Comprehensive Oilgae Report

A detailed report on all aspects of the algae fuel value chain, the Comprehensive Oilgae Report will be of immense help to those who are on the threshold of investing in algae biofuels. More ››

Algae-based Wastewater Treatment

Compiled by a diverse team of experts, with experience in scientific and industrial fields, the Comprehensive Report for Wastewater Treatment Using Algae is the first report that provides in-depth analysis and insights on this important field. It uses innumerable data and information from a wide variety of expert sources and market studies, and distills these inputs and data into intelligence and a roadmap that you can use. More ››

Comprehensive Guide for Algae-based Carbon Capture

A Comprehensive Guide for Entrepreneurs and Businesses Who Wish to get a Basic Understanding of the Business Opportunities and Industry Dynamics of the Algae-based CO2. More ››

Oilgae Digest

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Oilgae Report Academic Edition

Oilgae Report Academic Edition - provides research insights on new methodologies, perspectives and experiments in algae biofuels; this report is customized for academic and industry researchers, and students. More ››

Algae-Useful Substances





Algae for Pollution Control

Other Novel Applications

Algae - Important Products and Applications


Algae as a feedstock have been used for many products and applications, and   new ones are constantly being discovered. With the recent surge in   interest to use algae as a feedstock for biofuels, there is growing   interest in utilizing the Algal Biomass in an optimal manner – not just   to produce fuel but also valorizing the co-products of the process. Such   an optimal utilization could make algae based biofuels more  economically viable.

Valorization of co-products is an attractive option, given the fact that the world has the experience of using algae for a wide array of products. In addition to oil and Biodiesel the starch component of the biomass makes   a suitable feedstock for the production of ethanol. The residue that is   left over could then be used for conventional animal, fish or poultry   feed, or for other nutraceuticals. There are emerging technologies using which the residue could be used to make products such as bioplastics.

The number of products that can be made from algae is virtually unlimited,   due to the large variety of species (possibly in the millions) whose composition can be influenced by changing the cultivation conditions. With only a few commercial algae-based products available, this resource   is largely untapped. This page at Oilgae attempts to bring out all the possible applications of algae and its market potential. 

Algae Products Market

The market size of products from micro-algae was estimated by Pulz and Gross (2004) to have a retail value of US$ 5 – 6.5 billion. 

  • US$ 1.25 - 2.5 billion were generated by the health food sector
  • US$ 1.5 billion from the production of docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and
  • US$ 700 million from aquaculture.

Another study mentions a production of 10,000 T per year, almost all of it grown in open ponds, and mainly for use as nutritional supplements (van Harmelen and Oonk 2006).

The world market of products from macro-algae has been estimated to have a size of some US$ 5.5 - 6 billion per year (McHugh 2003; Pulz and Gross 2004).

  • US$ 5 billion is generated by the food industry, of which US$ 1 billion is from “nori”, a high-value product worth US$ 16,000 / T
  • US$ 600 million was generated by hydrocolloids (55,000 T) extracted from cell walls of macroalgae

Based on their market values, algal products are broadly classified into three types

Sample List of Products and Their Values


      Price Range ($/Kg)



Proteins (for animal and fish feed)


Fine chemicals / food ingredients


Ingredients for pharma, cosmetics, high end nutraceuticals

150 and higher (> $1000/Kg for astaxanthin)

Comprehensive List of Algae Products /Applications in Various Industries

Click to Know More



Poly unsaturated fatty acids(DHA,ARA,GAL and EPA)

Beta carotene





Aquaculture Feed (Shrimp feed, Shellfish Feed, Marine Fish Larve cultivation )

Algae Cosmetics

Paper from Algae




Algae Biopolymers

Algae Pharmaceuticals

Algae Wastewater treatment

Coenzyme Q10

Algae - Human Food

algae soup.jpgAlgae have been collected for more than 4000 years in China and Japan for use as human food. Today Japan is the principal user of edible algae, and the Japanese have developed methods for culturing and harvesting "leafy" algae. Large-scale farming practices are used to grow the red alga Porphyra, which is commonly called nori. Profitable products can be extracted from algae.

There are many algae that are cultivated for their nutritional value, either for supplemental use, or as a food source.

