The use of microalgae is nowadays recognized to be an efficient and eco-friendly strategy for the removal of contaminants from wastewater. Thanks to their versatility, these photosynthetic organisms can grow in a broad spectrum of wastewaters, including those from agricultural, animal, municipal, and industrial sources, while converting nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into useful products. Currently, microalgae are beginning to be exploited at large scale for the treatment of agricultural and municipal wastewaters. However, novel applications for specific types of wastewater, such as from petrochemical sources, while producing promising results, are still in their early stages. Thus, further work should be performed to optimize microalgal technology in light of its application to industrial contexts. Currently, there is also a growing interest in making these technologies even more economically and environmentally sustainable by using microalgal biomass, obtained during wastewater remediation processes, to produce novel bioplastic materials, potentially replacing petroleum-based counterparts and reducing the adverse impact of human activities and manufacturing on the environment. The present review will encompass the latest developments in algal technologies for environmental remediation, with a specific focus on novel applications in the field of petrochemical wastewater treatment. Then, a literature review of bioplastics production via microalgae and its integration into the wastewater treatment process will be conducted. Information gathered in this review can be used to identify research topics that need to be addressed in order to optimize the use of microalgae-based technology for wastewater remediation.

Latest developments in wastewater treatment and biopolymer production by microalgae

Lutzu G. A.;Ciurli A.;Chiellini C.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The use of microalgae is nowadays recognized to be an efficient and eco-friendly strategy for the removal of contaminants from wastewater. Thanks to their versatility, these photosynthetic organisms can grow in a broad spectrum of wastewaters, including those from agricultural, animal, municipal, and industrial sources, while converting nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into useful products. Currently, microalgae are beginning to be exploited at large scale for the treatment of agricultural and municipal wastewaters. However, novel applications for specific types of wastewater, such as from petrochemical sources, while producing promising results, are still in their early stages. Thus, further work should be performed to optimize microalgal technology in light of its application to industrial contexts. Currently, there is also a growing interest in making these technologies even more economically and environmentally sustainable by using microalgal biomass, obtained during wastewater remediation processes, to produce novel bioplastic materials, potentially replacing petroleum-based counterparts and reducing the adverse impact of human activities and manufacturing on the environment. The present review will encompass the latest developments in algal technologies for environmental remediation, with a specific focus on novel applications in the field of petrochemical wastewater treatment. Then, a literature review of bioplastics production via microalgae and its integration into the wastewater treatment process will be conducted. Information gathered in this review can be used to identify research topics that need to be addressed in order to optimize the use of microalgae-based technology for wastewater remediation.
2021
Lutzu, G. A.; Ciurli, A.; Chiellini, C.; Di Caprio, F.; Concas, A.; Dunford, N. T.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1124578
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