Secondary metabolites (as mg/100 g) in algal filterates (extracellular) 
There is a current worldwide interest in finding new and safe antioxidants from natural sources such as plant material to prevent oxidative deterioration of food and to minimize oxidative damage to living cells . Microalgae are photosynthetic microorganisms that are able to rapidly generate biomass from solar energy, CO2 and nutrients in bodies of water. This biomass consists of important primary metabolites such as sugars, oils and lipids, for which process path-ways exist for the production of high-value products including human and animal feed supplements, transport fuels, industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Algal biomass and algae-derived compounds have a very wide range of potential applications, from animal feed and aquaculture to human nutrition and health products. Some algae are considered as rich sources of natural antioxidants. Although macroalgae have received much attention as potential natural antioxidants . Furthermore, the qualities of the microalgal cells can be controlled, so that they contain no herbicides and pesticides, or any other toxic substances, by using clean nutrient media for growing the microalgae. The value of microalgae as a source of natural antioxidants is further enhanced by the relative ease of purification of target compounds. Reports on the antioxidant activity of microalgae are limited. Because cyanobacteria are largely unexplored, they represent a rich opportunity for discovery; the expected rate of rediscovery is far lower than for other better- studied groups of organisms Li et al. 2007 . In this chapter, we focus on many desirable chemicals are the products of secondary metabolism triggered under conditions not conducive to fast growth. For those chemicals to be produced by microalgae, one needs to develop new strains (faster growth, higher substrate tolerance, etc.) by classical selection or genetic manipulation so microalgal biomass can be produced consistently. Highlight the role of dietary antioxidants and their potential benefits in health and disease directly or indirectly by the plant nutrition and animal feed to produce healthy organic food. Investigate the different biological activities of algae and the relations with its biochemical composition, pigments and different constituents which may vary with salt stressed culture conditions and describe the antioxidant characteristics of algae.
2. What are microalgae?
Microalgae are prokaryotic or eukaryotic photosynthetic microorganisms that produce carbohydrates, proteins and lipids as a result of photosynthesis. They can grow rapidly and live in harsh conditions due to their unicellular or simple multicellular structure. Examples of prokaryotic microorganisms are Cyanobacteria (Cyanophyceae) and eukaryotic microalgae are for example green algae (Chlorophyta) and diatoms (Bacillariophyta). Microalgae are present in all existing earth ecosystems, not just aquatic but also terrestrial, representing a big variety of species living in a wide range of environmental conditions. It is estimated that more than 50,000 species exist, but only a limited number, of around 30,000, have been studied and analyzed . Sunlight, water, nutrients and arable land are the major requirements for growing algae. Micro algae have the ability to fix CO2 using solar energy with efficiency 10 times greater than that of the terrestrial plants with numerous additional technological advantages. Algae are more efficient at utilizing sunlight than terrestrial plants, consume harmful pollutants, have minimal resource requirements and do not compete with food or agriculture for precious resources .
3. Algal metabolites
Metabolites are the intermediates and products of metabolism. The term metabolite is usually restricted to small molecules. A primary metabolite is directly involved in the normal growth, development, and reproduction. A secondary metabolite is not directly involved in those processes, but usually has important ecological function. The induction of secondary metabolism is linked to particular environmental conditions or developmental stages. Secondary metabolites are those chemical compounds in organisms that are not directly involved in the normal growth, development or reproduction of organisms.The exploration of these organisms for pharmaceutical purposes has revealed important chemical prototypes for the discovery of new agents, stimulating the use of sophisticated physical techniques and new syntheses of compounds with biomedical application. In this regard, both secondary and primary metabolisms have been studied as a prelude to future rational economic exploitation (Figure 1).The secondary metabolism is of restricted distribution, while the primary metabolism furnishes intermediates for the synthesis of essential macromolecules .
4. What are phytochemicals?
“Phyto” is the Greek word for plant. The term "phytochemicals" refers to a wide variety of compounds produced by plants. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds formed during the plants normal metabolic processes. There are many “families” of phytochemicals and they help the human body in a variety of ways. Phytochemicals may protect human from a host of diseases. These chemicals are often referred to as “secondary metabolities” of which
there are several classes including alkaloids, flavonoids, coumarins, glycosides, gums, polysaccharides, phenols, tannins, terpenes and terpenoids Phytochemicals are naturally occurring, nonnutritive chemicals. They appear to work alone and in combination, and perhaps in conjunction, with vitamins .
