Algae biotechnology for industrial wastewater treatment, bioenergy production, and high-value bioproducts

Sci Total Environ. 2022 Feb 1;806(Pt 2):150585. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150585. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Abstract

A growing world population is causing hazardous compounds to form at an increasingly rapid rate, calling for ecological action. Wastewater management and treatment is an expensive process that requires appropriate integration technology to make it more feasible and cost-effective. Algae are of great interest as potential feedstocks for various applications, including environmental sustainability, biofuel production, and the manufacture of high-value bioproducts. Bioremediation with microalgae is a potential approach to reduce wastewater pollution. The need for effective nutrient recovery, greenhouse gas reduction, wastewater treatment, and biomass reuse has led to a wide interest in the use of microalgae for wastewater treatment. Furthermore, algae biomass can be used to produce bioenergy and high-value bioproducts. The use of microalgae as medicine (production of bioactive and medicinal compounds), biofuels, biofertilizers, and food additives has been explored by researchers around the world. Technological and economic barriers currently prevent the commercial use of algae, and optimal downstream processes are needed to reduce production costs. Therefore, the simultaneous use of microalgae for wastewater treatment and biofuel production could be an economical approach to address these issues. This article provides an overview of algae and their application in bioremediation, bioenergy production, and bioactive compound production. It also highlights the current problems and opportunities in the algae-based sector, which has recently become quite promising.

Keywords: Biofuel; High-value bioproducts; Microalgae; Wastewater treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Biotechnology
  • Microalgae*
  • Waste Water
  • Water Purification*

Substances

  • Biofuels
  • Waste Water