Barton, can be accessed for free here within the next 50 days.
In the article, a raceway pond model incorporating genome-scale metabolic reconstructions is presented. This process model is used to simulate different production scenarios such as an algae monoculture with flue gas sparging and algal/yeast/bacterial consortia growing on glucose and xylose. The simulations predict that the consortia process alternatives could achieve a production cost in the range of $3.81/litre to $16.16/litre of biodiesel. This is important because while algal growth on flue gas is only economic in the proximity of carbon dioxide sources, microbial consortia growing on lignocellulosic waste can be implemented in many more locations.