Application of various immobilization techniques for algal bioprocesses
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Immobilized cells entrapped within a polymer matrix or attached onto the surface of a solid support have advantages over their free-cell counterpart, with easier harvesting of the biomass, enhanced wastewater treatment, and enriched bioproduct generation. Immobilized microalgae have been used for a diverse number of bioprocesses including gaining access to high-value products (biohydrogen, biodiesel, and photopigments), removal of nutrients (nitrate, phosphate, and ammonium ions), heavy metal ion removal, biosensors, and stock culture management. Wastewater treatment processes appear to be one of the most promising applications for immobilized microalgae, which mostly involve heavy metal and nutrient removal from liquid effluents. This chapter outlines the current applications of immobilized microalgae with an emphasis on alternative immobilization approaches. Advances in immobilization processes and possible research directions are also highlighted.
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