Application of stochastic analytic hierarchy process for evaluating algal cultivation systems for sustainable biofuel production

Aristotle T. Ubando, Joel L. Cuello, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi, Alvin B. Culaba, Michael Angelo B. Promentilla, Raymond R. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Algal biomass is considered as a promising source of alternative fuel energy given its high yield per land area and other potential benefits. Categorized as an advanced generation biofuel feedstock, microalgae are grown in non-conventional ways through different cultivation systems. A preference of a cultivation system may vary depending on a given scenario and its inherent configuration (strength and weakness). Hence, the usage of a specific cultivation system to sustainably produce algal biofuels depends on various factors. Thus, a multi-criteria approach based on analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is proposed for evaluating alternative cultivation systems for sustainable production of algal biofuels. The main criteria considered to evaluate the alternatives based on consultation with a panel of expert and from literature are environmental impact, energy consumption, economic viability, social acceptability, and system robustness. Sub-criteria were identified under each main criterion to further qualify the analysis into relevant sub-factors in the sustainable production of algal biofuels. Three cultivations systems were used as an example to demonstrate the developed decision model using qualitative data and quantitative data. Probabilistic scenarios were analyzed using stochastic approach via Monte Carlo simulation. The results of the stochastic-based AHP showed which cultivation system is preferred for conservative (risk-averse) and optimistic (risk-inclined) scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1294
Number of pages14
JournalClean Technologies and Environmental Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Biofuels
  • Cultivation systems
  • Microalgae
  • Multiple decision criteria
  • Stochastic analytic hierarchy process
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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