Wastewater based microalgal biorefinery for bioenergy production: Progress and challenges

Shashi Kant Bhatia, Sanjeet Mehariya, Ravi Kant Bhatia, Manu Kumar, Arivalagan Pugazhendhi, Mukesh Kumar Awasthi, A. E. Atabani, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Wooseong Kim, Seung Oh Seo, Yung Hun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Treatment of industrial and domestic wastewater is very important to protect downstream users from health risks and meet the freshwater demand of the ever-increasing world population. Different types of wastewater (textile, dairy, pharmaceutical, swine, municipal, etc.) vary in composition and require different treatment strategies. Wastewater management and treatment is an expensive process; hence, it is important to integrate relevant technology into this process to make it more feasible and cost-effective. Wastewater treatment using microalgae-based technology could be a global solution for resource recovery from wastewater and to provide affordable feedstock for bioenergy (biodiesel, biohydrogen, bio-alcohol, methane, and bioelectricity) production. Various microalgal cultivation systems (open or closed photobioreactors), turf scrubber, and hybrid systems have been developed. Although many algal biomass harvesting methods (physical, chemical, biological, and electromagnetic) have been reported, it is still an expensive process. In this review article, resource recovery from wastewater using algal cultivation, biomass harvesting, and various technologies applied in converting algal biomass into bioenergy, along with the various challenges that are encountered are discussed in brief.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141599
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2021


  • Bioenergy
  • Feedstock
  • Management
  • Resource recovery
  • Treatment
  • Wastewater


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