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Microalgae are promising feedstock for biofuels and bio-based products. Despite being in its nascent stage, the industry has undergone substantial growth with commercial operation emerging globally for various animal feed, aquaculture, nutrients, and cosmetics applications. In addition to contributing to the ...

Microalgae are promising feedstock for biofuels and bio-based products. Despite being in its nascent stage, the industry has undergone substantial growth with commercial operation emerging globally for various animal feed, aquaculture, nutrients, and cosmetics applications. In addition to contributing to the bio-economy, microalgae can also be used to recover organic carbon and nutrients from effluents generated in domestic and industrial processes (such as brewery waste products, anaerobic digestate, sugarcane waste, dairy waste products, and swine wastewater), thus achieving the dual outcome of environmental protection and waste valorization.

The cost associated with microalgae cultivation and processing, however, remains a major barrier to the commercial entry of microalgae biofuels and bioproducts. For biofuel applications, minimizing energy requirements associated with both upstream and downstream operations is critical to achieve a favorable carbon balance and competitive biofuel price. For other bio-based applications, substantial reduction in the CAPEX and OPEX requirements of large-scale cultivation, sugar and nutrient usage, biomass harvest and product recovery is still needed for the industrialization of microalgal value chain.

Recent advances in metabolic engineering, cultivation strategies and unit operations as well as shifts towards less energy intensive processing steps and biorefinery approaches have led to an improvement in the economics of microalgae products. The biorefinery approach reduces the average cost of producing a single product through multi-product fractionation.
We call for manuscripts that advance the current state of the microalgae biorefinery. Themes covered in this Research Topic include but are not limited to:

- Heterotrophic and mixotrophic microalgal cultivation for wastewater remediation
- Bioreactor design, strain screening and metabolic engineering for improved cultivation
- Energy efficient harvesting methods
- Advances in biomass pretreatment and extraction of intracellular products
- Product conversion (including catalytic and enzymatic processes) and analysis
- Novel biorefinery approaches for applications in biofuels/bioenergy, animal feed, aquaculture, nutrients, cosmetics and biofertilisers
- Life-cycle, techno-economic and energy analysis of any aspect of microalgal biorefinery

We welcome submissions of original research articles, communications, reviews, perspectives, and opinion articles.

Keywords: microalgae, bioeconomy, biofuels, biorefinery, waste treatment


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