DOI: 10.3390/w15173074 ISSN:

A Review of the Harvesting Techniques of Microalgae

Ponnuvel Deepa, Kandhasamy Sowndhararajan, Songmun Kim
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry

Algae are an important group of photosynthetic autotrophs and are commonly found in different types of water bodies, including paddy fields. The algal group possesses distinctive characteristics and ranges from prokaryotic cyanobacteria to eukaryotic algae. Within these, microalgae are unicellular microorganisms widely distributed in saltwater as well as freshwater environments. Microalgae species have been utilized in different fields, especially animal and human nutrition, medicine, bioremediation, and bio-fertilizers. Recently, numerous studies have reported the importance of microalgae in the production of biofuel. Further, microalgae have great carbon dioxide fixation efficiency during growth, so farmable land is not required for cultivating microalgae. Microalgae biomass production is a three-step process: cultivation, harvesting, and processing. Of these, the harvesting process is considered challenging due to its high cost, and it directly affects the processing step. In addition, several factors influence the harvesting process, including the size of microalgae cells (<30 µm), cultural conditions of microalgae, electronegative property of cell membrane, growth rate, etc. The harvesting of microalgae is an elaborate process that involves different chemical or mechanical approaches. A number of harvesting techniques have been utilized to recover algal biomass, such as membrane filtration, chemical and bio-flocculation, flotation centrifugation, sedimentation, and coagulation. In this context, this review aims to discuss various types of techniques used for harvesting microalgae. This review could be useful for selecting appropriate harvesting technology for enhancing the yield of microalgae biomass.

More from our Archive