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Fermentation 2018, 4(4), 93;

Harvesting of Microalgae by Flocculation

The Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Rozvojova 2/135, 165 02 Prague 6, Czech Republic
Department of Biotechnology, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Technicka 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultivation and Downstream Processing of Algal Biomass)
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Due to increasing demands for microalgal biomass and products originating from microalgae, large-scale production systems are necessary. However, current microalgal production technologies are not cost-effective and are hindered by various bottlenecks, one of which is the harvesting of microalgal biomass. Cell separation is difficult because of the low sedimentation velocity of microalgae, their colloidal character with repelling negative surface charges, and low biomass concentrations in culture broths; therefore, large volumes need to be processed in order to concentrate the cells. Flocculation is considered to be one of the most suitable methods for harvesting microalgal biomass. This article provides an overview of flocculation methods suitable for microalgal harvesting, their mechanisms, advantages and drawbacks. Special attention is paid to the role of surface charge in the mechanism of flocculation. The novelty of the review lies in the interconnection between the context of technological applications and physico-chemical surface phenomena. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; harvesting algal biomass; flocculation; mechanism; flocculant microalgae; harvesting algal biomass; flocculation; mechanism; flocculant

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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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Branyikova, I.; Prochazkova, G.; Potocar, T.; Jezkova, Z.; Branyik, T. Harvesting of Microalgae by Flocculation. Fermentation 2018, 4, 93.

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