5. Microalgal bioactive compounds
Microalgae are significant resource for bioactive metabolites, particularly cytotoxic agents with applications in cancer chemotherapy. From the marine microalgae such as from the blooms of
5.1. Fatty Acids (FA)
Microalgae include essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as linoleic, arachidonic, linolenic, ?-linolenic acids etc. that must be in diet for healthy growth. These acids cannot be synthesized fast enough by body to meet needs . Fatty acids are structural components of many lipids, and the types and amounts of fatty acids vary considerably among algae. In recent years, fatty acids compositions in large scale production of microalgae including marine algae have created considerable interest among researchers. This is mainly because of the health benefit of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA) that can be found in plants including microalgae. Moreover, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play key roles in cellular and tissue metabolism, including the regulation of membrane fluidity, electron and oxygen transport, as well as thermal adaptation . The biosynthesis of EPA occurs through a series of reactions that can be divided into two distinct steps. First is the de novo synthesis of oleic acid (18:1 ω9) from acetate, followed by conversion to linoleic acid (18:2 ω-6) and α-linolenic acid (18:3 ω-3). The subsequent stepwise desaturation and elongation steps form an ω-3 PUFA (Fig. 2). Inside the cell, EPA is normally esterified (by cyclooxygenase and lipooxygenase activities) to form complex lipid molecules and plays an important role in higher animals and humans as the precursor of a group of eicosanoids, hormone-like substances such as prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leucotrienes that are crucial in regulating developmental and regulatory physiology (Figure 2) . Consumption of n-3 PUFAs from both seafood and plant sources may reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) risk as reported by Mozaffarian et al.  in a cohort study of 45,722 men. Thus, many health supplement stores now sell preparation of microalgae such as
Sterols are one of the most important chemical constituents of microalgae . Sterols are the main component of eukaryote organisms and different classes of organisms have divergent sterols patterns. It is because of this that sterols act as a fingerprint for organic matter input into an aquatic environment. Furthermore, sterols have a relatively high resistance to degradation when settled in anoxic sediments and persist in the environment for a longer period of time. Of all the sterol compounds, cholesterol is the most abundant and ubiquitous one in the environment, which is due to it having a variety of sources . Most biologically produced sterols are planar 3β-hydroxy tetracyclic structures commonly containing a methyl- or ethyl- substituted C7-C11 hydrocarbon side chain, and exhibiting a range of methyl-substitution (C4, C14) patterns on the polycyclic nucleus with varying degrees and positions of unsaturation (C5, C7, C8). The rigid structure of the sterols (Figure 3), caused by the fused ring system, provides the cell membrane integrity and stability thus, holds the membrane together. In general, there is not a specific sterol that can be uniquely linked to one algal source. Many of the sterols previously discussed are also found in other groups of algae .
5.3. Pigmentation in aquacultures
Astaxanthin (Figure 4) is a red pigment common to several aquatic organisms including microalgae, seagrasses, shrimp, lobsters and fish such as salmon and trout. Crustaceans are unable to synthesize carotenoids de novo and require astaxanthin (or appropriate precursors) in their diet in order to acquire the adequate color for seafoodmarket acceptance . Several natural sources–such as the algae
β-Carotene is one of the important members of the family of carotenoids; a group of natural fat-soluble stereoisometric pigments. β-Carotene shows pro-vitamin A activity and as such it plays an important role in the human body. β-Carotene can be also used as a coloring agent. Therefore, β-carotene has several applications in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The great demand of β-carotene has been met by industry, mainly by synthetic production. Increasing demand for natural carotenoids has resulted in growing interest in extracting β-carotene from different natural sources.
5.4. Mycosporine-like amino acids
A remarkable group of marine natural products are the mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). An outstanding characteristic of these compounds is their high UV absorption with molar absorptivities (ε) of around 40 000 l mol-1 cm-1 (e.g. Takano et al. ). MAAs are water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally <400) compounds composed of either an aminocyclohexenone or an aminocyclohexenimine ring, carrying nitrogen or amino alcohol substituents . They are found in a wide variety of marine, freshwater and to a smaller degree in terrestrial organisms. There is limited evidence that MAAs are derived from early steps of the shikimate pathway. However, the biochemical pathway of MAA synthesis is still largely unknown, as well as its genetic base. The most primitive organisms capable of MAA synthesis are cyanobacteria .
6. Biological activity of microalgae
Many of the microalgal metabolites have chemical structure and possess interesting biological activity. Microalgae are a unique source of therapeutic substances, particularly from cyanobacteria. Among cyanobacteria
6.1. Antioxidant activity
Hydrogen peroxide is a product of microalgae and plants through of photosynthesis, photorespiration, respiration and other metabolic processes, as result from the enzymatic activity of glycolate oxidase, urate oxidase and amino acid oxidase. However, major pathway for production of H2O2 is conversion from superoxide (O2-) produced through the transfer of an electron from ferredoxin of photosystem I (PSI) to O2 (Mehler reaction) by the action of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). However, it is suspected that those antioxidants are responsible for some side effects such as liver damage and carcinogenesis. Antioxidants can involve with the oxidation process by scavenging free radicals, chelating catalytic metals and by acting as oxygen scavengers . Recently many researchers are interested in finding any natural antioxidants having safety and effectiveness, which can be substituted for current and commercial synthetic antioxidants, BHA and BHT. Microalgae have become good candidates for sources of natural antioxidants, as revealed by a number of recent studies [34-35]. Algae contain several enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidant defense systems to maintain the concentration of ROS (O2- and H2O2) to protect cells from damage . The main cellular components susceptible to damage by these ROS are lipids (peroxidation of poly-unsaturated fatty acids in membranes), proteins (denaturation), carbohydrates and nucleic acids. The essential for ROS detoxification during normal metabolism and particularly during stress, are antioxidant defenses system . The primary scavenging enzymatic defenses system include SOD, calalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase, (GPX) and peroxiredoxin (PrxR) . These enzymic detoxification system involving the action of SOD and reductase, either quench toxic compounds or regenerate antioxidants with the help of reducing power provided by photosynthesis . However, at low levels, H2O2 resulted in induction of defense genes such as glutathione S-transferase and glutathione peroxidase. The hydrophilic antioxidants AA and GSH effectively scavenge oxygen radicals. Carotenoids and TOH remove ROS directly from the pigment bed . Also, Foyer and Noctor  reported that the changes in ROS, fluctuations in the antioxidants concentrations in photosynthetic cells might have important consequences not only for defense metabolism but also for the regulation of genes associated with adaptive responses. Several bioactive metabolites produced by cyanobacteria and algae have been discovered by screening programs, employing target organisms quite unrelated to those for which the metabolites evolved . Shanab et al.  studied the antioxidant activity of aqueous extracts of nine microalgal species namely,
Aqueous extracts of the tested algal species showed wide range of colours (green, blue, violet, pink, ligh-blue) in spite of the fact that eight of the tested algae were of cyanobacteria and only one species was a green alga, their water extracts showed highly variable colors (Figure 6) which may be attributed in part to their phycobiliprotein constituents (ratios of phycocyanin to allophycocyanin and approximately absence of phycoerytherin pigments), and in part to the produced major polar secondary metabolites. All these substances may not only caused the alteration of the pH values of the algal aqueous extracts, but also the induced biological activities which may be attributed to the synergistic effects of these compounds. The aqueous extract of the tested algal species (8 cyanobacteria and one green alga) have variable colors (Figure 6) ranging from green, violet, blue, light blue and pink color, which can be used as an additive coloring agents to different food products (natural, non toxic) instead of the synthetic coloring substances which may be carcinogenic .
Phycobiliprotein pigments were known by its antioxidant activity , increasing of these pigments production as a result of doubling nitrate concentration in the growth culture media, led to a progressive increase in the antioxidant activity recorded by both DPPH and ABTS assays in the two cyanobacteria under investigation.Keeping in mind that, synergetic effect occurred between the polar secondry metabolites especially the phenolic compounds and the polysaccharides in antioxidant activity. Increasing nitrate concentrations in the culture media of both cyanobacteria species (
The decrease in nitrate content induced a stress condition and not only a decrease in nitrogen skeleton compounds as phycobilin pigment production, but an increase in the carbon skeleton compounds (as phenolics) as a result of metabolic alterations under these stress conditions. So on decreasing nitrate content, the antioxidant activity remain at a level comparable or even higher than the control due to the synergistic effect of the phycobilin pigment and the phenolic compounds produced in excess under stress nitrate condition which have high redox potentials. On nitrogen starvation the recorded antioxidant activity (Comparable to those in presence of high nitrate content (6-9 g/l) was largely due to the high production of the carbon skeleton compounds (phenolic compounds) which show potent antioxidant activity .Shalaby et al.  stated that cultivation of
6.2. Anticancer activity
Today cancer is the largest single cause of death in men and women, and chemoprevention has been a promising anticancer approach aimed at reducing themorbidity andmortality of cancer by delaying the process of carcinogenesis. A variety of compounds fromnature sources have been shown to be beneficial for the inhibition of cancer, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, etc.; the mechanisms which suppress tumorgenesis often involve inhibition of tumor cell mediated protease activity, attenuation of tumor angiogenesis, promotion of cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis and immunostimulation, etc. In addition, Chinery et al.  also reported their use with the chemotherapy agents 5-fluorouracil and antioxidants could cause complete remissions in colorectal cancer, where only partial remission is possiblewith chemotherapy agents only; therefore, antioxidants have been proposed to have potential for the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with active oxygen species, especially in cancer diseases. Moreover, experimental and epidemiological evidence suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs may also decrease the incidence of mammary cancer, tumor burden, and tumor volume .The medicinal value of cyanobacteria was appreciated as early as 1500 Bc, when strains of Nostoc were used to treat gout, fistula and several forms of cancer. Cyanobacteria are a rich source of potentially useful natural products. Over 40 different Nostocales species, the majority of which are Anabaena and Nostoc spp. Produce over 120 natural products (Secondry metabolities) having activities such as anti-HIV anticancer, antifungal, antimalarial and antimicrobial. Cyanovirin (CV-N, cyanoviorin-N), a 101 amino acid protein extracted from
The recorded maximum activity in both species against both cell lines at the highest nitrate content (9 g/L) may be attributed mainly to the higher content of the phycobiliprotein pigments produced under excess nitrate contents. Nitrate limitation and starvation, in spite of the caused decrease in phycobilin pigment production due to metabolic alteration expected under stress conditions, the carbon skeleton compounds as phenolic may replace phycobilin shortage in inducing similar anticancer activity of or even higher efficiency caused by great phycobilin contents at higher nitrate supplementation . These results demonstrated that the compounds responsible for anticarcinogenic activity was highly polar as the phycobilins, phenolic compounds and polysaccharides which induced apoptosis of the cancer cells as reported by Aboul-Enein et al , which go parallel with these results coincides with the results obtained by Wang et al  who reported that the aqueous extract of red algae mainly contain c-phycocyanin, exhibited higher antipraleferation inducing apoptosis body formation. The authors explained that phycocyanin interact with membrane associated B-tubulin and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), caused polymerization of microtubules and actins filaments leading to arrested the cell cycle at G0/G1 phase. As these aqueous extracts exhibited antioxidant and anticancer activities, its effect as coloring agent is amplified by these biological efficiencies which are very important for human health. Also, it can be used for the manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs (antioxidant and anticancer).
Table (5) recorded the anticancer efficiency of nitrate stressed
6.3. Antimicrobial activity
The antimicrobial activity of microalgae has been attributed to compounds belonging to several chemical classes –including indoles, terpenes, acetogenins, phenols, fatty acids and volatile halogenated hydrocarbons  for instance, the antimicrobial activity of supercritical extracts obtained from the microalga
Recall, in this regard, the growing resistance of some bacterial strains arising from the widespread and essentially unrestricted use of antibiotics in cattle handling, and by domestic consumers use via self-prescription . However, a key factor for their eventual economic feasibility is the possibility of operating large photobioreactors under aseptic conditions, which are able to produce biomass and metabolites to sufficiently high levels .
