Normally harvesting of microalgae can be a single step process or two spep process which involves harvesting and dewatering. Harvesting microalgae is difficult because of the small size of the algae.Choosing the effecting harvesting process for a particular strain depends on size and properties of algae strain.
Techniques for harvesting microalgae include settling or flotation, Centrifugation and filtration. These processes are aided by cell flocculation, either through the addition of chemical Flocculants or through culture autoflocculation. Flocculation causes the cells to become aggregated into larger clumps which are more easily filtered and/or settle more rapidly. The ease in harvesting the algae depends primarily on the organism's size, which determines how easily the species can be settled and filtered.
The most rapidly growing algal species are frequently very small, and often motile unicells, These are the most difficult to harvest. Thus, it is necessary to maintain an effective interaction between the development of harvesting technologies and the selection of algal species for mass culture.
See the following Pages on Algae Harvesting:
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