Harvesting of Dunaliella salina by membrane filtration at pilot scale

Joana Monte, Marta Sá, Cláudia F. Galinha, Luís Costa, Herre Hoekstra, Carla Brazinha, João G. Crespo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The microalgae Dunaliella salina is industrially produced due to its high content in carotenoids induced by low nitrogen and high salinity conditions. D. salina with low carotenoids content also produces other added value compounds, however its recovery have hardly been studied. This work aims to examine the potential of pre-concentrating D. salina by membrane processing prior to a final harvesting step by low-shear centrifugation. The aim is to minimize the overall energy expenditure and reduce capital costs, while assuring a minimal loss of cell integrity. This task is challenging, considering the sensitivity of D. salina to shear. Harvesting of D. salina by ultrafiltration allowed reaching a final concentration factor of 5.9, with an average permeate flux of 31 L/(m2 h). The Total Cost of Ownership and energy consumption for harvesting are respectively 52% and 45% lower when applying a two-step approach with pre-concentration (ultrafiltration) compared to only harvesting by centrifugation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Sep 2 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Associate Laboratory for Green Chemistry LAQV which is financed by national funds from FCT/MEC (UID/QUI/50006/2013) and co-financed by the ERDF under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement (POCI-01-0145-FEDER – 007265). The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the European KBBE FP7 project “D-Factory” under the topic “The CO2 Microalgae Biorefinery” and by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. OSR-2016-CPF-2907-05. Carla Brazinha (Post-Doctoral grant SFRH/BPD/79533/2011), Cláudia Galinha (Post-Doctoral grant SFRH/BPD/95864/2013) and Marta Sá (Doctoral grant SFRH/BD/108894/2015) acknowledge the grant support by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal. The authors would also like to thank A4F – Algae for Future, Portugal, by supplying and assisting with algae biomass, Evodos and Mels de Pooter, by providing the pilot unit for the experiments, and Liqoflux for conducting an energy and TCO study.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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