Currently, experimental and theoretical work is being performed to ensure that biofuels from microalgae become a reality. However, there is a considerable number of discussions concerning in which processes should be focussed efforts of research and development. The purpose of this paper is to provide decision support not only to help build guidelines of research to be undertaken, but also to contribute to the design of more adequate policy and funding instruments. The key objective of this study is to determine the prospects of employing microalgae into the production of biofuels within a time scale extending to 2030.
The Delphi method is a qualitative research aiming to support strategic future-oriented action, such as policy making in the areas of science and technology. It is especially appropriate in judgment and long-range forecasting (20-30 years) situations, when expert opinions are often the only source of information available, due to a lack of appropriate historical, economic or technical data.
The Delphi method proved to be a successful research method when expert opinions are the main source of information available, due to a lack of appropriate historical, economic or technical data and the outcomes provided a clear outline of the main issues of microalgae biofuels’ market at present and in the future.
The outcomes might not represent the majority of the microalgae experts’ opinion due to the sample size.
The work presented in this paper is especially original. According to the authors’ knowledge, this is the first qualitative Delphi study related to algae biofuels.
The authors would like to acknowledge that this work has been partially supported by FCT under project grant PEst-C/EEI/UI0308/2011 and from the Brazilian National Council for the Improvement of Higher Education (CAPES). This paper has been framed under the Energy for Sustainability Initiative of the University of Coimbra and supported by the R & D Project EMSURE Energy and Mobility for Sustainable Regions (CENTRO 07 0224 FEDER 002004).
Ribeiro, L.A. and Pereira da Silva, P. (2015), "Qualitative Delphi approach of advanced algae biofuels", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 26 No. 6, pp. 852-871. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-03-2014-0046
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited