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Research Reports
Utilization of microalgal biomass resources : focusing on bio (functional) materials
The field of microalgae resources has been developed by focusing on biodiesel production in accordance with the renewable portfolio standard. However, their commercialization has been delayed due to the unit production cost which is higher than petroleum resources and challenges in implementing a massive cultivation system. In recent years, high value-added industries (such as alternative materials of petro-chemicals and functional materials) have been developed to ensure the economics of microalgae recycling, and their market size is growing each year. In this research, development trends, market status and institutionalization focused on bio-functional materials (such as functional food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals) and bio-plastics were reviewed to identify areas of improvement for the production of high-value added resources from microalgae. In addition, we examined how microalgae can be utilized in the environmental field from the perspective of changing the perception of algal bloom.
Survey results show that the conversion of microalgal biomass into high value-added substances is mainly carried out by manufacturing functional food with dried spirulina sp. and chlorella sp. In addition, cosmetics and food industries are advancing by using various anti-oxidants such as omega-3 and astaxanthin. In the case of bioplastics, the industry is evolving by using potatoes and corns as substrate. Recently, bio-PET and PLA production technologies are being developed by utilizing non-edible crops and algae. In terms of environmental aspects, microalgae have been proven to be a g