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The "Bright Side" of Cyanobacteria: Revising the Nuisance Potential and Prospecting Innovative Biotechnology-Based Solutions to Integrate Water Management Programs

Macario, Ines PE; Ventura, Sonia PM; Goncalves, Fernando JM; Torres-Acosta, Mario A; Pereira, Joana L; (2021) The "Bright Side" of Cyanobacteria: Revising the Nuisance Potential and Prospecting Innovative Biotechnology-Based Solutions to Integrate Water Management Programs. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering , 9 (21) pp. 7182-7197. 10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c00458. Green open access

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Abstract

Global warming and the anthropogenic degradation of water quality are pointed out as main causes of the worldwide increase in frequency, severity, and duration of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Cyanobacteria, major constituents of HABs, can cause ecological, economic, and human health problems, configuring a "dark side"requiring management attention. Their growth can be potentiated by climate change consequences, highlighting further the urgency of improving HABs management strategies to ensure water quality. An innovative perspective for cyanobacteria management is the exploitation of their "bright side". Several exploitable products produced by cyanobacteria (e.g., bioactive pigments, lipids, proteins) present high market value. Thus, this work provides a critical perspective on how HABs management may be connected with biotechnology in the future. We propose the use of the biomass of cyanobacteria blooms physically removed in traditional control actions (much needed to ensure environmental and even human health safety) as a feedstock for future valorization, thus allying profit to water quality management, in a win-win relationship between economics and environmental sustainability. Such a proposal was validated with an economic analysis, which evidenced a relevant potential for a positive return (hence rendering profit likely to occur), both considering only the delivery of harvested biomass to production units and the full valuation route from harvesting to the selling of the extracted/purified product using phycocyanin as a model.

Type: Article
Title: The "Bright Side" of Cyanobacteria: Revising the Nuisance Potential and Prospecting Innovative Biotechnology-Based Solutions to Integrate Water Management Programs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c00458
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c00458
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Technology, Chemistry, Multidisciplinary, Green & Sustainable Science & Technology, Engineering, Chemical, Chemistry, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Engineering, Cyanobacteria blooms, Water management, Biomass exploitation, Biotechnology, Economic impact, HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS, CLIMATE-CHANGE, CYLINDROSPERMOPSIS-RACIBORSKII, GLOBAL EXPANSION, TOXIN PRODUCTION, HEALTH, METABOLITES, LAKE, PHYCOCYANIN, MICROCYSTIS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158465
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