About the book
Undeniably, we are experiencing long and complex global challenges. From this perspective, issues associated with serious environmental problems due to the high demand for non-renewable feedstock, such as water scarcity and unrestrained uses for fossil energy, in addition to their respective consequences associated with climate change, may trigger serious social problems on the global scale. However, the first step in solving a problem is to recognize its existence. To relieve these urgencies, microalgal biotechnology has emerged in scientific research as a redemption on industrial processes. However, to date, there is still a long way to go until it becomes an important part of modern industry.
In light of this, the book is proposed in a broad division of five sections, each thematically oriented to specific topics, which aim to consolidate and disseminate what is consolidated in microalgal biotechnology. In addition, scientific innovation and strategies to overcome the main bottlenecks in the application of microalgae biotechnological processes will be presented.
The first section of the book should cover an in-depth analysis of the fundamentals of the basic biology of microalgae. This section aims to compile information on the main microalgal strains used in biotechnological processes and products, in addition to including detailed information on cell physiology, screening methods, and identification of new microalgal strains, the importance of metabolic engineering, as well as disseminating potential phenotypes of interest in industrial biotechnology.
The second section should contemplate the possibilities of adapting the cultivation systems and processes for obtaining microalgal biomass. For this purpose, discussions about the upstream and downstream stages should be reviewed, and scientific innovations associated with cultivation systems, photobioreactor models, as well as new insights about post-processing and biomass recovery techniques, aiming at reducing the demand for biomass energy are proposed.
The third section of the book should include proposals that encompass the main applications of microalgae biotechnological processes in an industrial context. The starting point is to examine processes commonly studied in the microalgal context, which aim to bring benefits to processes that are already consolidated. As is the case of the treatment of industrial effluents from microalgae, as well as the use of these microorganisms as a form of bioremediation. In addition, technologies for converting biomass into products to be used later on the market are strongly recommended for this section.
In the fourth section of the book, new advances in process engineering must be elucidated, relating it to the context of microalgal biotechnology. Thus, software engineering approaches applied to the monitoring of microorganisms, resource recovery aiming at cleaner technology, in addition to the perspective of process integration, optimization systems, technology readiness assessment, and a more accurate look at process control and microalgae biorefinery must be considered. Assessments of environmental indicators such as water demand and carbon footprint, in addition to the potential emissions of greenhouse gases and their potential for climate change are strongly recommended. In addition, economic criteria and indicators, social acceptance, and technology-push policies should be included in this section.
Finally, the fifth section should include a quantitative and qualitative analysis of possible products from microalgae-based processes (bulk and fine chemicals) and their potential market demand and application area should be discussed.