6.1.1. Antiviral activity
A number of infectious diseases caused by viruses have emerged (and re-emerged) in recent years. Although several antiviral drugs have been specifically developed, drug-resistant mutations are constantly occuring – so new antiviral active principles are necessary, especially those from sources that do not constitute (or are exposed to) viral pools. This is why microalgae have received a strong attention as potential suppliers of antiviral agents ; Viral growth is generally divided into three stages, and antiviral action may take place at a single or more stages: Stage I, which consists on adsorption and invasion of cells; Stage II, or eclipse phase, during which the cell is forced to synthesize multiple copies of said virus; and Stage III, or maturity and release of virus particles. For instance, the anti-HSV activity of the antiviral compound acyclovir® is expressed at stage II, but the anti-HSV factor from
6.1.2. Antibacterial activity
Most efforts were devoted to the study of antibiotic resistance in bacteria for several reasons: (i) bacterial infections are responsible for most community-acquired and nosocomial infections; (ii) the large and expanding number of antibacterial classes offers a more diverse range of resistance mechanisms; and (iii) the ability to move bacterial resistance determinants into standard, well-characterized bacterial strains facilitates more detailed studies of the underlying molecular mechanisms . Pratt et al.  isolated the first antibacterial compound from a microalga,
6.1.3. Antifungal activity
Algae are one of the chief biological agents that have been studied for the control of fungi plant pathogens . Various strains of cyanobacteria are known to produce intracellular and extracellular metabolites with diverse biological activities such as antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity . These biologically active compounds include antibiotics and toxins . Hussien
6.2. Nematicidal activity
Culture filtrates of Microcoleus vaginatus inhibited hatching of
6.3. Mollscicidal activity
The snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis are the sites of intense multiplication of this parasite, thus their control strategies are considered a priority of the reduction of schistosomiasis transmission . Although chemical molluscicides are to certain extent quite successful in curbing the disease concerned. However, in view of their side effects, interest in environmentally friendly approaches and use of biological control agents have been revived . Mostafa and Gawish  stated that the algal culture filtrate of
7. Other applications and products from microalgae
Microalgae have found commercial applications as natural sources of valuable macromolecules, including carotenoids, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and phycocolloids. As photoautotrophs, their simple growth requirements make them attractive for bioprocesses aimed at producing high added-value compounds that are in large demand by the pharmaceutical market. The productivity and biochemical composition of microalgae depend strongly on the mode of cultivation, medium composition, and nutrient profile. Consequently, numerous efforts aimed at elucidating the practical impacts of the aforementioned parameters have been developed . Thus, there is a growing interest in the area of research on the positive effect of algae on human health and other benefits.
The first use of microalgae by humans dates back 2000 years to the Chinese, who used
Microalgae can be incorporated into the feed for a wide variety of animals ranging from fish (aquaculture) to pets and farm animals. In fact, 30% of the current world algal production is sold for animal feed applications  and over 50% of the current world production of
7.3. Agricultural purposes
Humans have practiced agriculture for more than 10,000 years, but only in the past 50 years or so have farmers become heavily dependent on synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It contributes to numerous forms of environmental degradation, including air and water pollution, soil depletion and diminishing biodiversity. Synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers are polluting soil, water, and air, harming both the environment and human health. Soil is eroding much faster than it can be replenished—taking with it the land’s fertility and nutrients that nourish both plants and those who eat them. Chemical fertilizers can gradually increase the acidity of the soil until it begins to impede plant growth. Chemically fertilized plots also show less biologic activity in the soil food web (the microscopic organisms that make up the soil ecosystem) than do plots fertilized organically with manure or other biologic sources of fertility . The best way, however, is to use as much as possible microbial products, functional bio-fertilizers and bio-controllers and reduce the amount of the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Heterocystous cyanobacteria and several nonheterocystous cyanobacteria are known for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The fertility of many tropical rice field soils has been mainly attributed to the activity of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. An estimation showed that more than 18 kg N ha-1 year-1 was added to the soils by cyanobacteria. Inoculation of cyanobacteria to increase the fertility of soils has been successfully attempted. Recently, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria have been