Immobilising Microalgae and Cyanobacteria as Biocomposites: New Opportunities to Intensify Algae Biotechnology and Bioprocessing

Caldwell, Gary S., In-na, Pichaya, Hart, Rachel, Sharp, Elliot, Stefanova, Assia, Pickersgill, Matthew, Walker, Matthew, Unthank, Matthew, Perry, Justin and Lee, Jonathan G. M. (2021) Immobilising Microalgae and Cyanobacteria as Biocomposites: New Opportunities to Intensify Algae Biotechnology and Bioprocessing. Energies, 14 (9). p. 2566. ISSN 1996-1073

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092566

Abstract

There is a groundswell of interest in applying phototrophic microorganisms, specifically microalgae and cyanobacteria, for biotechnology and ecosystem service applications. However, there are inherent challenges associated with conventional routes to their deployment (using ponds, raceways and photobioreactors) which are synonymous with suspension cultivation techniques. Cultivation as biofilms partly ameliorates these issues; however, based on the principles of process intensification, by taking a step beyond biofilms and exploiting nature inspired artificial cell immobilisation, new opportunities become available, particularly for applications requiring extensive deployment periods (e.g., carbon capture and wastewater bioremediation). We explore the rationale for, and approaches to immobilised cultivation, in particular the application of latex-based polymer immobilisation as living biocomposites. We discuss how biocomposites can be optimised at the design stage based on mass transfer limitations. Finally, we predict that biocomposites will have a defining role in realising the deployment of metabolically engineered organisms for real world applications that may tip the balance of risk towards their environmental deployment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioreactor, carbon capture, carbon dioxide, eutrophication, immobilization, latex polymers, process intensification, wastewater
Subjects: C500 Microbiology
C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
C900 Others in Biological Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 04 May 2021 10:40
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 14:38
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46074

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