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Biotechnol Adv. 2003 Jan;20(7-8):491-515.

Recovery of microalgal biomass and metabolites: process options and economics.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería, E-04071 Almería, Spain.


Commercial production of intracellular microalgal metabolites requires the following: (1) large-scale monoseptic production of the appropriate microalgal biomass; (2) recovery of the biomass from a relatively dilute broth; (3) extraction of the metabolite from the biomass; and (4) purification of the crude extract. This review examines the options available for recovery of the biomass and the intracellular metabolites from the biomass. Economics of monoseptic production of microalgae in photobioreactors and the downstream recovery of metabolites are discussed using eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) recovery as a representative case study.


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