reported to dominate desert crusts worldwide. This is believed to contribute significantly to the fertility of desert soils and may eventually facilitate vegetation of deserts . Algae as biofertilizers are a promising alternative to avoid soil pollution caused by agrochemicals. Also, they recover the nutrients content to soil as they secrete exo-polysaccharides that improve soil structure and bio-active substances that enhance the plant growth. Algae are known to be one of the most promising sources as bio-control agents of any residues, thereby having positive impact on human health . Microorganisms play an important role in various chemical transformations of soils and thus, influence the availability of major nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur to the plants. Cyanobacteria and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria were used as biofertilizers to increase crop production .The cyanobacterial ability to mobilize insoluble forms of inorganic phosphates is evident from the finding of kleiner and Harper  who reported more extractable phosphates in soils with cyanobacterial cover than in nearby soils without cover. Cyanobacteria can fix about 25 kg N/ha/season. Apart from nitrogen fixation, inoculation with cyanobacteria is also reported to reduce considerably the total sulphides and ferrous iron content of the soil. Blue-green algae constitute an important group of microorganism capable of nitrogen fixation. Most of the species possess nitrogen fixation ability to the order Nostocales and Stigonematales. Over 100 species of blue-green algae are known to fix atmospheric nitrogen. These have been found to be very effective on the rice and banana plantation. In field condition, overall increase in the gram yield of rice is amounted to about 586 kg/ha. In case of crops other than rice, algalization increased nearly 34 per cent yield. India is one of the countries where agro-chemical conditions appear to be favourable where blue-green algae technology has been put forward. In some parts of the country, production of BGA inoculants has been commercialised. Producing inoculum in artificially controlled conditions is well defined, but relatively expensive. On the other hand open-air soil culture is simpler, less expensive and easily adaptable by the farmers. Field scale production of algae biofertilizer is also possible. 20-25 kg dry algae can be obtained on 40 m field. Adopting this method, 15 t/ha of wet BGA can be obtained by the farmers. Farmers can also produce algae for countryard of the house . Blue-green algal extracts comprise a great number of bioactive compounds that influence plant growth and development. They mostly contain growth phyto-regulators like gibberellins, auxin, cytokinin, ethylene and abscisic acid . This group of microorganisms have been reported to benefit plants by producing growth promoting regulators resemble gibberellin and auxin, vitamins, amino acids, polypeptides, antibacterial and antifungal substances that exert phytopathogen biocontrol and polymers especially exopolysaccharides that were reported to enhance growth and productivity of plants like
7.4. Mitigation of CO2: Why algae for CO2 sequestration?
Many options that have been proposed and that are in use for capturing CO2 can be seen as economically, socially and environmentally short-sighted. A common approach is taking measures to offset any immediate effects, often by simple relocation of the emissions. Injection of flue gases into oceanic or geological sinks is examples of such “end-of-pipe” solutions . Algae cultivation can yield a broad range of useful end products, apart from biofuels. The sequestration of CO2 into algal biomass can become profitable also through the production of high value products such as pigments and high-grade lipids, which are extractable from several species of algae. Brennan and Owende  also mention high value products such as animal feed supplements being extractable from the microalgae species
7.5. Wastewater treatments
Wastewater nitrogen and phosphorous as microalgae nutrients aquaculture systems involving microalgae production and wastewater treatment (e.g. of amino acids, enzyme, or food industries wastewaters) seems to be quite promising for microalgae growth combined with biological cleaning. This allows nutrition of microalgae by using organic compounds (nitrogen and phosphorous) available in some manufactures wastewater, not containing heavy metals and radioisotopes. Additionally, microalgae can mitigate the effects of sewage effluent and industrial sources of nitrogenous waste such as those originating from water treatment or fish aquaculture and at the same time contributing to biodiversity. Moreover, removing nitrogen and carbon from water, microalgae can help reduce the eutrophication in the aquatic environment. Aslan and Kapdan  used
7.6. Biofuel production
Microalgae can potentially be employed for the production of biofuels in an economically effective and environmentally sustainable manner. The production of these biofuels can be coupled with fuel gas CO2 mitigation, wastewater treatment and the production of high-value chemicals. The efficiency is low but there is much room for improvement. The use of microalgae is seen as, at least, a partial solution to climate change and energy problem . Many microalgae are exceedingly rich in oil which can be converted to biodiesel using existing technology. More than 50% of their biomass as lipids, sometimes even up to 80%, and oil levels of 20-50% are quite common .
