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Review

Prospects of Microalgae for Biomaterial Production and Environmental Applications at Biorefineries

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GICAS Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Sciences and Engineering, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito 170901, Ecuador
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Instituto Biosfera, College of Sciences and Engineering, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito 170901, Ecuador
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Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito 170901, Ecuador
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Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Patel College of Global Sustainability, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Talal Yusaf
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3063; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063063
Received: 1 February 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 8 March 2021 / Published: 11 March 2021
Microalgae are increasingly viewed as renewable biological resources for a wide range of chemical compounds that can be used as or transformed into biomaterials through biorefining to foster the bioeconomy of the future. Besides the well-established biofuel potential of microalgae, key microalgal bioactive compounds, such as lipids, proteins, polysaccharides, pigments, vitamins, and polyphenols, possess a wide range of biomedical and nutritional attributes. Hence, microalgae can find value-added applications in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, personal care, animal food, and agricultural industries. Microalgal biomass can be processed into biomaterials for use in dyes, paints, bioplastics, biopolymers, and nanoparticles, or as hydrochar and biochar in solid fuel cells and soil amendments. Equally important is the use of microalgae in environmental applications, where they can serve in heavy metal bioremediation, wastewater treatment, and carbon sequestration thanks to their nutrient uptake and adsorptive properties. The present article provides a comprehensive review of microalgae specifically focused on biomaterial production and environmental applications in an effort to assess their current status and spur further deployment into the commercial arena. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; biomaterials; bioeconomy; biorefinery; environmental applications microalgae; biomaterials; bioeconomy; biorefinery; environmental applications
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MDPI and ACS Style

Orejuela-Escobar, L.; Gualle, A.; Ochoa-Herrera, V.; Philippidis, G.P. Prospects of Microalgae for Biomaterial Production and Environmental Applications at Biorefineries. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3063. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063063

AMA Style

Orejuela-Escobar L, Gualle A, Ochoa-Herrera V, Philippidis GP. Prospects of Microalgae for Biomaterial Production and Environmental Applications at Biorefineries. Sustainability. 2021; 13(6):3063. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063063

Chicago/Turabian Style

Orejuela-Escobar, Lourdes, Arleth Gualle, Valeria Ochoa-Herrera, and George P. Philippidis. 2021. "Prospects of Microalgae for Biomaterial Production and Environmental Applications at Biorefineries" Sustainability 13, no. 6: 3063. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063063

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