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Microalgae cultivation: closing the laboratory-field yield gap
  • Maxence Plouviez,
  • Benoit Guieysse
Maxence Plouviez
Massey University - Manawatu Campus
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Benoit Guieysse
Massey University - Manawatu Campus

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Microalgal biotechnologies attract considerable research investment on a premise that microalgae cultivation is highly productive and sustainable. Unfortunately, and despite decades of commercial experience and research investment, only a few commercial microalgae cultivation and processing facilities are currently in operation. Microalgae cultivation indeed remains costly and complex to implement, and the large scale required to achieve commercial viability in low-value applications has critical implications on productivity and local environmental impacts. However, microalgae biotechnology is still a developing field, and we believe technological advances in strain selection (and rotation) as well as process design, operation and control will double current commercial productivities from 6 (current) to 12 (future) g-DW·m -2·d -1. These gains, together with process integration withing existing supply chains, should greatly improve the adoption of microalgae cultivation, especially in the agri-food sector. To achieve this, future investment must also address the numerous non-technical constraints associated with microalgal production at scale.