About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 31 May 2022
Manuscript Extension Submission Deadline 31 August 2022

Biomass production using micro-and macro-algae is emerging as one of the most promising marine sectors contributing to blue bioeconomy and blue biotechnology. Both micro and macro-algae are rich in products for use in a wide range of sustainable applications including feed, food, fertilisers, plastics, ...

Biomass production using micro-and macro-algae is emerging as one of the most promising marine sectors contributing to blue bioeconomy and blue biotechnology. Both micro and macro-algae are rich in products for use in a wide range of sustainable applications including feed, food, fertilisers, plastics, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. Also, large-scale cultivation of algae has the potential, through photosynthesis, to add to global primary production fitting alongside agriculture and forestry production of plant biomass thereby reducing the consequences of climate change on our planet. The production of macroalgae has almost tripled in the last ten years in response to the market needs and, microalgae large-scale production is being increasingly developed to fulfill its potential.



An appealing approach is the utilization of “waste” streams as nutrient sources for algal production. Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) can use algae, integrated into the aquaculture process, to “biofiltrate” inorganic nutrients produced during fish aquaculture. In this way, the negative impact on the environment is mitigated whilst producing a valuable crop.



However, algal production still faces numerous challenges especially with the scale-up of land-based systems like raceway ponds, bioreactors, biofilm, or turf-scrub systems. Boosting the productivity by selecting and optimizing the best strains (or combination of strains including a combination of algae and bacteria), which are robust and resistant to the infections, and finding their optimal growth conditions (which are limited by the climate conditions in the open outdoor systems) are crucial aspects to be addressed to guarantee the success. Managing cultivation with inoculation strategies, balancing nutrition, selecting appropriate harvesting, as well as monitoring the physiological status of algae for the early detection and warning of culture stresses (infections, nutrient deficiency, photo-damage, etc.) can be performed with the help of real-time monitoring and modeling tools. Batch cultivation and harvest versus semi-continuous and continuous operation need to be considered as does the downstream harvesting and processing which remains a challenge in terms of costs. Optimizing for target products is key with a biorefinery approach providing a distinct advantage. The use of circular economy and IMTA approaches hold strong potential. The goal of this research topic is to address these challenges and their solutions.



The Research Topic welcomes papers on:

- Marine macro- and microalgae (including cyanobacteria), mono and multi-species selection and cultivation; Algae/bacteria interactions; Studies of new algal species/strains for cultivation

- Algae-based bioremediation and wastewater treatment: Cultivation on waste substrates/nutrients and nutrient-loaded environment; nutrient recycling

- Technological advances in algal cultivation and processing, enabling scale-up of production

- Approaches to monitoring, modelling and optimisation of algal production, including algal physiology studies

- Strategies for standardisation of the product and production lines

- Advances in algal processing for valorisation including biorefineries

- Circular economy-based approaches

- IMTA

- Reviews on existing technologies and approaches

- Reviews on existing cultivation with a critical overview

- LCA, environmental and economic impacts of new technologies, policy, legislative and market bottlenecks, and recommendations

- Industrial symbiosis and integration of algae technology with food/feed production or with other processes (such as water treatment, crop and livestock farms and carbon sequestration)

Keywords: Algae, Cultivation, Aquaculture, Biomass Production, Bioremediation, IMTA, Biorefinery, Valorisation, Circular Economy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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