Abstract: Economically viable microalgal biodiesel production is unrealistic and unsustainable owing to expensive harvesting or dewatering techniques. Hence, immense and meticulous exploration of harvesting process is essential to identify knowledge leads by which suitable harvesting technique could be ascertained for lucrative biodiesel production. With this in view, this review aims to collate and highlight the spectrum of harvesting techniques applied to microalgae, i.e., conventional – modern, high cost- inexpensiveness, energy efficient- energy consuming process. At the outset, global energy outlook and demand had been critically addressed, and the scientific ways to tackle or satiate the fuel demand had also been highlighted in this reveiw. This review manuscript has thrown widespread light on the physical harvesting methods namely centrifugation, sedimentation, filtration, flotation and technical advantages thereof. Due to the energy-intensive and cost barrier of physical harvesting techniques, chemical methods entailing organic, inorganic, and electroflocculation have come to limelight and in this regard, microalgae used, floc recovery and the dose of flocculants have been compared and presented in detail. Further, state of the art harvesting techniques viz., bioflocculation by microalgae/bacteria, flocculation by pH adjustment, and magnetic nanocomposite based microalgal harvesting had been critically articulated. Besides discussing the several methods, this paper has summarized the key challenges in conventional and advanced harvesting techniques and also provided the scope thereof. Hence, the key suggestions and findings given in this manuscript would positively offer a well-defined roadmap in choosing foreseeable harvesting technology for cost-effective microalgal biofuel development.
... read more