Lipids production and biodiesel extraction from algae depend on algal species and extraction solvent system .There is a unique opportunity to both treat wastewater and provide nutrients to algae using nutrient-rich effluent streams. By cultivating microalgae, which consume polluting nutrients in municipal wastewater, and abstracting and processing this resource, then the goals of sustainable fuel production and wastewater treatment can be combined [174,125].The efforts span over many areas of “algae to fuels” technologies including production system development, algae harvest, algae strain development and genetic modification, algae products development, etc. Screening and genetic modification of algae strains will play an increasingly important role. Genetic engineering has the potential to improve the overall algal biomass yield and lipid yield. Discovery of new strains and genetically modified strains capable of secreting hydrocarbons to extracellular spaces will open some new opportunities; however, challenges with recovering the secreted liquids or volatiles remain. There is a need to develop high throughput screening and analysis methods. Current harvest and dewatering are still too energy intensive. New techniques and strategies must be devised to lower the costs. Direct conversions such as in situ transesterification and hydrothermal liquefaction offer the possibility to process wet algae. Fractionation of algal biomass, before or after oil extraction, deserves a closer look because it may play an important role in offsetting the costs. New techniques to disrupt algae cellular structures to improve oil extraction efficiency are needed .
7.7. Heavy metals and phycoremediation
Metals are directly or indirectly involved in all phases of microbial growth. Many metals such as sodium, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, nickel and cobalt are vital for biological functions, while others such as aluminum, cadmium, silver, gold, mercury and lead are not known to have necessary biological functions. All these elements can interact with microbial cells and be accumulated as a result of different mechanisms . Some of these mechanisms have biotechnological importance and can be applied for the bioremediation of metals from industrial effluents. The capability of some microbial species to adsorb some heavy metals on their surface [128-129] or accumulate them within their structure is a chief route for the removal of heavy metals from contaminated environment [130-132]. Another fashion for the detoxification of heavy metals by microorganisms is the chelation of these metals inside or outside their cells after converting them into other forms to reduce their toxicity. In 2007, Lefebvre et al.  working with some cyanobacterial strains (
8. Microalgal production
Microalgae for human nutrition are nowadays marketed in different forms such as tablets, capsules and liquids. They can also be incorporated into pastas, snack foods, candy bars or gums, and beverages. In addition, this microalga has various possible healthpromoting effects: the alleviation of hyperlipidemia, suppression of hypertension, protection against renal failure, growth promotion of intestinal Lactobacillus, and suppression of elevated serum glucose level [86-87]. Owing to their diverse chemical properties, they can act as a nutritional supplement or represent a source of natural food colorants. The commercial applications are dominated by four strains:
Meeting the increasing water demands with limited resources advocates Egypt to find innovative and sustainable approaches for management. It is essential to maximize the benefits of the available resources and to minimize the wastes and losses, not only in water resources but also in all economical and social resources, and in an integrated framework believing that everything is related to everything. So would it not be possible to kill several birds with one stone, using algae for absorbing CO2 at the same time as providing nutrient recovery from food industrial effluents and domestic wastewater and producing renewable energy (fuels), as well as other pharmaceutical products, food, feed and fertilizer from the biomass? In recent years, microalgal culture technology is a business oriented line owing to their different practical applications. Innovative processes and products have been introduced in microalgal biotechnology to produce vitamins, proteins, cosmetics, health foods and animal feed. For most of these applications, the market is still developing and the biotechnological use of microalgae will extend into new areas.With the development of algal cultures and screening techniques, microalgal biotechnology can meet the challenging demands of food, feed, pharmaceutical industries, fuels and biofertilizers. The general needs of the human society are continuously increasing. We need every new compound which may be useful for the human society. More food, new drugs, and other goods are highly necessary for the benefit of humankind. The only question is the existence of sufficient natural and technical resources to fulfill these demands. Fortunately, in the area of the research of bioactive microbial products it seems that the ever expanding scientific and technical possibilities are increasing together with the continuously widening needs of the human.
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