Meta Description: Microalgae biomass can be used to produce numerous value added products such as biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas and bio hydrogen, fish feed, animal feed, human food supplements and skin care products. Production of value added products from microalgae biomass requires growing and recovery of the algae biomass and extraction and downstream processing of the desired product.
The major obstacle for using microalgae biomass on an industrial-scale for the production of biodiesel and other value added products is the dewatering step which accounts for 20-30% of the total costs associated with microalgae production and processing. The aim of this study was to review the current methods used for harvesting and concentrating microalgae and to perform a comparative analysis in order to determine the most efficient and economically viable dewatering methods for large scale processing of microalgae biomass. The harvesting techniques investigated included sedimentation, vacuum filtration, pressure filtration, cross flow filtration, disc stack centrifugation, decanter centrifuge, dispersed air floatation, dissolved air flotation, fluidic oscillation, inorganic flocculation, organic flocculation, auto-flocculation, bio-flocculation electrolytic coagulation, electrolytic flocculation and electrolytic floatation.
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