Microalgal secondary metabolite productions as a component of biorefinery: A review

Bioresour Technol. 2022 Jan;344(Pt A):126206. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2021.126206. Epub 2021 Oct 26.


The interest in developing microalgae for industrial use has been increasing because of concerns about the depletion of petroleum resources and securing sustainable energy sources. Microalgae have high biomass productivity and short culture periods. However, despite these advantages, various barriers need to be overcome for industrial applications. Microalgal cultivation has a high unit price, thus rendering industrial application difficult. It is indispensably necessary to co-produce their primary and secondary metabolites to compensate for these shortcomings. In this regard, this article reviews the following aspects, (1) co-production of primary and secondary metabolites in microalgae, (2) induction methods for the promotion of the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and (3) perspectives on the co-production and co-extraction of primary and secondary metabolites. This paper presents various approaches for producing useful metabolites from microalgae and suggests strategies that can be utilized for the co-production of primary and secondary metabolites.

Keywords: Co-production & co-extraction; Metabolites induction; Microalgae; Primary metabolites; Secondary metabolites.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Microalgae*


  • Biofuels