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Energies 2016, 9(3), 132; doi:10.3390/en9030132

The Environmental Biorefinery: Using Microalgae to Remediate Wastewater, a Win-Win Paradigm

CEA Cadarache, Groupe Biomasse 3G, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance F-13108, France
Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, UMR 7281 Laboratoire de Bioénergétique et Ingénierie des Protéines, 31 Chemin Joseph AIguier, Marseille F-13402, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul L. Chen
Received: 20 December 2015 / Revised: 8 February 2016 / Accepted: 18 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algae Fuel 2015)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [845 KB, uploaded 25 February 2016]   |  


Microalgae have been shown to be a source of multiple bio-based products ranging from high value molecules to commodities. Along with their potential to produce a large variety of products, microalgae can also be used for the depollution of wastewaters of different origins (urban, industrial, and agricultural). This paper is focused on the importance of harnessing the bioremediation capacity of microalgae to treat wastewaters in order to develop the microalgae industry (especially the microalgae biofuel industry) and to find other alternatives to the classic wastewater treatment processes. The current research on the potential of microalgae to treat a specific wastewater or a targeted pollutant is reviewed and discussed. Then, both strategies of selecting the best microalgae strain to treat a specific wastewater or pollutant and using a natural or an artificial consortium to perform the treatment will be detailed. The process options for treating wastewaters using microalgae will be discussed up to the final valorization of the biomass. The last part is dedicated to the challenges which research need to address in order to develop the potential of microalgae to treat wastewaters. View Full-Text
Keywords: wastewater treatment; bioremediation; microalgae; biofuel; water and nutrient recycling wastewater treatment; bioremediation; microalgae; biofuel; water and nutrient recycling

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Delrue, F.; Álvarez-Díaz, P.D.; Fon-Sing, S.; Fleury, G.; Sassi, J.-F. The Environmental Biorefinery: Using Microalgae to Remediate Wastewater, a Win-Win Paradigm. Energies 2016, 9, 132.

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