A Data Envelopment Analysis Method for Location Optimization of Microalgae Cultivation: A Case Study

Reza Babazadeh*, Mohammad Khalili, Mehdi Toloo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental issues and depletion of fossil energy resources have triggered a sense among and practitioners to seek the ways of substituting fossil energy resources with renewable ones. Biodiesel is a green fuel which is produced from different oleaginous biomass. Nevertheless, producing biodiesel from edible feedstock is strongly criticized by Food and Agriculture Organization. Recently, microalgae have been identified as a source that can be the purification factor of wastewater and appropriate feedstock for biodiesel production. The high potential of microalgae to produce biodiesel and low-cost recovery in large-scale production encourage investors to utilize microalgae for biodiesel production. Accordingly, selecting the best locations for microalgae cultivation has a great impact on the economic viability of biodiesel production from microalgae. This paper studies application of a data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach in selecting the best locations for microalgae cultivation through ecological and economic factors. The DEA method is applied to a real case in Iran. Moreover, the well-known principal component analysis and numerical taxonomy methods are used for verification and validation of the applied DEA approach. The results confirm the applicability of the DEA approach in selecting suitable locations for microalgae cultivation areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Best location
  • Biodiesel
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Microalgae
  • Optimization
  • Renewable energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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