Multi-criterion evaluation of cultivation systems for sustainable algal biofuel production using analytic hierarchy process and Monte Carlo simulation

Aristotle T. Ubando, Joel L Cuello, Alvin B. Culaba, Michael Angelo B Promentilla, Raymond R. Tan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The potential benefits from algal biofuels, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, come with natural resource consumption and potentially negative environmental and social impact. A multi-criterion approach based on analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and Monte Carlo simulation is proposed to holistically evaluate the suitable cultivation system for sustainable production of algal biofuels. The multiple criteria identified to evaluate the alternatives are: environmental impact, energy consumption, economic viability, technical considerations, and social acceptability. Sub-criteria are defined from these main criteria to further enhance the evaluation of each cultivation system. A case study using Nannochloropsis sp. is then solved to demonstrate the decision model for the following cultivation systems: open pond, flat-panel photobioreactor, and horizontal tubular photobioreactor. The results show that flat panel photobioreactor is the preferred cultivation system to sustainably produce algal biofuels based on the established multi-criterion evaluation using AHP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy Procedia
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event6th International Conference on Applied Energy, ICAE 2014 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: May 30 2014Jun 2 2014


Other6th International Conference on Applied Energy, ICAE 2014
CountryTaiwan, Province of China



  • Analytic hierarchy process
  • Biofuels
  • Cultivation systems
  • Microalgae
  • Multiple decision criteria
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)

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