Related Product Links: Agar, alginates and carrageenans

Possible Applications:

  • Macroalgae as food source (Nori or purple laver, Aonori or green laver , Kombu or haidai,Wakame, quandai-cai, Hiziki , Mozuku, Sea grapes or green caviar, Dulse, Irish moss or carrageenan moss, Winged kelp, Ogo, ogonori or sea moss)
  • Puddings, Sauces and Creams, Beverage/Juice, Sweet biscuits, Chocolates, Dark colored baked products, Edible coatings, Food colouring agents, Cheeses and butter or margarines, Food gels, Stabilizer/emulsifier, Food Packaging, Gelling and Thickening Agents

Pharmaceuticals & Health Related Products

spirulna tablet.jpg

Use of algae, especially the cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), for antibiotics and pharmacologically active compounds has received ever increasing interest. There are a range of pharmaceutical products derived from algae. Some of them include: antimicrobials, antivirals & antifungals, neuroprotective products, therapeutic proteins and drugs

Related Product Links: Algae in Pharmaceuticals, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, DHA, EPA, Astaxanthin, Beta Carotene

Possible Applications:

  • Osmoregulators, Antioxidants, Anti-microbial agents (antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoa), Anti-tumor agents, Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic agents, Anti viral agents, Anti-inflammatory agents, Anti-adhesive therapies
  • Aiding the immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems. Used in  fibromyalgia, diabetes, and hypertension patients and in degenerative diseases treatment, skin disease treatment
  • As a Fluorescent Pigment  (Immunoassays), Therapeutic delivering agents, Radioactive protection

Other useful substances used for medicinal purposes include sterols, toxins, proteins, amino acids, MAA etc.

algae-as-a-health-food2.jpgAlgae in Nutraceuticals:

Related Product Links: Spirulina, Chlorella, Poly unsaturated fatty acids(DHA,ARA,GAL and EPA), Beta carotene, Astaxanthin

Animal & Fish Feed

feed.jpgAquaculture - Micro-algae are an essential food source in the rearing of all stages of marine bivalve molluscs (clams, oysters, and scallops), the larval stages of some marine gastropods (abalone, conch), larvae of several marine fish species and penaeid shrimp, and zooplankton.

Microalgae are used as essential live feeds and supplements in the aquaculture of larval and juvenile animals including oyster spat, juvenile abalone, finfish larvae and rotifer.

Related Product Links: Aquaculture Feed

Possible Applications: Cattle and hog feed, Pet food ingredient (aquarium food and speciality pet foods)


Algae in Cosmetics

In cosmetics, algae act as thickening agents, water-binding agents, and antioxidants. Carrageenans are extracted from red algae and alginates from the brown algae. Other forms of algae, such as Irish moss, contain proteins, vitamin A, sugar, starch, vitamin B1, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and calcium. These are all beneficial for skin, either as emollients or antioxidants.

cosmetics.jpgRelated Product Links: Algae in Cosmetics, Carrageenan, Alginates

Possible Applications: Anti-cellulite, Skin care, sun protection and hair care, Tooth paste, Shaving cream, Lotions and creams, Antibacterial cream

Algae Chemicals

chemicals.jpgAlgae biomass from which oil has been extracted (called the algae cake or de-oiled algae meal) can be used as organic fertilizers in place of synthetic fertilizers.

Algae can also be used as a starting material for a variety of specialty chemicals and polymers. The natural pigments produced by algae can be used as an alternative to chemical dyes and coloring agents.

Related Product Links: Chlorophyll, Phycocyanin, Phycoerythrin, Fucoxanthin

Possible Applications: Defoamers, Inks, Algae based resins, Speciality chemicals production, Stable isotopically labeled compounds, Dyes and colourants, Polyhydroxy alkonates

Algae in Pollution Control

pollution.jpgAlgae are currently used in many wastewater treatment facilities, reducing the need for more dangerous chemicals. Algae can be used to capture the runoff fertilizers that enter lakes and streams from nearby farms. Algae are used by some power plants to reduce CO2 emissions.

Related Product Links: Algae in Waste Water Treatment, Algae for CO2 Capture

Possible Applications: Wastewater treatment and nutrient credits, Biofilters for fish pond effluents, Heavy metal biosorption, CO2 capture, Soil additives, conditioners and fertilizers


Algae Bioplastics:

Typically, long chain polymers, present in the algae lipids are used for making bioplastics.