Challenges in Scale-up and Commercialization of Microalgae Products
Microalgae have been pursued for several decades as a food, feed and nutraceutical source. However, deployment of scale-up technologies for successful commercialization of microalgae products is still regarded to be in a nascent stage. Though a few high-value microalgae products are commercially produced for food/nutraceutical use, these products have not seen the mainstream market yet. In the last few decades, microalgae as a next generation-feedstock for biofuels have gained a lot of momentum. Despite various advantages and claims published by several research groups, large-scale algal production still faces several challenges. This chapter provides an overview of the major technical and economic challenges in scale-up and commercialization of microalgae products. Mainly, the challenges associated with microalgae cultivation, harvesting/dewatering, downstream processing for production of fuels, food, feed and other high-value products are discussed. Recent developments on consumer acceptance and insights about microalgae application in various products are also discussed.