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Current Bottlenecks and Challenges of the Microalgal Biorefinery
- Gifuni, Imma, Pollio, Antonino, Safi, Carl, Marzocchella, Antonio, Olivieri, Giuseppe
- Trends in biotechnology 2019 v.37 no.3 pp. 242-252
- algae culture, biorefining, feedstocks, lipids, microalgae
- Microalgae are increasingly considered as sources of renewable feedstocks for industrial production, and microalgae production now focuses on the multiproduct microalgal biorefinery. However, such a biorefinery presents several bottlenecks that are mainly associated with downstream processes. This reduced downstream efficiency results from unsolved problems related to the culture strategy for the accumulation of different products – the protein versus lipid dilemma – and the dilute nature of the microalgal culture. We identify new trends and propose promising solutions for realizing microalgal biorefineries at industrial scale. New perspectives and challenges are identified in protein properties and in the integration and cooptimization of culture and downstream processes.