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Review

Digestate as Sustainable Nutrient Source for Microalgae—Challenges and Prospects

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Tulln Research Site, BEST—Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH, Konrad Lorenz Straße 20, 3430 Tulln, Austria
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Laboratory of Algal Biotechnology, Centre Algatech, Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Novohradská 237, 379 81 Třeboň, Czech Republic
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Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
4
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
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Institute for Environmental Biotechnology, Department IFA-Tulln, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad Lorenz Straße 20, 3430 Tulln, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031056
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 20 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 25 January 2021
The interest in microalgae products has been increasing, and therefore the cultivation industry is growing steadily. To reduce the environmental impact and production costs arising from nutrients, research needs to find alternatives to the currently used artificial nutrients. Microalgae cultivation in anaerobic effluents (more specifically, digestate) represents a promising strategy for increasing sustainability and obtaining valuable products. However, digestate must be processed prior to its use as nutrient source. Depending on its composition, different methods are suitable for removing solids (e.g., centrifugation) and adjusting nutrient concentrations and ratios (e.g., dilution, ammonia stripping). Moreover, the resulting cultivation medium must be light-permeable. Various studies show that growth rates comparable to those in artificial media can be achieved when proper digestate treatment is used. The necessary steps for obtaining a suitable cultivation medium also depend on the microalgae species to be cultivated. Concerning the application of the biomass, legal aspects and impurities originating from digestate must be considered. Furthermore, microalgae species and their application fields are essential criteria when selecting downstream processing methods (harvest, disintegration, dehydration, product purification). Microalgae grown on digestate can be used to produce various products (e.g., bioenergy, animal feed, bioplastics, and biofertilizers). This review gives insight into the origin and composition of digestate, processing options to meet requirements for microalgae cultivation and challenges regarding downstream processing and products. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable nutrients; digestate treatment; nutrient requirements; microalgae cultivation; downstream processing; biorefinery sustainable nutrients; digestate treatment; nutrient requirements; microalgae cultivation; downstream processing; biorefinery
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bauer, L.; Ranglová, K.; Masojídek, J.; Drosg, B.; Meixner, K. Digestate as Sustainable Nutrient Source for Microalgae—Challenges and Prospects. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 1056. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031056

AMA Style

Bauer L, Ranglová K, Masojídek J, Drosg B, Meixner K. Digestate as Sustainable Nutrient Source for Microalgae—Challenges and Prospects. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(3):1056. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031056

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bauer, Lisa, Karolína Ranglová, Jiří Masojídek, Bernhard Drosg, and Katharina Meixner. 2021. "Digestate as Sustainable Nutrient Source for Microalgae—Challenges and Prospects" Applied Sciences 11, no. 3: 1056. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031056

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