Effect of Coagulant/Flocculants on Bioproducts from Microalgae

Renil J. Anthony, Joshua T. Ellis, Ashik Sathish, Asif Rahman, Charles D. Miller, and Ronald C. Sims

Bioresource Technology

The potential of microalgae as a source of sustainable energy, nutritional supplements and specialized chemicals necessitates a thorough evaluation of the methods of harvesting microalgae with regards to the bioproduct(s) desired. This research assessed the effect of coagulation, flocculation, and centrifugation on the wet lipid extraction procedure, which fractionated microalgae into hydrolyzed biomass for fermentation into acetone, butanol, and ethanol, an aqueous phase as growth media for genetically engineered Escherichia coli, and a lipid fraction for the production of biodiesel. Biomass harvested by cationic starches, alum, and centrifugation produced 30, 19, and 22.5 mg/g of dry wt. algae of total combined acetone, butanol, and ethanol, respectively. Higher biodiesel production was also observed for the cationic starches (9.6 mg/g of dry wt. algae) than alum (0.6 mg/g of dry wt. algae) harvested biomass. The results suggested significant effect of the harvesting methods on the yields of bioproducts.


Anthony RJ, Ellis JT, Sathish A, Rahman A, Miller CD, Sims RC. Effect of coagulant/flocculants on bioproducts from microalgae. Bioresour Technol 2013;149:65–70.

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