Microalgae-based wastewater treatment for nutrients recovery: A review

Kun Li, Qiang Liu, Fan Fang, Ruihuan Luo, Qian Lu, Wenguang Zhou, Shuhao Huo, Pengfei Cheng, Junzhi Liu, Min Addy, Paul Chen, Dongjie Chen, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


The water resource crisis and concerns with environmental pollution are pushing for upgrading of conventional wastewater treatment process. Microalgae-based wastewater treatment process has shown many advantages that can meet the new demand for improved wastewater treatment. However, considering the issues related to the complexity of wastewater characteristics and adaptability of microalgae species, and the challenges to the design and optimization of treatment processes in order to achieve higher removal efficiencies with lower costs, further exploration and research are still needed. This review provides an overview of microalgae strains commonly used for wastewater treatment, physical and chemical properties of various wastewaters and their suitability for algae cultivation, factors affecting algae growth, nutrient assimilation/removal and biomass productivity. The design and operation of microalgae-based wastewater treatment processes are also discussed. Moreover, the issues and limitations of microalgae-based wastewater treatment are also discussed and suggestions are proposed for the further research and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121934
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 51768043 ), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation ( 2017M622106 ), the Science Foundation for Youths of Jiangxi Province , China ( 20171BAB216037 ), the Research Foundation of Education Bureau of Jiangxi Province, China (GJJ160214), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China ( LQ17C030001 ), and Scientific Research Fund of Zhejiang Provincial Education Department (Y201840278).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biomass production
  • Microalgae cultivation
  • Nutrients recovery
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water reuse


Dive into the research topics of 'Microalgae-based wastewater treatment for nutrients recovery: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this