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Algal cultivation for treating wastewater in African developing countries: A review

Nwoba, E.G.ORCID: 0000-0003-0397-2369, Vadiveloo, A.ORCID: 0000-0001-8886-5540, Ogbonna, C.N., Ubi, B.E., Ogbonna, J.C. and Moheimani, N.R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2310-4147 (2020) Algal cultivation for treating wastewater in African developing countries: A review. CLEAN – Soil, Air, Water, 48 (3). Article 2000052.

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The tremendous increase in human population and rapid decline in freshwater resources have necessitated the development of innovative and sustainable wastewater treatment methods. Africa as a developing continent is currently backing on sustainable solutions to tackle impending water resource crisis brought forward by wastewater‐induced environmental pollution and climate change. Microalgae‐based wastewater treatment systems represent an emerging technology that is capable of meeting the new demand for improved wastewater treatment and climate change mitigation strategies in an environmentally friendly manner. This review critically looks at the opportunities of Africa in harnessing and exploiting the potential of microalgae for the treatment of various wastewaters based on their capacity to recycle nutrients and for concurrent production of valuable biomass and several useful metabolites. Wastewaters, if improperly/completely untreated and discharged, simultaneously pollute freshwater sources and present significant health and environmental risks. Nutrients in wastewater can be utilized and recovered in the form of marketable biomass and products when integrated with the cultivation of microalgae. Several valuable bioproducts can be generated from wastewater‐grown microalgal biomass including biofuels, biofertilizers, animal feed, and various bioactive compounds. This biorefinery approach would most certainly improve wastewater treatment process economics, enhancing the technical feasibility of algae‐based wastewater remediation in African countries.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Algae R&D Centre
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2020 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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