Wealth from waste: Diatoms as tools for phycoremediation of wastewater and for obtaining value from the biomass. uri icon

abstract

  • Diatoms are a type of microalgae with diverse capabilities which make them useful for multiple applications. The abundance of diatoms in water bodies facilitates the removal of pollutants from wastewater originating from different industries, such as agriculture and other anthropogenic sources. The unique photosynthetic, cellular and metabolic characteristics of diatoms allows them to utilize pollutants like nitrate, iron, phosphate, molybdenum, silica, and heavy metals, such as copper, cadmium, chromium, lead, etc., which make diatoms a good option for wastewater treatment. In addition, the biomass produced by diatoms growth on wastewaters has diverse applications and can, therefore, be valuable. This review focusses on the unique capabilities of diatoms for wastewater remediation and the capture of carbon dioxide, concomitant with the generation of valuable products. Diatom biorefinery can be a sustainable solution to wastewater management, and the biomass obtained from treatment can be turned into biofuels, biofertilizers, nutritional supplements for animal production, and used for pharmaceutical applications containing bioactive compounds like EPA, DHA and pigments such as fucoxanthin.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020