Potential applications of nuisance microalgae blooms

by Jang K. Kim, Sreejith Kottuparambil, Sang Hyun Moh, Taek Kyun Lee, Youn-Jung Kim, Jae-Sung Rhee, Eun-Mi Choi, Byung Hoon Kim, Yong Ju Yu, Charles Yarish, Taejun Han
Year: 2014


Kim, J.K., Kottuparambil, S., Moh, S.H., Lee, T.K., Kim, Y.-J, Rhee, J.-S., Choi, E.-M., Kim, B.H., Yu, Y.J., Yarish, C., Han, T. Potential applications of nuisance microalgae blooms. Journal of Applied Phycology, 27, 1223-1234 (2014)


Algal blooms have become a major concern in coastal areas and the great lakes of the world. Because of their various consequences for aquatic ecosystems and resources, algal blooms are called “harmful algal blooms” (HABs). HABs often become severely detrimental when they involve one or more toxin-producing microalgae of various taxonomic origins. The accumulation of algal biomass also has deleterious effects on the ecological status of water. However, appropriate management strategies can allow the beneficial utilization of these events by consuming the biomass feedstock in the production of valuable biocommodities, including biofuels, functional food ingredients, UV-absorbing compounds, pharmaceutical products, etc. However, if the algal biomass can be harvested prior to the onset of their death phase, nutrients (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) can also be removed from the ecosystem by harvesting the algal blooms. Great progress has been made in the last decade in monitoring and predicting HABs, and a demand is emerging for persuasive postevent management policies that focus on the potential utilization of these blooms as natural renewable bioresources. This review summarizes various potential applications of nuisance algal blooms and the need for scientific research into their economic and industrial potential. Major algal products with great ecological and economic significance and their contemporary global utilization are analyzed.


Algal blooms HABs Renewable bioresources Biomass